AmericaConceptMeditations on Being a Phoenix by Jessica Somers

The Phoenix is reborn from its own ashes. It moves from one life stage to the next fearlessly and without much but a small ceremony of fire to carry it.
71764 min

Jessica Somers – The Phoenix is reborn from its own ashes. It moves from one life stage to the next fearlessly and without much but a small ceremony of fire to carry it. It lives for generations through reinvention, a rising up from the past and moving forward.

She is not bound to one definition of herself carved out by time and place because there is always more to come. The Phoenix is a solitary traveler bound only to herself and her power to shift, change, grow and know herself more with each fire. She does not subscribe to cultural standards, she does not participate in expectations others have for her. She tries on these things, she wears them with her feathers, she learns, she burns, she goes on.

The self-portraits from the series Meditations on Being a Phoenix use visual metaphors to relay the emotions and experiences from my life within a culture that participates in narrowly constructed ideals of what it means to be female and considers how these constructs influence self-identity.

As an adolescent I was awkward, children made fun of the girl with the weird hair and chubby thighs. In the halls of school boys would grab at the most private parts of my body on a dare and then act repulsed as they showed off for their friends what it was like to touch me.

Phoenix_15 Jessica Somers

Phoenix_1 Jessica Somers

I grew into what I look like now, attractive by western standards. There have been moments when men took my appearance as an invitation to rub up against me and touch me inappropriately. I was young when I took my first college teaching job. There were false rumors of my provocative activity with students. Staff workers made sexual advances towards me. I wore my hair long, down to my waist, a female coworker told me that I would continue to be sexualized if I chose to keep my hair that way. Another woman associate likened me to a Barbie doll and refused to take me seriously.

It is scary how much agency people take in reaction to the way someone looks, like the rapist unable to see their crime because they feel their victim enticed them into committing the offense. I do not wish to be a victim to the perceptions of others, their assumptions do not define me. It takes time and conscious effort to know yourself outside of the ideals imprinted upon you. Like the mythological Phoenix that bursts into flames at the end of each life cycle to be reborn from its own ashes, I am burning off the notion that my worth might be measured in form and features rather than by my actions, kindness and intelligence.
Each work in this series combines photography, pigments and encaustic wax which create surface marks that parallel the scars and impressions cultural expectations can make on an individual [Official Website]

Phoenix_6 Jessica Somers

Phoenix_14 Phoenix_13 Jessica Somers Phoenix_12 Phoenix_11 Phoenix_10 Jessica Somers Phoenix_9 Jessica Somers Phoenix_8 Phoenix_7 Jessica Somers Phoenix_5 Phoenix_4 Jessica Somers Phoenix_3 Jessica Somers Phoenix_2

Legal Note: The photographer attest that have full authorization to give consent to the publication of these photos or project and have the authorization and permissions of third parties. Guarantees that you have all the necessary communications of property and you have obtained all the necessary authorizations for any property, buildings, architecture, structures or sculptures appearing in your photographs.


  • Avatar
    Janssens serge

    May 16, 2016 at 22:56

    Créativité et sensibilité dans une très belle réalisation . J’aime

  • Avatar
    serge janssens

    Dec 21, 2016 at 23:56

    Je confirme le commentaire effectué au mois de Mai …

Comments are closed.

Get instant access to over 120 in-depth tutorials for all skill levels, the ability to stream anywhere from any mobile device, and access to our library.
Share your most best images in this photo contest in collaboration with ViewBug. A community that hosts over 40 photo contests and challenges.

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

Landscape & nature photography is one of the most challenging genres and disciplines to learn, and the costs of getting it wrong can be disappointing



Julia Fullerton-Batten


stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We never share your data with 3rd parties. Your details will be held securely, we won't share them with anyone else and of course you may unsubscribe at any time. You can read our Privacy Policy here
We’d love to
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten