Crustaceans
by Susan Lapides

project STATEMENT

The juxtaposition of a young girl and a prehistoric animal is enigmatic and mythical: beauty meets the beast, but this time on her own terms. While the portrait of each girl shows a distinct individual, these images are united by a common theme, the tension between the future and the past.

The girls are standing on the cusp of womanhood raising questions about their future identity: who will they become? Ancient and venerable, the lobster was determined eons ago and it remains unchanged, while girls are evolving into women. The strength of the girls enable them to stand their ground and handle the lobsters with determination: some cradle the lobster, others squirm, and some raise them aloft triumphantly.

The image of the lobster is loaded with centuries of cultural tradition, from medieval bestiary books to decades of life in Eastern Canada’s rapidly changing fishing towns. Where fishermen once sold their catches across town, today they send their lobsters around the world. Towns now try to balance skyrocketing global demand against the increasing threats of ecological change and overfishing.

The pose in these portraits–a girl holding a lobster–also point to the recent trend of big catch images posted on social media and dating apps where men brandish their trophies. As the series builds and layers over multiple years, the portraits reveal the intimate process of growing up and learning to cope with strange, spiky, unpredictable situations, discovering how to hold on to the things that matter, and finding a voice.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Before Self-Consciousness
Laurie Swope

These images of childhood bring to mind the self-consciousness that has lead to the societal conformity and emotionally binding behavior ithat so many of us have become entrenched in as adults.

Cousins
Kristen Joy Emack

My daughter and my nieces’ involvement in each other’s lives is both gravitational and expected. Growing up is complicated.

Hidden Waters: Desert Springs
Bremner Benedict

Since before recorded history, natural springs have been critical to human survival as dependable sources of water.