OD Photo Prize 2023 | Shortlisted Artists
Hady Barry [b. 1989] is a Guinean-American artist whose practice involves photography and sound. She is interested in the weight of memory, the ties that bind us, and the construction of identity. Her approach is contemplative and introspective. It is anchored in a reverence for the minutiae of life.
Artist Statement | “Wearing the Inside Out” is an investigation of my ambivalence towards motherhood and how it challenges my sense of self as a woman and an adult. There are women who yearn for children, there are women who don’t, and there is I who cannot decide.
I began working on “Wearing the Inside Out” in 2020 when my close friend Azi became pregnant with her second child. I was coming out of a depression and slowly rearticulating to myself the kind of life I wanted to lead. At the time, I was also living with my friend, her husband, their young daughter, the nanny, and their dog. This proximity confronted me with the different life choices we were making and made it difficult not to grapple with whether I’d like to start a family myself. I began to document her pregnancy and the life we shared as a way to untangle and confront the ambivalence I sit in. It was an effort to face the inadequacy I feel as a woman heading into her mid-thirties unmarried and without a child. As much as I enjoy my freedom I am also afraid something important is passing me by.
What began as a straightforward documentation of my friend’s second pregnancy evolved unexpectedly into a reflection on the bond between her and I and the different ways we think of and navigate womanhood: she as a state of being, me as a project and something to construct – maybe even to conquer.
I have approached motherhood as something that ultimately I can choose but the reality is that I come from cultures in which it is a given that a woman should want to have a child and that she will. When the news broke out that Roe v. Wade had been overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court I realized that defining what I want or do not want to do with my body is not a futile exercise nor idle navel gazing. Beyond attempting to get clarity on whether I want children this project matters because it is an active exercise and expression of the primordial autonomy I have over my body.” — Hady Barry
All print enquiries: