Adolescence is a time for identity play, a time to try on various masks in the journey toward self-discovery and adulthood. Through our imaginations we perceive endless possibilities, but slowly awaken to the realities of resistance. For some, racial and gender barriers become more evident, and dreams begin to give way to doubts.
Adolescence is often a period of insecurity and alienation. For girls in particular, identities are formed around the opinions of others. As a result, their behaviors are dictated by external perceptions rather than internal desires.
In addition to home and academic pressures, societal pressures can heighten anxiety to never-before experienced levels. Goals become compromised and achievements seem less accessible.
In this project I have explored the physical and emotional changes that accompany this phase of a girl’s life in America. I hope to have captured the simple moments in her search for her own identity as it becomes publicly displayed—at a dance recital, while dressing for the prom, or simply by the way she looks at herself in the mirror—and then subsequently informs the various traits that are either incorporated or discarded on the way to becoming an adult. Is it these moments where we clearly witness the delicate transition from girlhood to womanhood?
Blake Fitch earned her BFA on full scholarship from Pratt Institute in 1994, with a major in photography and minor in photo history. After graduating she studied photography, as well as art and technology at the Art Institute of Chicago (1998) before earning her Masters degree in Arts Administration from Boston University in 2001. From 2002-2007 Fitch was the Executive Director at the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA.
Her work has been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art in Adeline, TX, the Houston Center for Photography, Clamp Art in New York, and Kalamoon University in Damascus, Syria, amongst others. Her work is held in the collections of several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, Lightwork in Syracuse, NY and the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.