Sina, age 20

Crustaceans

-Girls invoke generations of maritime culture and history,

Crustaceans

Crustaceans / Artist Statement

In this ongoing series, I photograph many different girls consecutive summers holding a lobster. These photographs are taken in an Eastern Canada small fishing community of 2800, without even a single traffic light. The background is the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world at 16 meters.

The juxtaposition of a young girl and a prehistoric animal is both enigmatic and mythical – beauty meets the beast, but on her own terms this time. While the portrait of each girl shows a distinct individual, these images are united by a common theme: the tension between the future and the past. The girls are standing on the cusp of womanhood raising questions, about their future identity-- who will they become? Ancient and venerable, the lobster was determined eons ago; it remains unchanged as the girls evolve into women.

The girls stand their ground with strength and handle the lobsters with determination: some cradle, some squirm, some raise it aloft triumphantly. The image of the lobster comes loaded with centuries of cultural tradition, from medieval bestiary books to decades of life in Eastern Canada’s rapidly changing fishing towns. Where once fishermen sold their catches across town, today they ship their lobsters halfway across the world; the town now tries to balance skyrocketing global demand against the increasing threats of ecological change and overfishing.

The pose in these portraits – a girl holding a lobster – ­also recalls the recent trend of “big catch” images on social media and dating apps of the digital age, in which men brandish their trophies. As the series builds and layers over multiple years, the portraits reveal the intimate process of growing up: learning to cope with strange, spiky, unpredictable situations, discovering how to hold on to the things that matter, and finding a voice. The pose in these portraits – a girl holding a lobster – ­also recalls the recent trend of “big catch” images on social media and dating apps of the digital age, in which men brandish their trophies. As the series builds and layers over multiple years, the portraits reveal the intimate process of growing up: learning to cope with strange, spiky, unpredictable situations, discovering how to hold on to the things that matter, and finding a voice.