My mother was a feminist, and I grew up in Italy in the Seventies surrounded by women fighting for their right to work, to speak out, to divorce, to abort. My mother and her friends were revolutionary people and very sensitive women, strong and extremely fragile at the same time. That’s what inspired me to start the project Women’s Energy. I feel that women’ strength lies in their rich and stratified emotional life. From a photographic point of view, I got inspiration by Paul Strand’s series of street portraits. I love his great mastery in celebrating the simplest, the forgotten, his ability to create an epopea of heroic characters although their very poor conditions. These 2 elements nurtured my wish to create series of emotional portraits of women, made up of feelings and details of their life, choosing their home as location, the place stereotyped as their realm, surrounded by their objects, by the space they created around themselves. I ask my model questions which prompted to relieve specific memories and emotions. The questions were invoked in specific locations and they wore as the emotion inspired her.
Standing in the closet, "When you were a teenager, what emotion did you feel at the end or beginning of a new school year? Do you remember the trepidation connected with the new beginning, and the familiarity in knowing it was an annual occurrence?"
At the front door, "How did you feel the very first day that you went out going to work?"
In the kitchen , "What part of yourself do you relate to when you go out of your domestic and intimate context of family or friends? With others, are you interested or uninterested? Aggressive or submissive? Open or introverted?"
In the living room , "Is the presence or absence of a romantic partner an opportunity to grow or a personal restriction?"
In front of the bathroom mirror, "What do you feel as you contemplate yourself, contained in your own body, at once the subject and the object of your glimpse?"
These questions allow us to meditate upon our interior lives. Most of the time we stand absent-minded in front of the mirror, or leave the house without a second thought. We are occupied. Very rarely do we stop and look at ourselves and reflect. Looking deeply at ourselves, we can come to the sudden realization that we are not only a flesh-and-blood body; we may feel that there is also a part that is watching itself.
Revisiting our pasts and emotions, looking within ourselves—beyond our corporeal forms—we can experiment with moments of epiphany.