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Case study 2: Flora > Case study 2: Flora - Pg. 57

LLLL J JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ J LLLL 57 Case study 2 Flora Neeta Madahar is an artist who uses photography, amongst other media, to make her work. Her portrait project `Flora' was exhibited at the National Media Museum in 2009 ­2010 and published as a book, by Nazraeli Press in 2010. In the series `Flora', Neeta was keen to create a set of fantasy portraits working with several female friends, many of them fellow artists and photographers. Her intention was to use photography to valorize them through an exploration of glamour and desire. She wanted each portrait to be collaborative, so her subjects actively took part in the process and decision-making. For some time, Neeta had been looking into the archive of the photographer Madame Yevonde -- particularly the `Goddesses' series made in 1935. In this series, Yevonde created dynamic colour portraits of society women in costume for a themed ball in a way that turned on its head the conventions of women's glamour portraiture. As she worked on the research for `Flora', Neeta expanded her original project outline to look at further society portraiture from the 1930s to the 1950s, including the work of photographers Angus McBean, George Hurrell and Horst P. Horst. Using the imagery she was investigating, and by collaborating with her sitters, she built a picture of how both she and her subject wanted to be represented. Each sitter was also asked to contribute a prop or item of jewellery to their portrait so that the collaborative process had a tangible element. The images in `Flora' explore fantasy and desire and display a high level of stylization. All the models, friends of the artist, were over 30 and this exploration with mature women was deliberately designed to challenge the dominant glamour representations of women, which focus on young, photogenic individuals whose images have been digitally enhanced. BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB How research informs practice | Case study 2: Flora | Activity 2: An illustrated story