Beyond the Surface

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Beyond the Surface is an exploration of not only the physical surface and materiality of the photographic image, but also the surface of ‘self’ as a vessel in which the hidden, un-projected self resides.

From early childhood, through our reflected form, we establish the connections between our inner, thinking self and our physical, external reality. Throughout our lives the characteristics of these two entities may be seen to overlap in both our social interactions and outward appearance. However the inner self, residing with an intricate labyrinth of voids, remains largely hidden from view and detection, an ever-present shadow-self that rarely presents itself. This unfamiliar self may be seen to partially reveal itself through the inescapable gaze of the photograph and within the multiple layers and polysemic surfaces of all the objects presented in the entire body of work. 

The small slivers of animal derived gelatine (powdered skin and bone), depicted in each of the photographic images presented here, address several contextual issues, primarily they conceptually mark the breakdown of the boundary between inner and outer self. By pouring this hot, viscous fluid upon my own body, allowing it to dry, so it feels as though it has almost become part of me, I then painfully rip it from my skin resulting in each sliver bearing the evidence of its exposure to my body; my skin pattern clearly becoming imprinted upon each of their surfaces. Yet, the inclusion of the use of gelatine, used extensively in both the domestic space and the photographic industry, within this body of work can be seen to directly reference the materiality of the photographic object.