The Female Mariners Project questions our assumptions about gender bias and class structure through depictions of seafaring women at work and leisure. These images are intentionally contrary to the litany of history paintings that were commissioned to document traditional masculine maritime objectives, such as land discovery and domination of foreign lands/peoples.
I have traveled along the Eastern Seaboard, from Florida to Maryland, creating images that challenge the antiquated tropes of sirens; beautiful women who lure men to watery deaths with their enchanting music; and mermaids; the half-human, half-fish harbingers of storms, or as in the Disney rendition, as mute and vulnerable young ladies. The strong, knowledgeable, and brave women depicted in The Female Mariners Project – shipwrights, captains, sailmakers, racers, liveaboards, and tour boat operators – present a glimpse into the lives and work of this often overlooked and underestimated culture.
Series Count: In-progress
*Made possible, in part, by a grant from the Puffin Foundation.