Marie Miller  

Mournful Maiden by Marie Miller

February 2021 - Mournful Maiden

February 2021 - Marie Miller


February 2021 - Marie Miller

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I’m planning to create an exhibit to increase the awareness surrounding the issue of military sexual trauma. I have ideas for the exhibit and hope to be shooting real people for the exhibit. In the meantime, I’m practicing with a mannequin head on a tripod. This image was made with my mannequin head (her name is Mimi-chan) and an overlay of an image I made of the bottom of a crystal vase. I wanted to show pain in the form of a watershed of tears representing days, months, years of suffering and tears shed over rape that often goes unseen or is manifested in self-destructive behavior that is a cry for help ignored. I’m hoping to gather ideas that would make this image idea more powerful. I added in the first version and a cyan filter version before I settled on the monotone black and white image.

8 comments posted

Karl Leck   Karl Leck
Hi Marie, After some thought, I agree with the harsher pure black & white version. This isn't a warm subject, but harsh reality of the internal chaos created by an event. While the image lacks reference to things military, it does evoke plenty of human emotion. A well executed concept. I like using the mannequin when real models aren't available.
You might also observe the part that alcohol plays in these events along with family upbringing and military culture. Karl   Posted: 02/10/2021 09:57:51
Marie Miller   Marie Miller
Thanks so much for your perspective Karl. The concept is in the early stage and there is more work for me to do to flesh it out and refine the scope. Yes, Karl, alcohol, hyper-sexuality, drugs and other coping-type behaviors are involved with this issue, along with military culture and other factors that can contribute to conditions ripe for sexual assault. Right now, I've focus on the impact on the victims and wanted to continue raising the awareness of this issue and gather support from people who are able to help. Yeah, there isn't anything linking the image to the military and I haven't decided how to incorporate that element into the series.
  Posted: 02/11/2021 22:02:20
Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Hi Marie, Isn't the problem in the military a reflection of the attitude of society as a whole. Just as an example, I have a friend, who was a fun loving and popular, elementary school teacher, creative artist, and photographer, who was on track for a career that she loved. All tis came to a sudden end just after she was raped about thirty five years ago. The psychological impact on her was so devastating that she has been unable to work. There are only three people she talks to socially. I have ben sadly watching her mental decline.   Posted: 02/13/2021 15:25:04

Sandra Irwin   Sandra Irwin
A very interesting and intriguing work. I love the effect of the overlaid vase image. How did you get the tear in there? I agree with Karl that the pain clearly comes through, but nothing to link it to the military. Challenging idea for an exhibit. Do you intend to photograph victims? If so, would they tell what happened to them and would that somehow be linked to the photo?   Posted: 02/10/2021 16:42:51

Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Hi Marie, I think that your unique presentation of this socially important theme will cause viewers to, at the very least stop and think. To my mind The stark meaning and importance of your image, is best shown using a cold black & white format. I am concerned that any other presentation would be distracting.   Posted: 02/13/2021 15:06:15

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
The theme of your exhibit is powerful. The effect of the overlay of the vase is perfect. The change in mood that the B&W version generates is dramatic. The brown version evokes primitive art, while the B&W version produces a cold shattered effect appropriate to the theme. In studying the image I noticed an element that fits the theme perfectly: just beneath the mouth on a diagonal slanting to the lower right is an evil-looking head. Did you plan this? Perhaps a military theme can be introduced by having the models wear different military hats. The hats could be covered by the vase; enough would show to make the point.   Posted: 02/19/2021 14:40:29

Lauren Heerschap   Lauren Heerschap
Wow. Good choice in the black and white, I think of the military as a black and white type image and way of thinking. What could you use as military symbols? How about medals, ribbons, uniforms? How about hands on guns, tanks, vehicles? How can you mix the human with the symbols? Check out military museums - there should be a lot of subject matter there. We have one near the army base in Washington.

You have an excellent subject, and I can imagine many different collage type images that would express the shock, rage, sorrow of this project. Well done.   Posted: 02/21/2021 14:58:34

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
You have quite a project to undertake. Good for you to take it on. I am going to mention an exhibit I saw here in Washington, DC some years ago--it was early photographs by the poet Allen Ginsberg, where he hand-wrote the story of each image directly onto prints of the images. You may consider asking the victims in your project to hand-write their brief accounts directly onto portrait images of themselves. Just a creative thought for me to pass on to you from Allen Ginsberg.   Posted: 02/22/2021 22:41:26


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