Green Gables Revisited; A Coloring of Memories

By Erika Masterson

 

My work is about a woman revisiting her adolescence in the late 1800’s, when things seemed like a simpler time to be a young woman.

 

She returns to Green Gables to revisit her life in pursuit of finding herself. The moment she steps up to the door she is a young lady again.

She remembers life with her sisters having afternoon tea and pretending to host elaborate parties.  She enters the room where the typewriter was kept and the love letter she wrote with no response. The emptiness she felt as she gazed in an empty frame meant for her wedding photo, “Someday, she thought”. She repeats, “he loves me, he loves me not” as if she can control the outcome in her reality. All she longed for was to be married to the person in her dreams. She learns and perfects her embroidery, violin, painting and dancing, all in preparation to be wed to her love, the one who will complete her. As she revisits her life in detail, the walls speak to her in paintings of color, the color of her memories.

She has finally been set free from her emptiness and defeat. There has been “one” who has loved her all along.

 

These images were taken in an old historic home in Melbourne, FL built in 1896, that was recently named Green Gables. The first time I entered the home I was taken to another time as if I was reliving it. I am very intrigued by the women of that era and how they were raised to find a husband. I returned many times to the home to photograph, bringing all my collected treasures of the past. It was as if these objects had a story to tell.

The light in the home set the perfect mood for the images. All shot in natural light and in photo-shop I added some painterly effects to make the viewer question if they are paintings or photographs, as I was influenced by the works of Dutch painter Vilhelm Hammershöi during this series. For the printing of these images I chose Hahnemüehle William Turner paper. The texture of the paper adds another layer of mystery.

 

photos depicting everyday life for young women in the 1800-early 1900's

photos depicting everyday life for young women in the 1800-early 1900’s

Green Gables Revisited by Erika Masterson Green Gables Revisited by Erika Masterson Green Gables Revisited by Erika Masterson

photos depicting everyday life for young women in the 1800-early 1900's

photos depicting everyday life for young women in the 1800-early 1900’s

The book can be purchased here

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1226309?__r=690113