Pol Godelaine is a self taught Belgian photographer. He has a passion for the ‘alternative processes’ and all his work presents a certain aesthetic. By this he means that he uses processes to create images such a cyanotypes, liquid light and bromoil. His work explores female beauty and often features nudes that are printed using these alternative processes. “I am interested in fame beauty of all kinds, I like artistic nudes as well as underground images. I do now make alternative prints with very old techniques like bromoil and cyanotypes.”
The series of Godelaines that interests me the most are ‘Lunatic Portrait’, ‘Contemplation’ and ‘Old Black Blue Brown’.
Contemplation is a series that focuses on the female body. He photographs women with all different body types, women that you wouldn’t normally see in the media, and by doing this he challenged beauty standards. Godelaine shows all these woman in a beautiful way, he focusses on the curves and shapes in their figures and celebrates individual beauty. Seen as my project is focussed around body image and self confidence I found this series really interesting. I love the way that he uses women of all different shapes and sizes and uses his work to express their beauty. As a woman it can be hard to feel confident about your body shape when you are constantly surrounded by thin, photoshopped models in the media, this series tells women that it’s ok to have different shaped bodies and that everyone is beautiful in different ways.
In this series ‘Lunatic Portrait’ ,Godelaine once again shoots unconventionally beautiful women. I think that the purpose of the images in this series is to be interpreted differently by each viewer. Godelaine once said “il aime masquer la réalité afin que le spectateur puisse imaginer autant qu’il ne voit.” Which translates to “I like to hide reality so that the spectator can imagine a much ass he sees.” I think that the way that an individual spectator interprets these images reflects their inner feelings and emotions, for example I view these images in a way that reflects a lost identity, the struggle to find who you are inside and in be comfortable in your own skin. this is something that I want to present in my own work, I think that this is why these images stood out to me, because I can relate to them and they inspire my own photography.
Another reason that Godelaines work interests me is his use of ‘alternative processes’. In this project I have experimented with light emulsion and decided that it is something that I want to continue to use. In this series ‘Old Black Blue Brown’, he creates image using old photographic processes such as cyanotype sand light emulsion. Not only does he use a process that I am interested in, his work actually has a similar theme to that of my project. Sticking to his most well known theme, this series explores the female body. The way that he prints and the messages that he portrays in his work are both things that I want to present in my own work. The art of Pol Godelaine will be a key inspiration for my own work and I will take everything he does into consideration whilst shooting and in the printing process.