Two women on a beach around 1972
photograph, Paula Wallace

Artist Statement
Paula Wallace

When I discovered the Lesbian Community in the Bay Area, I was awed by the energy and vast variety of women so like myself and yet so unique. I wanted to photograph these women who saw themselves as strong, who lived independently, who disregarded the male/female boundaries promoted by society, who did not fit the stereotypes cast for us - women of different ages, physical shapes and lifestyles who lived ordinary lives extraordinarily. I tried to capture them in their own varying environments dealing with people and problems and pleasures. To those women who allowed me to invade their lives with my camera, I am eternally grateful.

Biography

I was born in 1940 in Dallas, Texas. I recognized my feelings for women in the early 60s with my first true love affair. In 1971 at the beginnings of the Gay Women's Liberation, I moved to the Bay Area, found my community for the first time, and discovered I loved taking pictures of women at work and play. For a while, I worked with the Women's Press Collective in Oakland. Later, while working at A Woman's Place Bookstore in Oakland, I found another love and became a bookseller. From 1976-78, Carol Seajay and I owned and operated Old Wives' Tales in San Francisco.

In 1978, I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to take over Full Circle Books, which I nurtured until the pressures of running a one-woman business became too much and I sold it to two wonderful women. I went back to school to become a librarian and am presently employed as such in New England. In the near future, I hope to return to the women's community in Albuquerque and take up portrait photography again.

My photographs have appeared in two shows: "Six Women" and "Women Working" in San Francisco and Albuquerque in the 70s.

Bibliography

The Blatant Image: A Magazine of Feminist Photography, no.1. Sunny Valley, OR: The Blatant Image, 1981

Grahn, Judy. She Who: A Graphic Book of Poems. Oakland, Ca: Diana Press, 1977.

Koolish, Lynda. Journeys on the Living: Poems, Photographs and Drawings. Berkeley, Ca.: The Author, 1973.

Lesbians Speak Out. Oakland, Ca.: The Women's Press Collective, 1974.

Martin, Del and Lyon, Phyllis. Lesbian Love and Liberation: The Yes Book of Sex. San Francisco: Multi Media Resource Center, 1973.

Soule, Janet S., editor. Tracking Our Way Through Time: A Lesbian Herstory Calendar/Journal. Chicago: The Author, 1984

Books & Archives · Photographers · Critics & Commentators


Back to Essay