This series is meant to capture Izabella’s connection to nature and its colors. Her energy is very strong, so it was easy to deeply connect it to our surroundings. I wanted to showcase Izabella living in nature through soft and gentle colors. These photographs were captured in Brazil, my home country, where colors are usually captured in a very explosive and vivid way. But I felt the need to showcase this other side of Brazilian women, one that is not usually portrayed by the media: through soft colors, I wanted to showcase the power and strength that exists in pastel tones.
Besides highlighting the beautiful and strong side of being a woman, I also always feel the need to show its downside—the pain, loss, fear, and emotional rawness of which we are all also made. Negative emotions are usually portrayed through dark colors, but this time I wanted to capture them through the same color palette I used to capture the good emotions. After all, the same colors can mean different feelings depending on the situation. In the photos, Izabella is holding a green plant that I found laying on the grass right next to the tree it came from; as we were using it, some parts of the plant started to fall (as shown in some photographs). This was meant to portray the negative emotions—like loss, pain, and fear, which I believe are emotions that we all have to face—through colors and elements that are usually associated with good feelings. She held the plant to symbolize that she was accepting those negative emotions as parts of her, so that she could grow just like the tree from which that plant derived.
Women are usually portrayed through soft colors, an ideal used by our sexist society to imply that women are weak and breakable. With these photographs, subsequently, I wanted to reinterpret those colors and demonstrate that softer women are as strong, powerful, and capable of feeling and facing pain. This is such an important connection for me, especially since color is one of the main aspects of my work. Through all of my photographs, I always want to create a different interpretation of colors, showcasing that every color and its different tones and hues can be deeply connected to a person’s feelings.
Ting Ting Chen