Mariya Ustymenko |

About the Artist: Mariya Ustymenko is a Ukrainian born visual artist who uses photography as her primary medium to create work ranging from live performance to installation and multimedia. She lives and works in Colchester, Essex, and is currently completing her PhD at the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies of the University of Essex.

Artist Statement: Private Places explores traditional representation of femininity as the notion confined by domestic space. The series comprises of traditionally processed film-based photographs which blur the line between fantasy and reality.

Project Background: I have started to develop this set last year when I was working on a site-specific commission for a theatre gallery aiming to produce work in response to Arthur Miller's play "A View from the Bridge." Drawing from the 1950s Hollywood iconography, I have made an attempt to create a show relating to the story of the play's protagonist, whose unrecognized emotions, triggered by the everyday domestic encounters with the subject of his forbidden desire, drive the play to its dramatic final. While working on the series, however, I have realized that for me as an artist coming from a cultural background in which emancipation in the sphere of work has brought little changes in the way women roles are viewed by the representatives of both genders, the work appears to playfully illustrate as well as subvert the portrayal of such archetypes as ‘angel in the house,’ ‘Daddy’s little girl,’ ‘mad woman’ and ‘femme fatale’, which still appear to prevail in the media discourse of contemporary advertising.

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