Give Her, Her Flowers is a series of collages that revolve around honoring Black women—giving them their flowers while they’re still alive and well to enjoy them, as opposed to waiting until they are sick or deceased to show this kind of gesture. The series includes advertisements of Black women from a Gold Medal Hair Products catalog (circa 1980s), paired with a variety of flowers from different advertisements.
“Your Eyes Only” is a collage animation that revolves around the Black body accepting rest as a priority, rather than a reward. The title also presents the question: exactly who is allowed to view the protagonist in this intimate moment?
Rachel Elise Thomas (b. 1988) is a Detroit-born and based artist and designer who obtained their BFA in Photography from the College for Creative Studies. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, print and digital publications.
Being a collage artist and documentary photographer has given her the versatility to tell stories in different ways. She gathers inspiration from vintage magazines and advertisements, family artifacts, old photographs, decorative paper, textiles and printed words; assembling imagery and materials that invite the viewer to deeply examine the messages being presented. These messages revolve around identity, ancestry and spirituality. With topics sometimes having tongue-in-cheek nuances, this is done as a way to further understand and delve into issues that affect our society—such as: overconsumption, vanity, materialism, colorism, sexism and racism.
Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling by producing a free annual festival, amplifying impactful narratives, and connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.
Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships and creative collaborations with community spirit, UPI approaches its mission of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives by working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations and educators worldwide to create new exhibition and public art opportunities that showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography. For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com