Jane Brettle

Beyond Black

2006 - 2007

After Man Ray

After Man Ray

This project began as a solitary exploration and developed into collaboration with a group of Muslim women around questions of representation, portraiture and veiling. The work consists of two series; the first features anonymous figures in black chador and niqab (face veil) arranged in compositions that echo iconic images from 19th and 20th century photographic history, produced by such luminaries as Julia Margaret Cameron, Lee Miller, Man Ray and Helen Chadwick.

In installation, these unidentified figures are presented alongside a series of portraits of contemporary Muslim women wearing a range of garments representing a diversity of veiling practices. These women, who were members of the Pakeeza Group in Edinburgh, were actively engaged in working to undermine myths and prejudices around the veil. A sound work poetically records the voices of the Muslim women.