Witch or Healer
What is real / What is imagined
Positives/Negatives Good/Evil Medicinal/Poison
Series received the 11th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers in the collage and manipulation category (2018)
Witch Hunts began as a way to control inexplicable events.
Currently the words witch and feminist are closely linked. 85% of those accused of witchcraft were women. Many were healers, midwives, the elderly (women past childbearing age therefore considered useless) and the poor. These were women who did not fit into what was considered “the norm” and were believed to be a threat to society. In this series I concentrate on the healers and midwives of the 19th century who played an integral part in the community healing the sick and poor. Through years of practical experience and knowledge passed down through the generations these women were more adept at healing then the male doctors graduating from the recently established medical schools in America. Women were not permitted to attend these schools and it became illegal for them to practice. In these images I incorporate some of the plants and herbs these women used to heal. Botany was one of the few venues women were allowed to pursue as long as it was not a scientific study but an affirmation of the existence of God. There can be a fine line between healing and hurting with plants. I’d like to believe that these women used these plants not only for healing but as a way to protect themselves from their oppressors.
Archival Digital Prints-Edition of 10- 24”X 16.5”