Teenage Stories, 2005
'Teenage Stories' is a narrative of teenage girl adolescence. In it I portray the emotional dynamics of the female adolescent - her self-consciousness, mood swings, uncertainty and vulnerability; experiencing over time, changes in her body, psychology, her emotional and social identity.
Adolescent girls can often be caught day-dreaming, just staring into space, immersed in their own thoughts and fantasies. For a while they inhabit an imaginary world. At this vulnerable age their imaginary world appears to be bigger, grander, more real than their own mundane suburban surroundings. In this fantasy world girls feel that they have much more power than in their everyday lives.
I shot the images on location in model villages so that the girls appear to have outgrown the world they live in, as in their day-dream existence. All of my models were street cast, with no formal training whatsoever. Young, vulnerable, awkward and uncertain, as they already were as models, I also directed them to be static and show no emotion.
The girls are involved in a mixture of activities, some in the mundaneness of daily life, picking up a milk bottle from the front of the house, walking down the street with a shopping cart, looking after a baby brother, playing marbles and trying to remove chewing gum from a shoe, one girl is lying on the street having clumsily fallen over and broken the eggs she was carrying. Other images show an exotic, dream-like existence of girls wading and floating in water, lying under a bridge with a curious deer walking past, or just sitting by a lake next to a castle.
By placing my models in these surreal settings and posing them in these ways, I strived to stress the significance of the act of day-dreaming in a young girl's life as significant part of my message on teenage adolescence.