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Woman to Woman, Regard de Femmes is a photographic journey documenting the friendship between two women artists.  It is a ten-year collaboration exploring the relationship between fine art photographer Michele Mattei and art appraiser and artist Elizabeth Yochim. 

It records the fluid interaction between two women—the seer and the seen—with images expressing change, growth, and the passage of time. 

Their friendship grew from their initial working relationship of gallerist and photographer, to a collaboration between two artists, to the camaraderie of women traversing personal loss, professional challenges and the metamorphoses that happen over time. 

The project provides an occasion to reflect on the role of artist collaborations amongst women and the complexities of navigating the art world.

It was never meant to be a ten-year project. Each photoshoot was its own time capsule. The photographs were not studied after each session. They were briefly reviewed and then archived. 

However, in the Fall of 2020 upon viewing the most recent photoshoot, a story and visual narrative began to emerge.  Both Michele and Elizabeth agreed to write about their experience and spent the past year reflecting on their own distinct journey: what it means to see and be seen, and questioning the role of the female gaze. 

Through these photographs, we see how much they have grown into the women they are today.  It documents the birth of the Angelbird, a character that Elizabeth imagined into being, and her subsequent emergence as a street performer in Europe. 

Michele, after forty years of projecting her photonic light on her subjects, explores in her essay the intimate relationship of women looking at women and examines the integration of her career as journalist, photo-journalist and fine art photographer.

“We are ten years older than when we started.  Our bodies are changing.  Our faces are changing.  Time is ticking.  Looking back is informing how we look forward.”

The project is relevant and timely as it also offers a roadmap and inspiration around the theme of setting oneself free. It documents the experience of women supporting women that dare to self-actualize and reach for their highest potential as human beings and artists. The project was lived forward and understood in hindsight as examining the role of the female gaze.

Woman to Woman, Regard de Femmes is about giving women the courage to be who they know themselves to be in the privacy of their own thoughts, and to inspire others to think about what it means to see and to be seen.