Today, art photographers who wish to say something meaningful about the face are looking for strategies and tactics to match its rapidly evolving social and technological environment. In the past century portraiture had a far more restricted agenda: it was either limited to the aim of revealing ‘inner truths’ about individuals, or making generalized statements about ‘the face of our time’…Today, it is quicksand.
‘Restrain’ challenges the traditional myth that ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’. Some argue a whole face needs to be in a portrait in order to analyse it; I tested this and took part of mine away.
The project’s method is defiant of a typical self-portrait. The photographs challenge how a viewer will perceive a portrait without enough exterior knowledge of the self. An audience can see the subject’s outline in the photographs but are restricted, by an aggressive material, from knowing any other information concerning the self; the portraits become a trace of a part of someone.
The photographs have the ability to signify cultural controversies such as sexual, violent, religious or criminal ideas as well as female repression. While the photographs are evocative of vulnerability, the subject’s confident gaze has a confrontational relationship with the viewer, constructing a striking juxtaposition.