The idea behind my storytelling series was inspired by many different things that have happened in my life. This concept is very close to home and I have a deep connection with the issues evoked and explored.
It is a narrative of my life and the process of my upbringing.
Some of the inspiration came from Artists that I have studied at school (William Kentridge, Walter Battiss, Alexis Preller,) and other creative art forms that I am exposed to on a daily basis. I have explored the use of double exposure images before and I love how they intertwine with one another and lead your eye all over an image. I have looked at many other artists who use this method and decided for this project to use this process.
As the main aim of this assignment is to tell a story I brainstormed many ideas but in the end decided to explore the ideas of race. Living in South Africa I am very conscious of the different races and cultures that we are exposed to on a daily basis. I wanted to explore the issue of identity in my story and had the idea of taking something very African and mixing it with very western elements.
Many people today still feel and live with issues of race. All you need to do is turn on the news and there is some new story evolving racial and cultural differences. I believe that some people hide behind and build walls to protect their identity. I also believe some hide behind masked faces. This project seeks to capture this character trait.
If we take a look at the beautiful city we live in there are still areas of great poverty. With the stripping of clothing we gain this aspect in my images.
The series of 5 images co-relate in that the subject, mood, ideals and style are very similar. One almost needs to analyse each image to pick up on the subtle differences, almost like the way we as humans label and gossip about whoever is different.
What drew me to this specific story was the acts of injustice we see everyday living in this country. Not only between different races but violence and misconduct carried out onto people of the same religion and moral code.
The series I have shot tells a unique story of a young girl who lives in a dark world with nothing to keep her company but herself, I feel that many people relate to this young girl as they also feel isolated from the world as they are different to the people around them. I have felt this myself having travelled to foreign countries and not being able to speak the language. It’s not an easy thing to do and can only imagine how lonely it could be living like that, Living an isolated life.
1. The first image in my series is of the young girl standing in a bushy area holding the mask up to her face hiding her identity from us. She is wearing very little clothing and this makes her vulnerable to the harsh elements. The second more subtle image is a cityscape shot reversed that comes out in the ground.
2. My second image is a close up shot of the young girls mask, overlaid by images of the ocean and the sea. Her skin brings out the second images as her skin is very light.
3. The third image is a wider angle of the young girl on the side of an abandoned road. She is leaning up against a tree. She is very transparent almost as if she was a ghost, there are faint rocks coming in the foreground as if she was two laces at one or between worlds. The road fades out to black as your eye travels down it. This is responding to the idea of death and falling into complete darkness.
4. In this image the African mask is the main feature in the image, this highlights the wall that is put up between us as individuals and others. The young girl is sitting in a dark puddle of water and is submerged jest below the waste. It looks as if she is almost anchored and can’t escape the water. The cityscape also is present in the water as if she is above it or submerged by all the buildings.
5. Image five is the final image and it is a portrait form that brings everything together as it is similar to image one. In this image the young girl is standing in the puddle of water, the buildings are very prominent in the water and on her body. She has a very tranquil sense about her and is standing very straight up but is leaning to her right as if she might have been swaying back and forth.
The water represents baptism and cleansing of our sins, the ceremony that Christianity practices of washing away evil from their lives in water. This cleansing process is said to be a rebirth into the world. Different religions have similar means that are very close to this but vary slightly.
To conclude as a whole I feel that the series of 5 images work as a complete set together and that they bring the message and story across by relating different ideas and concepts that run throughout the series. At first glance one might be quite overwhelmed by what they see in front of them however as you take the time to examine each image you pick up on the subtleties of the images.
The basic space and open air with light going from lights to extreme darks give this series a specific style that unites. One is almost uneasy when looking at them as a whole. I am very happy with the outcome as I was very stressed for time with this project. I feel I have accomplished all I wanted and I am hoping to carry on more with this style and expand my portfolio with work of this nature.