BY: QUENTIN STUCKEY
All photos from Insipid, courtesy of Tessla Stuckey Photography
When we hear the word “marriage” nowadays, we tend to bypass that idealistic, perfect image of a husband and wife being totally immersed in each other like something out “I Love Lucy.” After all, the real life Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz ended up divorcing, as opposed to their fictional TV personas who seemed to be made for each other.
Today’s generation of couples would sooner give up their cell phones than consider settling down or getting married. That isn’t to say that there aren’t happily married couples out there today. Marriage is a form of partnership, the ultimate romantic commitment to another individual; though everyone has a different perspective and there’s nothing wrong with that. Marriage can be a wonderful and healthy unity, but when married life becomes a menial, tortured routine, the results can be devastating and even deadly.
This up and coming Toronto-based photographer has captured this kind of relationship perfectly with her photo series: Insipid. Tessla Stuckey has been practicing the art of photography since high school. A graduate of Sheridan College in 2016, she has already evoked a particular style and passion with her detailed portraitures (photos of people). Stuckey describes her photography as: “inspired by the absurd, unexpected and charming, portraiture gives me the rare opportunity to work with an assortment of personalities. Feeding off their quirks and charisma, I strive to produce portraits that are both compelling and entertaining.”
In this photo series, Stuckey shows us the breakdown of a young marriage as a result of mundane tasks experienced every…single…day. The two subjects are ideal: good looking, sporting attractive clothes and possessing a seemingly comfortable living situation. As we navigate through the series, the couple’s routine is showcased from various, creative angles. Stuckey shows us their early morning rise, followed by breakfast at the table, getting dressed together, grocery shopping at the supermarket, checking the mail, going to the laundromat; every menial day to day task is completed together, as if this couple’s marriage is dependent to the extreme.
The photos are lavish and visually pleasing with the small details shining through; this is in direct contrast to the husband and wife’s painfully bored expressions. These two partners are not at all happy with each other or their lives; mundane routine is the order of their marriage, not romantic love. This series demonstrates just how toxic routine can become in any modern day relationship, often leading to consequences.
With these photographs, we catch a glimpse into what we all fear most about marriage: the confinement like a prison cell. But not all marriages or relationships have to gradually morph into what is depicted in Insipid. If there is one thing art excels at, it is showing us both what we can really be like and how we can find the desire to break free from who we don’t want to be.
View the photo series in its entirety here.