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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA
Pattern Repeats
by Tira Khan


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.