The project that I created for this unit was called ‘Invisible’. It was based around the theme of body image and self confidence, my aim for this series was to portray the emotions that are felt when you have low body confidence and self esteem. I wanted to mirror the way that you feel like an outcast from society, the way you feel ashamed and want to hide your body and the way you can feel invisible if you don’t conform to societies beauty standards. Body confidence and encouraging a body positivity is something that has been explored by so many artists so I wanted to interpret this theme in a way that was different to the normal photographic images produced.
My inspiration for this series was the work of Francesca Woodman, Woodman battled with mental health problems, this is present in her work and it gives them a dark and eery aesthetic. She nearly always photographed her self, but if not it was always portraiture of women. Much of her work featured the naked women’s bodies, this was why I initially took an interest to her work as I felt these image could be inspiration for the way I want to explore body image. Her work also featured a motion blur effect that I found inspiring and wanted house this effect to show the way women feel they have to hide their bodies.
Other photographers I looked at were Edward Honaker, Estheam and Pol Godelaine. All of these photographers focus on people and the body. Honaker also battled with metal health issues and he also used a similar technique a Woodman in the way that he blurred his own face to express the confusion in his mind. Estheam also uses the human body in his work as well as Godelaine.
The Location of my final shoot was Chatham House. I choose this location as it links well to the location that my studied artists use. I also chose this location to further develop my theme. The abandoned and derelict atmosphere the house creates reflects the way that if one has low body confidence they stop loving and caring for their body, much like the un-cared for house. The empty house also mirrors the emptiness one can feel inside when hey feel like they don’t have a place in society, or don’t conform to what society thinks is beautiful.
An aspect of this project as to use techniques that are not typical of photography in the generation. As a part of ‘Beyond Photography’ we had to experiment with all kinds of photographic and printing methods, out of all the experiments we did the one that I found the most interesting and relevant to my project was the liquid light technique. I found the hand processing that I involved in this method fascinating and I found the outcome of the images produced this way were full of dark tones and textures that I felt were perfect for this project. I did many experiments wth liquid light and cited digital negatives out of my final images. I did test son these images and started to print them using this technique. I managed to produce three out of my six prints before finding out that the university does not have enough liquid light for me to use. Much of my research was based around this method and the artists that use it, Pol Godelaine, and it is very unfortunate that couldn’t use it for my final prints. Purchasing my own liquid light wasn’t an option due to time money constraints, and after discoing the university didn’t have enough half way through my prints I had to print my images digitally. Although this is disappointing, and I feel that it breaks up the flow of my project, I believe that my images, digitally printed, are still successful in conveying the messages and themes that I set out to express.
I think that my final six images reflect the work in my research and conveys the messages that I aimed to portray, despite not being able to print using liquid light I hope that the viewing audience can understand the series and that my overall project still works with the ‘Beyond Photography’ unit.