2017 - in progress
“They keep their own counsel. We can tell they do by the gaze that issues from every woman and girl in Lydia Panas’
’Sleeping Beauty’ series. This gaze confronts us. It is not diffident, or furtive, not dainty or shrinking. It is stone solid in
its self-awareness and is absent of request or expectation. No matter where we enter this exhibition, we are seen, and
coming to recognize the significance of being seen we might begin to understand that for a woman to truly have agency
in this historical moment, her eyes have to be open… The exhibition title, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, is really an artful reversal.”
Seph Rodney, Editor, Hyperallergic
In this decidedly feminist body of work, Panas includes a selection of new photographic and video works,
continuing her decades long and wide ranging exploration of portraiture. Sleeping Beauty departs from her previous
projects in that subjects seem to actively collaborate in the creation of their images. Individuals confront the viewer, meeting
the glare of the camera with a penetrating stare. Each visage bears a lifetime of experiences, while embodying the
resilience and indomitable spirit we’ve come to associate with the #metoo movement. Each woman, a strong,
unintimidated individual, refusing to be denied agency or personhood.
Paul Nicholson, Gallery Director, Martin Art Gallery
February 22, 2019
The women and girls in "Sleeping Beauty" lie or sit outdoors on the ground in a vulnerable position, yet they are alert and aware.
The portraits highlight the capacity for strength and knowledge that lies below the surface, unseen, and unsettled, contradicting the
viewer’s tendency to see the individuals as helpless damsels. I explore the roles of power and trust on both sides of the camera,
paying attention to what I bring to the photographic encounter. I want to describe what it feels like to be a woman, to be
human, by experiencing fully the range of emotions we have the capacity to feel.
I recently started incorporating video in my work as a way to capture an extended portrait. They can be found at
Photographs from this series available as 30 x 30" signed, limited edition prints.