THE ROSE SISTERS
The Rose Sisters is a series of staged portraits that seek to picture the shifting, fragmented essence of “sisterhood” within the family dynamic of Alexandra, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Alexandra is ten-years-old, Elizabeth is fourteen and Margaret is twenty, she is my closest friend and access point to the Rose sisters. These portraits were made at their father’s Toronto apartment, where the three sisters get together on the the weekends.
Growing up as the youngest girl in my household with two brothers, I experienced the notion of sisterhood through my female friendships. As a child I obsessively made drawings of girls, illustrating brightly colourful scenes of my close friends. Eventually the magic markers were replaced by a plastic 35mm camera used to document my chosen sisters. I began photographing when I was twelve years old, around the same time I met Margaret Rose and her sisters. My photography practice continued to reflect the directions of these relationships across my adolescent life.
I have revisited The Rose Sisters to pursue a body of work that explores the narrative potential and nuances of what it means to be a sister. Through my own compassion for the subjects I seek to push the images beyond expected gender performances of sisters and female friends such as physical intimacy, gossip and vanity. Part of what draws me to the Rose sisters is the three distinctive phases of girlhood they each currently occupy. The work considers their shared unity but also aims to characterize their individual developing personas – How is our self-identity informed by the siblings we grow up with? How do these relations exist independent from, and beyond, the childhood home or parental guidance?
The Rose Sisters is a collaborative undertaking driven by this bond. Alexandra, Elizabeth and Margaret generously present themselves, bringing their respective creativities, and allowing for a sense of play, vulnerability and the realization of my imagined pictures.