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Gelatin silver print
9.8 x 10.5 cm (image) 9.8 x 12.5 cm (sheet)
National Galleries of Scotland
Acc. No. AR00362, © Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman
(Curatorial caption, accessed 23 November 2014)
Most of this photograph is bathed in a blinding light, whilst a half dressed-female disappears into it. In stark contrast is the black chair in the foreground, onto which a fur stole has been casually thrown. Fur is a common Surrealist motif; seen here alongside a naked female it seems to suggest feral sexuality. Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She usually puts herself in the frame, most often hovering between voyeur and seductress. These are not conventional self-portraits, since as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.