This was the idea behind my final images…
I wanted to carry on with the half portraits I had done of myself because I really liked how they came out. I liked the hair on my shoulders and the lack of detail, and the mystery created by the absence of a face. My images are naked but in a subtle way, showing only part of my body. They are showing that every part of your body can be beautiful, and each part is unique to ourselves and show our personality and identity. This project is more about finding my identity. Sometimes I feel like I am invisible in the outside word, there are too many people and I cannot stand out. Sometimes I feel my work can’t stand out either. But photographing myself without any distractions, just photographing my hair on my shoulders, makes me stand out because of the mystery, nobody knows who is the photograph. This doesn’t make people know me as a person, as you cannot see my face, but people can take ideas of how I look from the images.
I feel I achieved this and more. My images do show mystery, they draw your eye in because you do not know what you are looking at, at first. My images are the end of what was a struggle to get to photograph my self and others naked, this might not be shown in them but it is what I feel when I see them. I feel proud of all I have achieved, maybe now I will not be invisible.
My images could speak to many people. The ones who feel left out in peer groups at school, the ones who are bullied or picked on or anyone who feels lonely in the world. They can give anyone the feeling of being worth something, as I am trying to show how everybody is equal. We are all humans and should respect and treat each other as we would treat ourselves. So being able to photograph myself naked shows this. I do not believe my images can change anything, maybe the meaning doesn’t even come across, but this is how I felt when, and after I had taken them. This has been a journey, one that has had its low points and high points, but now I feel I really appreciate the human body for its form and how it makes us all unique and the same. It can show our identity or hide it away with clothes. We can change it with surgery, but we cannot change that we are all human, and are all equal.
If I had an exhibition of my work I would show it alongside the photographs of David’s shoulders. This would show the point of everybody being equal even more, as you do not know who he is because you can’t see his face. But these images are showing a relationship between me and the subject, this is shown by how close he allowed me to get when I was photographing, and how there is no tension.
This could be an ongoing project with me photographing more and people. But keeping the same pose and frame. So everybody looks equal but different as their skin will show their identity.
But I think I would keep the image of my hand on David’s chest in the series, for personal reasons and to show that you can have a connection to a person. One day they might be a stranger and then in a few weeks they might be a good friend or a lover. Life is one long journey, and maybe my photographs can inspire some people to create images of their own.
I have been inspired by the many photographers I have come across while researching and listening to lectures. I always have liked the renaissance sculptures and paintings. I wouldn’t say my work is like that, I am more celebrating the human form, like Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Haskins. I learnt how to showcase the body in my photographs to show personality and identity. Throughout the course I learnt how to get closer to a model for photographs and how to photograph myself. This really helped me to achieve the final images.
My writing to accompany my images if I had an exhibition of them.
Sometimes in this world it is easy to feel alone,
To feel invisible
But you must remember we are all connected,
By what we are
Your skin makes you unique, like a fingerprint,
Showing your personality
Your skin is also your identity it joins us as one,
We are all equal
We must respect each other to enjoy what we have,
We should feel safe
You must never feel alone because you have us,
The world is behind you.
This would be in a little frame on the wall, so viewers have to get in close to see it. I wrote it as if I am talking to them personally, I think this gives it a personal touch. I want the viewers to move in close to my images and writing, as they have a very strong meaning and I hope this is put across in my images. The title for my exhibition would be Skin Equality, not hinting at anything other than how our skin shows who we are, using the lines and the body’s ‘finger’print.