In the summer of 2017 I began a new photographic series featuring the women of St. Louis music. As a creative in visual media, I have always been fascinated by those who write and perform music. The creation of music, the process and the inspiration behind it, has always seemed like an almost magical act to me. Like advanced math and carburetor repair, how would one even know where to begin? So I sat down with women from our thriving local music scene and talked to them about their processes. My intention was to work together to capture the symbolism and inspiration of their music in a visual format.
Sitting down with other women and asking them what themes they're exploring in their art is an incredibly enlightening experience. As an introspective, introverted type I am so often caught up in my own creative process and projects that I forget to take time to connect to the women around me who are going through very similar experiences in their lives. So many common themes emerged when I spoke to other women. Struggles with balance, emotion, loss. Striving for goodness, for hope and light when the darkness of the real world tries to drag you down. Almost every woman I spoke to was fighting against the despair brought on by our current political climate. All of them struggled with ways to be heard and understood.
In the end we're all just trying to make some sense of our environment, find a way to stay afloat and make our own mark on the world in whatever way feels right to us. Reminding myself of that is helpful when I start to doubt the utility of the creative process in a society that suddenly does not seem to value knowledge, thought or expression.
I hope that this project can shine a little more light on some of the many, crazy-talented women in our city—I am glad I connected with these ladies, and hopefully brought a little more of their magic into view.
Keep making things, ladies.
If you'd like to purchase prints of these images, I have a gallery set up here. Please note that due to the digital nature and format of this project, the images may require cropping for some print sizes. Cropping options will be offered to you during the ordering process.
After being invited to show this project at TEDxGatewayArch in October 2017 I worked with the women involved in the project to create a digital compilation album with music from all the women I photographed. That album is available via Bandcamp, just hit the "buy" link in this widget. All proceeds from the album sales go to support the women involved in the project.