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Untitled by Meredith Miller

Meredith Miller photographs women who struggle with obesity in a positive way rather than in a negative and even objectifying one. She says of her work, “My visual language, inspired by Reubens’ treatment of voluptuous nudes, enables me to see them so that their beauty and grace transcend their generous girth.”

Miller seeks to challenge our perception of obesity among women and to broaden our ideas of femininity, thereby allowing obese women to regain a sense of womanhood. “The obese women whom I photograph are much more than what our society often expects of them,” she says. “They are complicated women whose confidence enables them to exude a sexuality that defies what we commonly perceive to be the limitations of such bodies. I hope to show not only my subjects a new way of seeing themselves, but also my audience a new way of seeing my subjects-as classically beautiful women-reshaping our perception of obesity to be more akin to that of Reubens’ voluptuaries.”

Meredith Miller graduated from the Yale University School of Art in 2003 with an MFA in photography. Her work has been exhibited in New England and beyond since 1996. Among her Connecticut showings have been exhibits at Manchester Community College and Creative Arts Workshop. She lives and works in New Haven.

WFCR, Public Radio for Western New England, interviewed Meredith Miller for a similar exhibit in New Haven on January 24, 2005. You can listen to a streaming broadcast of the interview by Francesca Rheannon at WFRC's NewsRoom.

The public is invited to attend a panel discussion on body image in the library on Monday, September 26, 2005 at 6pm. Moderated by Kathy Fluckiger (Associate Director of UConn's Womens Center), the panel includes Gayle Bessenoff (from the UConn Department of Psychology specializing in body image and social stigma), Kelly Dennis (from the UConn Department of Art/Art History specializing in contemporary art) as well as Meredith Miller. Many of the women photographed have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). You can learn more about PCOS at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' PCOS page.

August 29 – October 14, 2005
Babbidge Library, Stevens Gallery
Curator: Jane Recchio