“You Appear To Me To Be Someone Whose Life Is Meaningless.”
September 2 – November 6, 2010
Featuring Kathy Coiner; curated by Chuck Ramirez
Words similar to these were spoken to me about 8 years ago in probate court, by a judge. This man had never had a conversation with me, he had never met me, and he did not know me. In front of my son I wondered, what did this teach my son about authority, about women, about how authority acts towards women or a mother, a topic I began to explore.
After enduring this man’s unpredictable behavior, I decided the only way to handle my anger was to help someone else. Hence my photo project came into being. I began to shoot portraits of women who had survived severe domestic abuse, most now sheltered in a safe environment. What I learned in the process is that photography has a powerful ability to change how we see others, but more importantly, in that process, how we see ourselves. Portraiture is a very intimate process that goes beyond the mere “picture”, it establishes a connection between the subject and the viewer. Portraiture is a conversation, a conversation that we learn to listen very closely in. A conversation where I found that no matter what the standing in our culture, we share common experiences and are bound by those experiences.
Each woman in this show has survived some form of domestic abuse, in some cases violence, but had the courage to face it and move on with their lives. Though I am not able disclose the details of each woman’s courageous journey, the women have, in some cases, titled their images with a few words of their own.
Back in the dark ages, Kathy Coiner graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with a BFA in studio art. Upon graduation she worked as an art director in the field of advertising, opened the infamous Tycoon Flats, and along with her husband Bev, brought the Grand Prix of San Antonio to downtown San Antonio. Somewhere along the way, she “transitioned” to photography, which she has been doing ever since.