Women of Canterbury (2011) and Gentle Creatures (2007) are names of two photography series from Marianna Rothen, a visual artist based in NYC. Inside her collections she portrays the most beautiful traits of the female gender, concerning to their mental, as well as physical charisma.
The nudity of the shown girls communicates a very sensual impression and represent them in all naturalness, vulnerability and delicateness. The women’s elegance and graceful aesthetics are pointed in such a playful and maiden way that you could rather call them girls –than women. The same can be seen in the presentation of the women’s body - as an object. Of course, on the one side the nudity emphasizes sexuality and female attractions but has no erotic focus or aim of the other side.
This girly mood gets also supported by the organic environment and the natural or human way of the women’s movement and attitude, especially in their interaction and behavior in group. This appends a very flowery and hippie like touch that is additionally complemented by Rothen's photography methods whose visual vintage style is strongly reminiscent of the 60’s and 70’s.
Another interesting association -both thematically and visually- is the link to one special card of a tarot deck. The talk is of a very esoteric, emotional and especially female card: „The Stars“ (no.17). This card pronounces a female matter of emotion, the women’s nativeness, tenderness, vulnerability and sensualism. Likewise the photographs, the tarot card „The Stars“ emanates a childish, playful and easy mood, it attaches importance to a soulful life with mindful reflection, female awareness, balance and a focus on amusement and joy.
I really fell in love with this photography series and the aesthetics of Rothen’s theoretical approach,
as well as the successful implementation.
- a romanticized fairy tale
of the female flower children
walking in idleness,
devoting themselves to
the sweet and carefree life.