Most of us know the story of Hamlet by Shakespeare, and even the role that Ophelia plays in the story. Ophelia plays a gullible girl torn between two loves, her father and Hamlet. We know that in her loyalty she makes choices that she regrets, and that through her rejected love she eventually slips into insanity. Ophelia's story ended with suicide, but her inspiration has soared in art. The traditional rendering of Ophelia is absolutely beautiful. These artists have depicted Ophelia as she would have been in the play, which has worked very well for their art. These works stood as an inspiration to me, and sent me out to find my own meaning, which led to Finding Ophelia.
The idea behind Finding Ophelia
I wanted to portray Ophelia as a young modern woman, who has been betrayed by what she thought was love. For my rendering I plucked Ophelia out of Hamlet, and threw her into the 21st century. My Ophelia is a young gullible girl. She is constantly fooled by the men in her life, believing their intentions are genuine and loyal. She has been broke by what she thought was love, but was obsession. The obsession drove her right to men who would always betray and control her, but, in her hopeless battle to have another's love, would hold her prisoner until the last bit of her self had vanished. This rendering is how I see every good and beautiful young girl who constantly falls for the evil men who destroy them.
About Finding Ophelia
The setting for the shoot was in a bathtub.
For this image, the milky water stands for the clouded mind of the poor young girl broken by her hopes.
Dead flowers were used to show how the subject has been destroyed. They stand as a testament to her defeat.
The title Finding Ophelia was chosen because I wanted to represent a present day search for Ophelia.
More of Finding Ophelia can be seen in the featured galleries.