Women on Sofas

Ruby Steele

2017 - Ongoing

United Kingdom

I was driven to create this series of portraits ‘Women on Sofas’ by an innate curiosity about the spaces women occupy in contemporary western society. The women I have photographed come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and span eight decades. The exhibition explores how we experience ourselves in the domestic and public arenas, whilst celebrating our diversity and power in unexpected ways. It looks at the pride and pleasure we take in our strength and resilience, and in challenging society’s expectations of us. In spite of growing freedoms in many areas of society over the past century, the domestic space often remains seen as women’s terrain. It has been compelling to observe this space, disrupt it and take it beyond its ‘natural’ limits, all whilst exploring our emotional response to it.

The sofa is more than a domestic object; it is imbued with symbolism and a rich history. It holds a familiarity and is an invitation for togetherness. These photographs bring that intimate space into the outside world and ask us to reconsider what it means to get comfortable, and feel safe.

‘Women on Sofas’ says ‘I am in the world, I’ve made a surprising home here, and now I’d like to welcome you in.’

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