In her series, Women on Sofas, London photographer Ruby Steele takes a closer look at how women of all ages and backgrounds are perceived in today's society.
Their strengths, their weakness, how they even see themselves in both private and public life – these are the themes Ruby explores through her images that all centre around the humble sofa. But rather than capture her subjects at home, she has placed the sofas in unexpected places: in a church, at a supermarket, in a field or at a railway station.
"The project carries a heavy symbolism in what it means to be a powerful woman, and step outside the comfort zone expected of all of us," Ruby tells Creative Boom.
Those photographed come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and span eight decades. "In spite of growing freedoms in many areas of society over the past century, the domestic space often remains seen as women's terrain," adds Ruby. "It is one into which we are welcomed. It has been compelling to observe this space, disrupt it and take it beyond its 'natural' limits, all whilst exploring our emotional response to it.
"The sofa is more than a domestic object; it is imbued with symbolism and rich history. It holds a familiarity and is an invitation for togetherness. These photographs bring that intimate space into the outside world and ask us to reconsider what it means to get comfortable and feel safe."