Girl Ascending: Melissa Ann Pinney - Selected Works
Melissa Ann Pinney
Religious articlesMothers & childrenSalt Lake Art CentericonographyidentityreligionSymbolsphotography
Girl Ascending began with a photograph of a girl seemingly suspended in mid-air, holding onto a chain-link fence with one hand, her dress lifted by the breeze. The setting is commonplace: a baseball game, nondescript buildings, and a dirt field seen though the fence. Nevertheless, the improbable levitation and serene demeanor of the girl suggested the Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the artist, raised, as she was, on the symbolic imagery of Catholicism. Grounded in attentive observation of the world, Chicago-based photographer, Melissa Ann Pinney reveals how dreams and expectations of girlhood are constructed and communicated between mothers and daughters, society and friends. She intimately portrays her daughter, Emma, growing up and becoming an adolescent, providing fresh insights into her day to day life with family, friends and neighbors. One of eight children from a large, Catholic family, the artist has always been drawn to scenes of family that also express her interest in ritual, mystery and memory. While her photographs capture seemingly insignificant moments from a girl’s daily world, they signify mythic and heroic themes of the vital transformation that takes place when a girl enters into womanhood. Exhibition held in the Street Gallery space.
Digitized by Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; hosted by Salt Lake Community College Digital Archives.
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Original version: Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA); Archival digital version: SLCC Digital Archives. CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
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