Turning to Self-Portraiture (ft. photography experiments)


PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIMENTS: (selected collection, from around 140 photographs)

Honestly, this was quite an unexpected turn for my work – I have produced self-portraits before – either in my sketchbook or when experimenting with photography in my spare time – but my face hasn’t been a part of my artistic practice since my A-Levels.

I was always quite reluctant to incorporate myself in such an intimate way – with a fear of exposing myself.

But at this point it seemed fit to give it a go – especially since my entire practice currently revolved around MY identity and MY sense of belonging – or not-belonging.

By using myself as a subject – or one of many – and observing myself – not just in passing – would help with the whole connection dilemma.

By focusing on myself I could potentially truly dig deeper into the subject matter.

After all, only by regularly observing and investigating ourselves – through sketching or journaling – can we begin to comprehend ourselves – moreover, in the meantime our unconsciousness has the opportunity to show itself through our work – it MANIFESTS ITSELF IN THE PERSON’S WORK

that CONNECTION TO THE UNCONSCIOUS is something I want explore further

another personal layer that I could add to my work.



  • the majority – apart from 2 I think – are photographs of my reflection – just as when I draw myself in the mirror
  • really low shutter speed – low ISO
  • various lighting sources – torches, my salt lamp, also tried out fairy lights but their light was too tiny and concentrated so they just produced sharp lines that were hard to manipulate and not really what I was going for
  • monochrome camera setting
  • tried covering the lens with different materials like sheer silk or film negatives (in hope that some of the images would show up in the pictures but sadly that didn’t happen – at least there is still a visible mark of some of the darker areas)


  • the idea and intentions I had in mind when making them are basically the same as the ones I have for my drawings – to produce a safe and intimate space, where I guess my unconscious thoughts, feelings, emotions and memories can manifest themselves
    • aesthetically – to make it dramatic and poetic through the visuals – soft and monochrome shapes and forms which blur, dissolve and are fluid in their nature – with a very clear and strong contrast of light and dark – all of which to me reflect the mind and have strong resemblance to its workings
      • the strong tonal contrast, along with the softness and fluidity of the objects is something that to me has the capacity to clearly associate with one’s way of being – just like what drawings capture – and thus allows me to explore the notions of the ‘self’ with this technique
  • the photographs will be something I use to inspire my drawings and at some stages I may refer to them to break through any creative blocks I may find along the way
  • they can also be used as a means in themselves – I could use them as individual layers that I work with, perhaps??

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