Keisha Scarville, "Veils: Bride #1A", 2004, gelatin silver print, 10x8”

Keisha Scarville, “Veils: Bride #1A”, 2004, gelatin silver print, 10×8”

Keisha Scarville

Since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by the image of the bride. I would wrap myself in white cloth and drape it from my head, pretending I was getting married. I no more understood marriage, than I did my own body. Though the idea of marriage was an anomaly to me, I was beguiled and aspired to become a bride myself one day.

The bride is an iconic figure often appearing in various myths, fairy tales, religious texts, and popular culture. Everyday we are inundated with publications, magazines articles, and television programs devoted not only to achieving the perfect wedding, but more importantly, how a woman can become the ideal bride. Marriage is viewed by many societies as a significant rite of passage, marking one of life’s major stages. It is through the marriage ceremony that a bride performs her identity, affirming her role as keeper of cultural customs, as well as constructing a new vision of who she is. She embodies the values of a culture, but also becomes a representation of female transformation. It is this very conversion I seek to examine in my photographs. This series is my exploration of the female body in respect to marital ceremonies and rituals. The women I photograph take on the role of a “bride”. I attempt to re-create those transformative moments through open-ended narratives using the bride as a metaphor.

Keisha Scarville received her BS from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in solo exhibitions at the Soho Photo Gallery in NYC and the Cornell Museum in West Palm Beach , as well as group shows at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Sisterspace Gallery in Washington DC , and the AIR Gallery in NYC. Her photographs are in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and her editorial images have appeared in Time, Vibe, Nylon, and the New York Times. Her fine art work has been featured in the catalog Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers and reviews include those in The New York Times and Camera Arts.