The representation of women by women in photography is crucial. Kate Rampling embraces this belief. Working predominantly in medium format film, Rampling’s works are dark, intuitive and attempt to connect to something primal and pure in nature.
Her style relates to the Expressionist and Symbolist movements which operated within a spiritual, suggestive and imaginative paradigm. Expressionists sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than the physical reality, while Symbolists used metaphorical and indirect imagery to represent absolute truths. Rampling’s photographs convey expansive themes such as the dichotomies of life; beauty, fear, power, weakness, spirituality versus everyday life.
Utilising self-portraiture as a direct means of communication, Rampling sees the act itself becoming a kind of ritual containing its own power. Her work stems from the gothic tradition of literature and fairy-tales; of heroines and villainess' who gain their strength through self-contemplation and self-knowledge, while also considering female representation throughout the art history canon from a feminist and expressionist point of view. Seeking to divert the female experience away from the body to that of the mind or spirit, spontaneous and intuitive movement is used heavily. The movement creates a ghostly blur which subconsciously reveals the artists inner world.
As a feminist, Rampling’s practice also focusses on the female experience, insight and even the generalised anxiety that comes with it; exploring the inner world of women and elevating it from its place in the art history cannon from the bodily realm to the realm of spiritual.
"I have the opportunity to examine different roles within myself; those that do not exist outside of the image making process or how I wish to present myself to others. Thus, transcending the everyday and entering the realm of the extraordinary."- Kate Rampling