The Gold Dust Project - Chapter One - Grace Elizabeth - Colchester, Essex Photographer
The Gold Dust Project. A little personal project that looks into postpartum motherhood and the amazing, beautiful bodies these women receive as a part of their journeys to becoming mothers.
This little documentary investigation was born through a combination of things. Sat at my desk, in front of my computer, gloomy rainclouds floating outside on a cold, January morning, I had a lightbulb moment. I've wanted to do a project like this for so long, but wasn't sure where to begin or what my direction was - but they do say you find things when you're not looking for them, and in many ways, I suppose this is what happened.
A little backstory first... Since finishing my degree in photography, which was mostly editorial based and involved undertaking personal projects, I had wanted to take on my own editorial, documentary project. I had a few things I wanted to combine, those being my interests in motherhood, feminism, art and photography, but the question was, how? I mean, I wrote my dissertation on the objectification of women and the male gaze, but how would I find a way to flip the coin and empower women? Better still, how could I empower women who struggled with their body image, or who felt body dysmorphic? Suddenly, it all came together.
I began my research into the gorgeous Japanese art of Kintsugi, something I had glossed over a few years ago when researching for degree projects. Kintsugi is the beautiful art of repairing broken ceramic pots with gold, the idea being that they became more beautiful after they had been fixed, than before they were ever broken. Right away, I knew what I had to do. So, I ordered some body paint, rolled out a model call, and kickstarted my project with the loveliest midwife and mother of two, who was quite happy to be traced in gold...
I didn't want this project to focus on the 'repair' concept taken from Kintsugi, because after all, you were never broken in the first place. But rather, I wanted it to focus on the idea of using gold to highlight the beauty in something - this beauty being postpartum ladies' scars and stretch marks. With that said, I will leave you with some images from the first few photos from this fledgling project.
In the meantime, if you'd like to take part in my project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact me here, or if you'd like to find out more about the #GoldDustProject, you can view a little video I made, here.
Much love, as always!