This piece was from the Alfred University Gallery show in February. Many of these pieces were untitled, so the interpretation is mostly left up to the viewer in that regard. The theme of this show was that all the pieces are photo-manipulated to make it look like certain elements belong in the piece, even though they were not present in the original image. In some of these pieces, the manipulation is nearly seamless, while others it is more obvious which element was added into the existing image. In the piece I have pictured here, there is a naked human figure hidden amongst a bunch of potted plants. Upon first glance, you don’t even notice the human figure, but after a second or two, it pops right out at you and you have trouble not focusing on it after you notice it. While the body seems to fit into the image decently well, it is in a bit higher focus and contains the highest amount of contrast compared to the rest of the piece. The patch of black behind the figure is the darkest part of the entire composition, which is another thing that draws our eye there. The human body is also placed within the rule of thirds in the composition, which is another thing that helps to guide our eye to the figure from other parts of the image. Personally, if I had the ability to alter this piece, I would experiment with darkening the figure just slightly and giving the plant areas more dark values so that they blend with the human figure better, because my eye tends to get stuck on the human figure in this image.
The concept of having a naked body amongst all these plants sparks many different possible interpretations. Plants are typically representative of the wilderness, the natural world, and healthiness. A naked woman’s body tends to represent beauty, vulnerability, freedom, and sexuality. The combination of these two elements can be interpreted as the woman being one with nature or the spirit of Mother Nature herself, or a woman’s freedom and vulnerability from society out in the wild. A different approach to interpretation could be focusing how the plants seem to mask the woman’s body and cover most of her up. This could represent her being repressed by society and forced to cover up, or that she is being trapped by the nature of her body itself, since women’s bodies have to endure hormones and menstrual pain.