A Slight Hysterical Tendency

A Slight Hysterical Tendency

Connotations regarding the mental state of a female have historically and contemporarily been labeled. Inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper, this project investigates female hysteria, a mental disorder attributed to women. Through this notion, a female’s psychological state is conceived as directly related to her reproductive system. This 19th century fiction explores the subordination of marriage, domestic passivity, and the resting cure used for hysteria, which drives the lead character to the brink of insanity.

The photographs in this series use environmental still lives and self-portraits to navigate the literal and symbolic significance of one’s mental state. Common domestic items are used to portray a feminine nature. References to the womb and conception are interwoven with delicate items that represent domesticity and conception. Photographed in my personal space, the series becomes autobiographical because of my own experiences with anxiety and depression.

001Introspect

Will and Good Sense

005Introspect

An Apple from the Earth

003Introspect

Quiet Reverie

004Introspect

Perfect Rest

007Introspect

Ovum

002Introspect

Heavy Opposition

006Introspect

Place Setting

Deedra Baker 2015

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New Work | Explores Notions of Innocence

This project explores notions of innocence and coming of age through the photographing of a preteen. My niece is photographed to symbolize my personal experiences, as well as to provide a universal character for all females who have and will experience the transformation of self through puberty.

Feelings of displacement and quiet struggles permeate my adult life. Through a rural, sheltered upbringing there was a frequent battle between innocence and reality. This body of work explores the loss of innocence through the depiction of an adolescent sitter. She stands in as a metaphor for myself, an anxiety-filled child and adult. The photographs are made on my parents’ property in rural Kansas and depict experiences, memories, and symbolic truths.


© Deedra Baker 2014
Elizabeth Reclines

© Deedra Baker 2014
She Weeps  

© Deedra Baker
In-Between

© Deedra Baker 2014
 Cycle

© Deedra Baker 2014
Elizabeth Swings

Deedra Baker 2014


‘Select Works: TWU Visual Arts Graduate Students’

TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY
School of the Arts
Department of Visual Arts
and the DALLAS PUBLIC LIBRARY
Present

‘Select Works: TWU Visual Arts Graduate Students’

01 November – 30 November 2013

Closing Reception: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 2:00PM – 4:30PM

Lillian Bradshaw Gallery
Dallas Public Library | 4th Floor
1515 Young Street | Dallas, TX 75201

Artists:
Kalee Appleton, Deedra Baker, Bailey Chapman, Lindsey Dunnagan, Angelia Ford, Liz Head-Fischer, Nathan Madrid, and Claire A. Warden

Selected Works_2013

Deedra Baker 2013