Kara Cormier
Above the Altar
The work presented was created as a means of putting Gothic culture in a visually attractive point of view, as well as putting women in confident roles within media. Paired with patterns reminiscent of stained glass normally seen in cathedrals, the photos are meant to help find my true self as an individual as well as challenge the viewer in finding aspects of beauty in a conventionally dark and even intimidating aesthetic.
Artist/Thesis Statement
For a long time, dark and gothic imagery has been used to intimidate and scare people. It is not very often individuals in Goth culture are portrayed attractively within the media. I have decided to use portraiture photography and pair it with experimentation in painting directly onto panes of glass to lessen the intimidation of darker imagery and elevate its beauty. For this collection, I have specifically stuck to Gothic-era-styled stained-glass designs. I have always loved and appreciated the colors and patterns executed, but I wanted to refrain from using the designs to portray a narrative. I intend to use such designs to elevate the photographs themselves rather than create a narrative within the work.
The main goal of the photographs was to present women strongly and confidently while also not making them seem overly intimidating. Often, women are normally portrayed in media as fragile; needing to be saved by someone in a position of power and strength. The intent is to show women who are not distressed and exude self-assuredness. I have always wanted the confidence to present myself in life with a Gothic aesthetic without having the fear of being judged by others. More recently, I have tried to push past that fear by not concerning myself with the opinions of others. I use my work as a vessel in trying to find my true self and how I wish to present who I am to the world around me. With my work, I hope to show others who I am as an individual and the true beauty of it. I want to challenge the viewer to find some aspects of beauty within darker and more Gothic media, whether it is the same aspects I find beautiful or something entirely different.

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