Thursday, 11 November 2010

Neeta Madahar: Flora

Laura with Irises: Neeta Madahar

While my Stoke project is moving on to the next stage I thought I'd share with you an artist whose work really caught my attention over the past few weeks.
Neeta Madahar, is a photographer whose new work is celebratory of women and uses a decorative theme which completely enchants and speaks to my love of female glamour!

Last year I wrote about Madame Yevonde, a photographer from the 1930's who produced a series of images based on goddesses. It is this work which has inspired Madahar and similar set ups and themes can be seen mirrored in her portraits series; Flora.

The Hon Byron Guinness as Venus: Madame Yevonde

Using friends and work collegues as models Madahar asked each one to choose a flower which has been used as a womans name to personify in their portrait. Whereas Yevonde photographed the titled peers of her social circles, such as' The Hon Byron Guinness as Venus', giving them an etherial filmic glamour in each shot, Madahar uses very normal looking women. In fact the lack of photoshopping is very refreshing in this day and age and it's the contrast of real and artificial which helps to make the images so intriguing.

Sian with Bluebells: Neeta Madahar

I love the campy aestheticsm, the artificial lighting and sets and vintage glamour, but I also love the way the models are natural in portrayal of size, age and looks.

There is a fantasy in each shot which transports the viewer and perfectly captures the personification of the flower in question. Artifice rules yet again. Despite the believability of the models they have successfully altered their everyday appearance to give a performance which only seems to maginfy their own characters and personal stories.

Venus Verticordia: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

The idea of women with flowers or nature is an ancient one and one that has been touched upon hundreds of times, and I'm happy that the powerful myth is still inspiring artists today and producing images that glorify the female as icon! I think Madahar's Flora images could be seen as deceptfully simple but they are actually full of meaning and layered in history, reference and narrative.

Lee with Fushias: Neeta Madahar


Solent Stylist said...


I was the stylist on Flora, you might a look at my post be interested in having a look at this..

Laura said...

Hi Laura with Irises here! Just looking for a picture of the image to show a friend & came across your post. Fantastic blog, I have documented the process of being a sitter for Neeta, here in 6 parts if you are interested.