Conversations with Myself

Jo Ann Chaus

2017 - 2020

This series of self portraits is an examination of looking, back, in, out and around, at how I arrived at this place in time. It is work that stimulates conversation about the courage to search and ask questions about the self with will, tenacity, strength and resilience. Within its layers are the past and the present, struggles and resolution, confusion and clarity and defeat and possibility. Emotionally and politically I have mined deep feelings and reflected on time and its passage, all the while embracing the abundance in life while juggling the emotional and physical demands and responsibilities of marriage, motherhood and career, through the lens of the inner child of the 50's, teen of the 60's, young adult of the 70's, (and adulthood of all the ensuing decades). Using a collection of inherited and adopted clothing and ephemera, I drape myself in these remnants from my past and conjure up a character in an imagined scenario and perform for the camera. I draw my inspiration from visual and emotional memories, film, television and magazine images, conflating then onto now. The process of making the work has connected me more deeply with my mother and myself and enriched all my relationships. It has been a powerful experience to see and hear from viewers as they see themselves in my images, along with their mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers.

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  • Shutters

  • Branch Brook

  • Stone Wall

  • Queen

  • Brooklyn

  • Yellow Coat

  • Green Scarf

  • Balcony

  • Party Dress

  • Car Window

  • White Coat

  • Waiting

  • Kitchen Sink

  • House dress

  • Green Dress

  • Slip

  • Stained Glass

  • Ties

  • Trunk

  • Daisy's Grill