Julia Rice and her Gutsy project.
“I began this project on women, beauty and aging last year in San Francisco, USA. I interviewed women 60 and older, recording their recollections of how they viewed beauty in their 20s, their current ideas and how things changed over the years.
During the interviews, I took photographs of the women’s faces, from which I later created oil paintings on disposable surfaces. In the final San Francisco exhibitions, I showed the painted boxes alongside printed text selections from every interview. In my recent artwork, I’ve spent a lot of time with the modern advertising industry. Almost every woman alive today in Western culture has been surrounded to some degree by beauty images and advertising. I wondered on a deeper level how this has shaped us…how women of different generations are affected similarly or quite differently.
Alongside the physical interviews, I started an online blog called Beauty Queen Sheen with interviews from women of all ages and different countries. The blog now has over 60 such stories and interviews. I am currently working on the continuation of this project, interviewing, photographing and painting women around my new surroundings in northern Spain, exploring the depths of human beauty and story from different times and sides of the ocean.”
2. What does beauty mean to you now?
Now that I live in the U.S., and I’m older, I do pay attention to nutrition, exercise, staying in shape, taking care of my skin with quality products, and getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
3. If different, why have your ideas about beauty changed over the years?
I live in a superficial society (Southern California) where looks are more important than in other parts of the world. I feel sucked into trying to look as young as I can and sometimes wish that I didn’t care, but I do. I prefer to be honest and not pretend (like some women, especially those on TV) that I’ve been blessed with good genes so if/when I decide to have my face lasered or a face lift, I shall let you know about my Gutsy laser, or my Gutsy face lift. Perhaps it’s time for me to move to another remote island where people don’t pay attention to how they look.
I think we should encourage Julia to continue with her fascinating project and since it’s for women of all ages, why not participate by answering the above three questions and checking out how other women have responded on Julia’s blog.
Thanks Julia for sharing your project and I look forward to hearing what you think, as does Julia.