In Western culture, we seem to have a problem in looking at certain images of the human figure represented photographically.
The photographic image is ubiquitous in popular culture where advertising places the young beautiful and erotic body as the desirable object of social attention. This is a body apparently conditioned and obtained by personal control. But this control is an illusion. We have only been presented with one side of the story, one version of beauty. We need more sides to determine the truth and reality.
Perhaps the limits we set on the acceptability of bodies are the products of a culture conditioned by phobias. If this the case, then we do have a crisis of looking at ourselves as we truly are.
Responding to the work of photographers such as Coplans and Brandt, as well as images seen in the media, I set out to rework the forms of parts of the body, to extend and challenge our concept of what beauty can and might be. I wanted to create photographs that had the same qualities as sculptures.
Photographing what society would define as imperfect human bodies, I chose to capture close up, isolated images of parts of these ‘imperfect’ bodies. This has only marginally been explored in photographic terms.
The images are produced in collaboration with volunteers who offer to help. I have been overwhelmed with the generosity and honesty of strangers who are so many in number that at times they appear to be crawling out of the woodwork into the studio. These volunteers come along to the studio to perform in front of the camera with no clothes to hide behind. But without these volunteers being so honest and wanting to show off what many would consider flaws, the project would be going nowhere.
To be part of this project, please contact me via the contact page.
© Jo Sutherst 2017 - Copying or redistributing these images is not permitted without express written permission.