Wings – Angels Or Devil Attitude?
The angel wing maker, an artisan called Dragon, (Cross my heart, that is his real name) from New York, custom crafted our huge wings. With a wingspan of 5 feet, all white feathers, they arrived just before Halloween many years back.
These wings started transforming our clients the moment they arrived.
Slipping into the down feather covered harness they became creatures of flight, creatures of myth; a woman of fantasy.
For a few, the wings satisfied a dream of becoming a Victoria’s Secret Model. Strutting a runway, adored by an imaginary crowd. Their bearing changed, their height too as they slipped into spiked high heals. Their skimpy lingerie fluttering with each exaggerated movement while their jewelry swung widely, seemingly free of gravity.
For others, the wings struck an angelic chord. Their faces softened, as the wings became a part of them. A backlight feathered over the wing’s rim, each feather seeming translucent as the light poured through it. Their hair took on a halo from the golden shafts of light radiating behind them. Though often nude and shoeless, they always seemed innocent and delicate. Their face upturned to a light that cascades down, sculpting their face, before it falls on breasts and thighs.
When I get high as the light above them, to photograph down, they appear to be rising up to me. Their eyes always seem large as they look right into my lens, into the viewer’s heart or just beyond me. In the resulting image the viewer will always wonder what they see just beyond the edge of the photograph.
Then there are the warriors. We have swords and ray guns although sometimes – just attitude will do. The light rips across the feathers, plucking the texture of each one for a three dimensional effect. There is rarely a lightness here, but deep mysterious shadows that suggest a strength, a danger, a power possessed.
Shadows from errant feathers, ruffled out of place cast shadows over their faces, sometimes obscuring their breasts. The dark side of their hair blends into the background, blurring where they start or end. Sometimes they are perched on our stone ruins. The background light can change to a blood red or a midnight blue for different stories.
They can look fierce and self possessed or just confident, in complete control. They all remark how empowering the wings make them feel.
Often, the women experiment, trying a few different experiences.
Like a lot of the strange props and sets in my studio, the wings are not for everyone. The transformation, or as one woman told me as we wrapped up, the revelation of her power and possibilities, is what is found.
You might become an innocent angel or take on some attitude; you might even do it with our wings.
Which would you like to explore?