Photofusion is pleased to present the first solo show of photographic artist Natasha Caruana. Caruanaʼs work is grounded in research, drawing from archives, the Internet and personal narratives. The exhibition will show four bodies of work, The Other Woman, The Clandestine Purse, Married Man, and the more recent Fairytale for Sale.
The Other Woman is a series of photographs, which explores the range of stories and the diversity of women who have experienced affairs with married men. Inspired by a personal experience, Caruana set out to meet and document the experiences of women– to find out how they felt about being the ʻOther Womanʼ. The resulting work questions the secretiveness and unease felt by the majority of women in that situation. Many continue with their relationships, some recognising it is a ʻhalf-lifeʼ; others enjoy the risqué adventure of their liaisons, whilst many have ended their relationships no longer willing to deal with the emotional instability.
Married Man is a series of photographs documenting occasions when the photographer arranged a total of eighty dates through a series of dating websites designed for married men to conduct affairs. Each man was photographed so that their identity would be concealed, and in addition Caruana recorded the conversations secretly, using a digital recorder hidden in a red purse. The artist questions the men as to why they are willing to put their legally binding relationships at risk, while also questioning what an artistʼs ethical responsibilities should be. The Clandestine Purse accompanies this work, created in response to the Married Man series. The single image depicts the secret of the hidden sound recorder and motives behind the menʼs affairs.
Fairytale for Sale is Caruanaʼs latest work, which is a collection of online adverts of brides wearing redundant wedding dresses. The smiling faces of the bride, groom and their entouragesʼ are blocked out in white, cloned over, smothered in blue tac or scratched off in a bid to disguise and make anonymous their private day now in the public arena. What remains are bizarre theatres of marriage; white-faced performers have taken to the stage and act out emblematic scenes. Words punctuate the images, leading us to understand that the brides are discarding their wedding dresses sold for money to de-clutter the wardrobe, make space for births or in some cases because the dresses are now tainted with divorce.
Natasha’s work combines a wry sense of humour with a complex cultural commentary on the world of love, dating and relationships. The work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been shortlisted for the National Magazine Awards and The Deutsche Bank Pyramid Prize. In 2010 Caruana was named as the one to watch in the Royal Photographic Society Journal and the British Journal of Photography, and in 2011 she was selected by the Humble Arts Foundation as one of 18 leading female art photographers working in the UK. Natasha Caruana graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and is currently a lecturer of Photography at the University for Creative Arts, Farnham.