Fran Forman's surrealist images win photo honors

She combines elements of photography, painting and digital technology

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A resident scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center, Fran Forman '67 recently received honors in an international photography competition for surrealist images that she calls "non-traditional" and are inspired by the overlap in her roles as social worker, academic and artist.

"Most of my images deal with people, solitary figures. My work [at the Women's Center] makes me think more about gender; most of them are really about women and children," Forman says. "They are very personal, very emotional. I'm interested in the inner life, the emotional life of the figures that I work with."

Her seven-piece entry won second place in the portraits and people category of the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards. The competition attracted 8,240 image entries from 70 countries.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards holds juried competitions for photographers around the world and donates 10 percent of its proceeds to Save the Children.

Forman's images combine elements of photography, painting and digital collage.

"In merging photography with painting, portraiture with dreamed landscapes, technologies and generations, my images blur the boundaries between the real and the unreal, re-imagining worlds that, like our own, remain forever a mystery," Forman writes of her work in an artist's statement on her website.

She says she was honored and excited by the vast number of entries in this go-round of the photo contest. In the past, she's received accolades in its other categories.

Forman studied art and sociology as a Brandeis undergraduate and spent several years as a social worker trying to help addicts before moving her career into the art realm.

"I feel more confident about my [art] work because the center has been really supportive of me in so many different ways, giving me the impetus and the confidence to reach out into a broader framework," she says.

In addition to the award, Forman recently received an invitation to an exclusive photography festival in Lishui, China in the fall. This is only the second year American artists have been invited.

"It came at a good time for me," Forman says. "You know, when you feel like your creative juices aren't flowing?"

Categories: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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