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Nov 29, 2018
The language of photography is one we are all comfortable with. We see hundreds of photos every day. It is so familiar that we have learned how to predict what the camera captures when we get our pictures taken. We make sure to show our best side, suck in our tummies, tip our chins down and smile for the camera! And while we may think we look good, this begs the question "how 'real' is a photo?" They say a picture is worth a thousand words... but are people hearing the correct words?
When someone looks at a photo of you, do they know everything about you? I should say not! Unfortunately, we as humans are quick to judge (ourselves and others) based on the way we look on the outside. But there is so much more to a person than that. I have been exploring ways to incorporate photography into my collages as a way of bringing YOU, the viewer into the work to look more closely. By collaging these photos with the beautiful handmade papers I use in all my work, I am saying that while this is what a person looks like on the outside, here are all these other things you didn't see in the simple photograph. Here are other elements of who this person is on the inside—the important stuff! Another message is that we each have the power to recreate ourselves! I want to empower everyone to believe that "I'm so much more than you see when you look at me!" and the elements I am collaging along with the photos visually demonstrate that we have the power to decide who we want to be and what kind of life we choose to live. And as always, I am inspired by nature and want to encourage others to consider their relationship with it (are WE not a PART of nature?), so flowers flowers flowers!
That's a tall order, but now you know what I'm trying to get at. Here are some photos of the processes I've been experimenting with to show the whole person. These are not actually "portraits" of these people. Maybe someday I'll do portraits where I try to show the inside and out of the person in the photo. For now, I'm using models to tell the stories I want to tell. I've had a couple of really fun photo shoots in which I ask my models to do all sorts of nutty imaginary things! Currently, I am working on a large pair of collage-paintings inspired by "spirit animals." I found a lot of information online about the meanings of different animals, and chose ones I thought were uplifting and empowering!
I welcome your feedback! I'd love to hear your reactions to the work, and to my message, and ask if you think they are in alignment yet. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them too!
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