PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Tira Khan

Pattern Repeats

I began this series shortly after — and in response to — the 2016 presidential election. The photographs are inspired by the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the story, published in 1892, the protagonist sees a woman trapped inside her bedroom wallpaper, and the wallpaper becomes a metaphor for the social mores of the Victorian era. The narrator literally tears the wallpaper in an attempt to free the woman she sees crawling behind the pattern. In these photographs, modern women are entrapped in a similar gilded cage. The protagonists are behind — or encompassed by — the wallpaper. They are engulfed within pattern's repeats, and perhaps history's patterns as well. They struggle to find their voice: emerge.