Black & White Self Portraits in Mirror

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17/1/13 – Do the Black and White Photos Appropriate Death?

So I have been replicating the sugar skull imagery through the application of makeup and face paint. In these series of self-portriats, I have decided to stand in front of the mirror and take photographs of myself with the face paint. This process is easier then extending my arms in the air in order to take a photograph; I do actually have a tipod but for some reason, I can’t achieve the same results.

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I don’t really use the tripod for my own self-portriats, I often like to experiment with various angles and compositions. Just holing the camera is easier than using the tripod; I just keep taking the photographs until I find at least two or three that I am pleased with. The photographs are inspired by Australian photographer, Sue ford who exhibited 47 black and white self-portriats at the Monash Gallery of Art in 2011. Ford’s most important works, including ‘Self-Portriat with Camera’ examine’s the artist’s own identity and self image.

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What I do find fascinating is Ford’s an personal statement about her works that is also cited by the ‘Brummels Gallery of Photography, 1974″. Ford explains, “In Time Series I tried to use the camera as objectively as possible. It was a time machine. For me it was an amazing experience. It was until I placed the photograph of a younger face beside the recent photograph that I could fully appreciate the change” (Sue Ford)

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It is interesting see the artist ageing through her own self-portriats; In a way, photography does take you back in time, photography documents a younger version of the self. It is quite a strange feeling when I look at myself in my self-portriats; the person in the photograph isn’t the same person I am today. I am constantly ageing, each day is another step closer to death.

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This particular idea questions whether the living body is dying each day? In a way my portraits represent death; they represent a person that no longer exists. I’m older than the person in the photograph, I’ve actually aged since I have taken the photograph, I am no longer the same person that I used to be.

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The self portraits have invited to explore my own interpretations of life and death. While the photograph documents my own presence, my own physical existence, my bodily being is permanently absent. Is absence an indication of death? I’m still trying to think of an answer for this question, so stay tuned! Enjoy the photographs!

Monash Gallery of Art, “Time Machine, Sue Ford”, Accessed 25/1/13, http://www.mga.org.au/exhibition/view/exhibition/86

“Time Series, 1977″, Brummels Gallery of Art, August 16 – September 9, 1974”, Sue Ford, Accessed 25/1/13, http://www.sueford.com.au/TIMESERIES1974.html


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