Featuring a new body of work by Ginger Owen-Murakami, Girl’s Own Guide features wet-plate collodion images inspired by The Girl’s Own Book (published 1834) by Lydia Maria Child. An American abolitionist, women's rights activist, opponent of American expansionism, activist for the rights of indigenous people, novelist, and journalist, Lydia Maria Child ranks as America's first published abolitionist writer. The Girl’s Own Book has been reprinted many times over and evidences the generational passing of information. In particular, the book characterizes 19th-century New England childhood and the society that supported it. Owen-Murakami says, “In this book, I found many entertaining activities that were taught to me as a child by the women who raised me. This work amalgamates themes of honoring history, familial nostalgia, and how we educate and socialize children through toys, games, and playtime.”
This work is supported by a WMU Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award.
About the artist:
Ginger Owen-Murakami is a Professor of Photography at Western Michigan University's Gwen Frostic School of Art. Owen-Murakami’s artwork derives imagery from narratives and themes of family history, race, gender, and culture. Her interdisciplinary practices include installation, sculpture, digital, traditional, and non-silver photographic processes. She has lectured, worked, and exhibited internationally. Awards and grants include a Photography Institute Fellowship at Tisch School of Arts, New York University, NY; Ambassador to Takasaki, Japan; Lacock Abbey, UK, Residency; Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL Residency; Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative Grant, Arts Council of Kalamazoo, MI; and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Red Wing, MN, Residency. Owen-Murakami’s exhibitions include Houston Museum of Art, TX; Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, CA; South Bend Museum of Art, IN; Tulsa Living Arts Center, OK; City of Las Vegas Charleston Heights Art Center, NV; Living Design Center OZONE, Tokyo, Japan; Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; Stony Brook University, NY; Tilt Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; and the Center for the Living Arts, Mobile, AL. Owen-Murakami is also in the following collections: Houston Museum of Art, TX; McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA; J. Paul Getty Museum, The Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, CA; and Lacock Abbey, Lacock, UK.
Check out Ginger Owen-Murakami’s website here.