2021 Senior Thesis Exhibitions Part One > Bawila Idris

Bawila Idris, Pretty Women Little Men

Bawila Idris

Bawila Idris
The Body Through a Prism

Objects may seem closer than they appear. What beauty is, the role women should be performing, and what makes you “you” is never fixed. My images illustrate several narratives navigating the prism of the body, beauty, femininity, race, and identity. Presented as diptychs, a space in time that is inaccessible to the viewer becomes clear. Accompanied by video elements representing each character study, I invite viewers to understand the emotions, while feeling at a loss as not every detail is comprehendible. The Arabic text emphasizes a connection to self-identity, a sense of “othering” and isolation while also demonstrating the lack of understanding towards marginalized voices.

My interest in fashion, editorial work, and my personal critiques on my self-image were motivators to create universal pieces. Furthermore, my intrigue towards “other-worldly” Imagery, with slight hints of satire, coupled with mundane objects, glimpses of home life, usage of natural lighting at various times of day, and unique color palettes, further blurred the line between comfort and discomfort.

I draw inspiration from individuals like Deborah Turbeville, who shifted the direction of fashion photography to highlight mysterious and dreamy aesthetics which challenged perfection and female sexualization; Chiho Aoshima who emphasized creating surreal landscapes which are dark and disturbing, yet still maintaining “cuteness”; Takashi Murakami’s Superflat ideology which broadly depicts controversial topics surrounding the fantasies of life through distorted or grotesque childlike images like sexual fetishization or cultural commentary.