This week I found Carla Jay Harris’ photography piece titled “Seven” from her retreat series very intriguing. Carla Jay Harris is a student at the University of California, Los Angeles. Being a daughter of a military man, Harris moved often and longed for stability. She found this stability in her love for photography, with the snap shots that capture the ever-changing way of life. Carla Jay Harris uses the medium of photography to highlight American culture, both socially and politically and how these social and political environments effect a person’s identity.
Above is Harris’ photograph titled “Seven” from the retreat series. This photo caught my eye immediately and stuck me on a deep, emotional level. I began to contemplate what Harris was trying to convey. It may be cliche, but this photograph really does speak a thousand words. The words evoked when I began to analyze this piece were: innocence, longing, shadowed, tainted, lost, brainwashed. At first I believed this was a woman who was genuinely pure at heart, but was loosing that innocence because of the ideas put in her head. Then I switched to the idea that maybe the shadow standing above is her oppressor, maybe she is laying on that grass longing to be released from the shadow others have placed over her.
Because I struggle with the disorder of depression, I tried to identify with this piece. I saw myself being the girl laying on the grass, trying to clear my head in the nature of the dark thoughts that corrupt my head. I thought it was important that the shadow only covered her head, thinking it could mean a mental sickness that clouds her judgment like my depression has done to me at times.
From my own personal experience of being pressured by my family and those around me, my perception changed again. Maybe she herself is so different from that shadow of black above, it could be a family member, or maybe a pressure in life, that guilt her into being someone she is not. My thinking went deeper and more global, entertaining the idea that it could be the society we live in that puts so much pressure on females to act or dress or look in a certain way that has tainted her mind and filled her with negative thoughts. After learning more about the artist, Carla Jay Harris, my opinion is that she means to represent that the woman’s identity is being compromised by the shadow of society’s ideals, especially in America. I find this piece inspirational and multidimensional.
You can learn more about Carla Jay Harris and her works at :