Photo Credit: Margareta Kern
'Graduation Dresses' is an ongoing project consisting of a series of photographs taken by Kern of young women, who have recently graduated from secondary schools in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their dresses, made by the artist's mother who runs a sewing business from her home, are based on images found on the Internet, fashion magazines and on television, of celebrities and models wearing haute couture dresses. Kern photographs them in their homes and through this engagement with their personal spaces captures a significant moment in that transitional journey from adolescence to womanhood, revealing both their incipient maturity as well as their vulnerability.
Reflective of the transitional nature of adolescence, graduation dresses are also symbolic of the times they are situated in: post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country undergoing its own transition from socialist to the capitalist market economy and values.
Funded by Necessary Journeys Travel Bursary from the Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.
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