Exhibition runs from: Friday 27th of May – Thursday 2nd of June 2011
Gallery Opening Hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri: 11.00 am to 6.30 pm – Sat: 12.30pm – 5.00 pm
Last day of Exhibition: Thursday 2nd of June: 10.00am to 5.00pm
‘Recognise Me Now’ brings together the work of four photographic artists who each explore issues of identity and self perception through a variety of different approaches. The resultant works are striking and intriguing. The exhibition features work from Ruth Oliver’s ‘Cocoon’ series, Kirsty Skears’ ‘Imaginary Friends’ project, Cat Fuller’s alternative family album project ‘How It Was and Still Is’ as well as James Macfarlane’s ‘Autobiography’. From the use of representational objects in place of the figure, to layers of fabric that conceal or reveal the person behind the veil and photomontages that question the role of photographs in relation to personal memory, this collection is linked through the artists’ desire to learn more about themselves through their practice.
Working with a variety of production techniques from underwater shoots to digital manipulation, Ruth Oliver’s practice uses the language of both fashion imagery and studio portraiture to address personal issues that resonate with her audience. In her ‘Cocoon’ series Ruth uses fabrics to represent the unseen layers she hides behind in her day to day life, with only glimpses of the ‘real’ Ruth being revealed to the viewer. The highly edited images become a comment on the way Ruth feels the need to ‘edit herself’ and her behaviours to suit her surroundings and meet the expectations of others.
Kirsty Skears’ creative practice involves finding the balance between expected ‘grown-up’ behaviours and her desire to hold on to childlike qualities that feed her creativity. . The resultant conflicts of personality are apparent in her piece ‘Imaginary Friends’ in which dolls, kept from her childhood, come to represent the artist herself. Being very shy and finding it difficult to make friends as a child, the dolls represent the imaginary characters and role models that Kirsty created narratives around as a means of developing her understanding of real life social situations from a position of safety.
Increasingly moving towards mixed media work, Cat Fuller’s practice has developed into an exploration of photography’s links with memory and whether it is deserving of that close association. By altering photographs, either through photomontage or inclusion of other elements such as text, Cat seeks to strengthen the representational qualities of the image. The use of photomontage in her ‘How It Was and Still Is’ project aims to illustrate the disparity between the representation of the person in the photograph and their underlying issues that remain hidden from the camera.
James Macfarlane’s work as a studio-based fashion and portrait photographer is evident in his project ‘Autobiography’. Though photographing people and creating images to please and flatter, James became increasingly aware of how he is perceived by others. He placed an open call on his website for people to submit images to fill in the blank space placed over half his face in a self portrait image, creating multiple versions of ‘James’.