Carolina has always been interested in how humans, especially at young ages, navigate and eventually resolve the tension between their inner-selves, with their own desires, fears and vulnerabilities, and the pressure of social expectations, whether evident or covert, that society imposes on us. Every human being, at some point or another, struggles to find their own voice and are faced with the choice to embrace or reject the preconceptions and expectations that other people, mainly family, put on them.
This series of portraits represent a collective narrative of Carolina’s experience growing up in a highly traditional, patriarchal and religious society and the forces at play in her upbringing, which are virtually universal to all of us, whether powerful and manifest, or faint and obscure.
To create these images, Carolina spent months developing ideas, drawing sketches and collecting antique and vintage items, as well as classic pieces of clothing that would give the photographs a timeless quality, which mirrors the universality of such human relations. She chose her daughters as models as they are the closest surrogate for her own younger self, and their softness and tenderness provide a compelling contrast with the darkness and heavy burdens that we all carry since the beginnings of time. The deliberate choice of a neutral palette with a brown-yellow saturated tone adds to the delicate and ethereal, yet haunting, quality of the narrative, while helping tie together the different stories into one cohesive narrative. The bare backdrop and central staging of the models turn the subjects into the true protagonists and draw the viewer into their story and make it deliberate. The eyes looking straight at the camera provide a powerful connection that allows the viewer to empathize with the subjects.
Each image represents a still and quiet moment in life, and takes the viewer on a journey of hope, innocence, pain, tension, conflict and growth, while we navigate social conventions and expectations. Eventually, it sees us coming out the other side empowered and self-aware.
These photographs are glimpses into our early life, and the constant struggle to find ourselves among all the heavy burdens that society imposes on us. Each tells a unique story of self-determination and the pursuit of our own selves.
About the author
Born in Argentina in 1977, Carolina Dutruel holds a Degree in Translation from the University of Córdoba. In 2010, she moved to New Zealand where her love for photography started, and in 2015 she received her Diploma in Digital Photography from SIT. Since then, her work has won many awards and has been part of several group exhibitions, including more than 15 International Salons in more than 10 countries. She now lives in Auckland with her husband and two daughters, who are her most dedicated and hard-working models, greatest inspiration and fuel to her imagination.