Q and A with Maura from Venice, Italy, living in Raeford, North Carolina
“We can be our best friends or our worst enemies depending on if we choose to believe in ourselves or not.“
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: My main passion has always been art in all its forms. Starting with music, which I’ve loved since I began singing as a kid, to visual arts, as a painter first and as a photographer now. I think that art is a great medium to convey a message because it speaks directly to people’s emotions bypassing the filter of their rationality.
I’ve always felt the need to leave my mark on the world. To try to make it a better place. It took me a few years to understand that art was my opportunity to do so.
More Than A Body is only my first step in that direction. This first project is my way to tell myself and other women that we are allowed to love ourselves for who we are and that it is ok to celebrate our achievements and forgive our mistakes. I focused this project on women because I felt that it hit close to home, but I want to spread the same message to other groups of people in future projects.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I had a happy childhood. Music was always playing at home, and I had the opportunity of growing up in a country, Italy, that constantly exposed me to art without me even realizing it. I started singing when I was about 10 and, even though that is still one of my passions, I’ve come to realize that I rather take a position “behind the scenes.” I most definitely rather be behind the camera than in front of it.
Despite everything, looking back, I remember feeling very insecure about my place in the world, my social life, about the way I looked. It took me years to be more confident and it’s still a work in progress. This is one of the reasons why I now wish to help other women. We can learn together to be kinder to ourselves. I feel like this type of message won’t ever be repeated enough to contrast the constant bombardment we receive from a world that wants us to be forever young, perfect career women, with the perfect body, the perfect house, and the perfect kids.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: I have learned that no step is too small towards change and that sometimes we need to take that step before being completely sure that we will succeed. We can be our best friends or our worst enemies depending on if we choose to believe in ourselves or not.
I often must remind myself that life is not a race to achieve perfection and that I am not competing either against myself or others. I think it’s admirable to try to improve ourselves and our skills, but the learning process is as important as the final result.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: We live in a time where feminism is of the most importance. It is not only a matter of equality in society but also the fundamental right to recognize our own value as women. We need the freedom to make our own choices and to fail, if necessary, without losing our independence or our value as human beings. It’s a matter of boundaries: accepting others and requiring others to respect ours. This means stop labeling people and stop shrinking ourselves to fit in a standardized role.
MORE FROM MAURA: More Than A Body is a collection of ten women’s portraits and their stories. Using a mix of photography and digital art, I have tried to represent them for who they were more than how they looked. Each woman’s portrait is displayed together with her story to remind the viewer that she is more than what you see, she is more than a body. I asked each woman to write her own story in her own words, to choose an outfit and make-up she felt represented her and the result was incredible. These women had the courage to share their deepest secrets, their successes, and their failures. They understood that, by opening up and showing their vulnerability, they could inspire others. They taught us that we might all be different, but we are not alone on our journey.
All stories, photos, the calendar with the next exhibition’s date, and the prints are available on my website: https://mauraartphotography.com/more-than-a-body
This project was made possible by the Artist Support Grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville.
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Article on Maura, click here.
Facebook: @Maura Trice Art