Sarah Mangialardo.

THE THING WITH FEATHERS is a series of large-scale colour photographs that explore the effects of childhood trauma on the formation and deconstruction of self through the process of dissociation. With an emphasis on early sexual trauma, these photographs use metaphor and allegory to reflect a child´s intrinsic need, and subsequent construction, of hope and meaning in an environment seemingly void of both. Referencing the aesthetic and religious traditions of chiaroscuro and tenebrism, the images feature dramatic light, both natural and artificial, amidst a landscape of lush forest scenes. Punctuating these scenes are characters that point to instances of abuse and play out an ambiguous narrative centralized around the metaphor of the bird as a symbol of hope and metamorphosis.