Tira Khan: Pattern Repeats

previous arrow
previous arrow
next arrow
next arrow


I began this series shortly after–and in response to–the 2016 presidential election. The photographs are inspired by the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this story first published in 1892, the protagonist sees a woman trapped inside her bedroom wallpaper and the wallpaper becomes a metaphor for the social mores of the Victorian era. The narrator actually tears up the wallpaper in an attempt to free the woman she sees crawling behind the pattern. In these photographs, modern women are trapped in a similar gilded cage. The protagonists are either behind or encompassed by the wallpaper. Women are engulfed in the pattern’s repeats, and perhaps in the patterns of history’s as well. They struggle to find their emerging voice.


Tira Khan’s photographs focus on people; their domestic, and unguarded moments. Her series, Growing Up Girl, has been featured on Der Spiegel Online, Lenscratch, Musée Magazine, and What Will You Remember. Her photographs have been published in The New York Times Lens Blog, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Khan has also published photographs in two books including We Who March, a book on the 2017 Women’s March. Tira was selected by Christopher Rauschenberg as one of eleven photographers in EXPOSURE 2018, the Photographic Resource Center’s 22nd annual exhibition. She has exhibited in shows at the Danforth Art Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, and Blue Sky Gallery, among others. Her portfolios, Growing Up Girl and Pattern Repeats are part of the traveling exhibit Outspoken, which explores the idea of women and girls in American culture.

www.tirakhan.com @tirakhan

Vote for People's Choice

Select this series for the 2019 People's Choice Award