A few weeks ago, Jackie launched the Abortion Series project, where she’ll be profiling a variety of women who have had abortions, and sharing their experiences.
The project was inspired by repressive laws against women’s rights.
“I think this series is both saying to other women ‘We are here. We understand. We support you.’ Jackie said. “And it’s also providing a glimpse into the experience of having an abortion, for those who haven’t ever had one, who might need to understand more seriously the impact it has on a woman.”
So far, Jackie has only photographed two women, but both portraits are intimate and personal, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come of the project. The portraits are similarly posed: both women sit in a simple wooden chair with a cup of coffee in their hands, but the mood of each photo is distinct.
The first shows Faye, not smiling and looking off to the side, as if her mind is elsewhere. Her quote says, “I had taken the Valium they gave me so I was calm, but scared at the same time. There was no bedside manner in the hospital. It felt like being an animal.”
The second shows Stef, whose eyes are closed and mouth is clenched shut in grief. Her quote says, “The morning I found out I was pregnant I had an immediate meltdown. I went into my mom’s room and was saying things like ‘I’m never going to be a good mother.’ Knowing what I was going to do, I went full speed ahead on the shame train.”
For now, Jackie plans on sharing the project over social media, but her dream is for the portraits to be published in a gallery.
“The women have been grateful that someone wants to hear their story,” Jackie said. “They have been brave enough to share with the world so that one day other people won’t feel the same stigma that they feel.”
Jackie’s worked on a range of feminist photo projects over the years. Last November, Jackie did a photo series that aimed to bring attention to the trans experience of accessing bathrooms. The series ran on Vice and features a picture of two people at a urinal – one in pants and one in a dress, as well as a range of images of people sitting and standing on and near toilets.
The intimate portraits are paired with quotes from each of the subjects sharing their experiences of using public bathrooms. They range from from rude comments from strangers to being told to use the handicapped washroom at school. The series sheds light on the fact that something as simple as going to the bathroom isn’t simple at all for a lot of people. It’s an important perspective, and one that needs to be heard now more than ever in a Trump America.
“I have a hard time separating me from my work,” Jackie said. “I am a feminist, and so my work is feminist. Most of the projects I do, in one way or another, involve social justice or advocacy in some way. It’s important to me to try to make a difference with the work I do.”
Another one of Jackie’s provocative series, called A Woman And Pills explores the relationship women have with their prescriptions through striking, high contrast portraits. The project titled ‘Menstruation’ is an exceptionally intimate look at a few different women’s periods. Jackie’s work is at times uncomfortable, and impossible to forget. Her other images feature women showing off scars, stretch marks and intimate moments and interactions between people.
Jackie grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in taking pictures, but her shooting really took off when she turned eight and her brother was born. Jackie shoots a lot of her current work with a Canon 5D Mark III, usually paired with a fixed 35mm lens, but her favorite camera is her Polaroid.
“I’m not really a gear person,” she admits. “I find the less I have with me the more free I can be to just shoot the story.”