Associated with SOFIA - Society of Females in Art - under the theme Bad Behaviour, this work was shown at SOFIA's inaugural exhibition during the 2016 CONTACT Photo Festival in Toronto.
This photojournalistic project began a year ago with the exploration of the lives of two sisters; Breanna, age 18, and Mena, age 10. Initially, my intent was to investigate the relationship between the two of them and, based on my childhood sensibility, I predicted these subjects would quickly lead me into our “bad behaviour” theme. Along with displays of support and comfort, I had anticipated to witness complex traits like tension and competition. Instead, I noticed that Mena’s interactions with Breanna - sometimes in the form of mimicry - had a significant impact on the younger sister’s developmental behaviour.
I was surprised by what I learned about the sisters at this specific time in their lives. Breanna has always been a role model for Mena, a guiding force and a source of security, but has begun to drift away as she engages in her life as a teenager. She is about to leave home and embark on the first major stage of her adult life. Although Mena is adventurous and curious on her own, the moment of separation draws closer, and she is becoming acutely aware of the changes ahead. As Mena navigates her way through the feeling of loss and uncertainty, she is being forced to venture out on her own to find her wings.
Through this journey, I began to find myself in the sisters, and realized that each of them represents key aspects of my own nature: the struggle between the will to be free; and the need for reassurance. When circumstances force us to choose freedom over security, the result is growth and self-discovery.