6x4” prints enveloping entire walled space
1/3 + 1AP
sight is a portrait & a self-portrait.
a collection of 625 images, taken over 3 years recording & disclosing acts of living. it began with an active decision to make a mistake, to document the moment out of focus. by moving away from the obvious, from clarity, there is an offering to feel each image, rather than purely see it. it asks the viewer to become the authors of their own experience, channelled through the portrait of my own life, photographed.
i realised that through moving away from focus, i began to engage with the images differently. through the confrontation of obscurity, of blur, of not offering the visual communication to be immediately understood, the images ask to be given time & space, they ask for awareness & for contemplation. in avoiding visual focus, the story is not lost; narrative can still be found. imagination, sensation, memory & nostalgia are very much at play. like individual threads woven into one complete cloth, the images can be appreciated individually, non-linearly, or as a part of a linear whole, expressing the living of life.
every image is, simply, a composition of colour to create form. within the colour, form & composition, emotion & feeling of experience is found. is it possible to engage with the depth of something that is inherently a surface? do you feel the colour & form? do you feel the experience of life; with those you love, with family & friends? do you feel the warmth, the cold, the happiness, the shame? do you feel the present through your own memory, through your own imagination?
what is the distinction between visual clarity & blur, from seeing in or out of focus? this inquiry is a deeply personal one for me, i was born with a right eye almost blind and through it i was only able to distinguish colour & form. this was not realised until after the first three years of my life, so i was confronted with experience that relied on all the senses. with less given that was obvious, i suspect, i learnt to see with my senses & intuit space and experience on a more concentrated level than with clarity of sight.
the notion of perfection in vision is an intriguing one. i sense it to be akin to the schism between owning something of object beauty & living a beautiful life. today, everyone is a photographer; everyone documents their own lives & shares those abstracted moments of the past to others. increasingly, it seems we live our lives to be seen by others, rather than simply living to be. with an ever increasing saturation & consumption of imagery, how may we let go of the past, let go of what is no longer you, what is no longer present & focus on the now?
through imagery, we create our own identities on a level that has not been the case before. we project a representation of ourselves to others greater than we have ever been able to do before. through this projection of our new fabricated identity, sedimented as the action is repeated over time, do we not actually objectify ourselves? do we not then treat ourselves as the sum total of our object & image value? do we not become the images of ourselves? it seems apparent, that as these opportunities to objectify ourselves increase, we place a greater level of self-validation, self worth onto the images that represent us. the anxiety of how we look, rather than who we are, the need for validation from others accepting your image grows. anxieties, the pains of the individual disconnected from others, are not alleviated through image based social validation. through images, through vision, is society as a group of individual not placing greater value on image being the truth of life, rather than the illusion?
the potency of photography should not be underestimated. it is a confrontational medium; it is a mirror to living in the present & instead quickly becomes the conscious awareness of living past. it translates process into product. it performs the illusion of solidifying transience. it separates & elevates vision from the other senses. can imagery be imbued with depth & experience? can imagery connect, rather than separate? these are the inquiries that lead me to create this series, as story. by moving away from focus, from the obvious, by embracing a weakness, perhaps a certain softness & frailty, a certain truth & authenticity of life may be found.