North by Deborah Hamon

Issue 37

In this project, I am using the diverse, surreal, and stark landscape of Iceland as the stage for my continued exploration of the construction of identity of girls. In our culture, “North” is used to define all other directions. As I raise my daughter, and navigate through the ups and downs of parenthood, I hope to steer her ultimately on the right course.

In late May 2010, six days after major volcanic activity that disrupted international air space stopped, I drove around Iceland photographing the landscape. I am drawn to isolated settings and elements that may feel slightly awkward or quirky. Separately, I photograph girls at an age where these same adjectives could describe their journey from childhood to young womanhood. My work combines the images to explore ideas about identity development, or in the absence of an actual girl, I use the landscape as a metaphor for these ideas. I am fascinated by the way girls act and consciously present themselves as they try to figure out who they are and who they ultimately will become. There are moments of self-confidence and self-doubt, discoveries and disillusions, whimsy and seriousness, innocence and knowledge. Part of them wants to hang on to the innocence of childhood, yet they are eager to grow up. Navigating relationships is also a big part of this process. I am interested in how the girls present themselves in relation to the viewer, and how they fit within a social context with others, as well as their expectations of the world and how they see they fit in it.

Deborah Hamon is a San Francisco Bay Area based photographer.
To view more of Deborah's work, please visit her website

  Pinnacle 

Pinnacle 

  Stepping Stones 

Stepping Stones 

  Dive 

Dive 

  Oblique 

Oblique 

  The Optimist 

The Optimist 

  Jump 

Jump 

  Adrift 

Adrift 

  Cocoon  

Cocoon  

  Girl Team 

Girl Team 

  Spark 

Spark 

  Daisy Chain Days Black Sheep 

Daisy Chain Days Black Sheep 

  Little Red 

Little Red 

  Free Range Girls 

Free Range Girls 

  Slippery Slope 

Slippery Slope