Gazing

Interacting with our reflection is usually a function of brushing our teeth, combing our hair, shaving etc. I wanted to know what would happen if we actually stopped and looked? What would we see and how would we feel about what we saw? I decided to place some parameters around these works namely a time period was important element as well as an unbroken time period. I asked the subjects to look at themselves in a mirror that they would most often look at themselves in for a period of roughly 5 minutes. This is long enough to go past the initial awkwardness and not too long so as to loose interest. I shot one roll of film, 12 frames. At the end of the shoot I asked them to write in a sketch book any thoughts or feelings that may have arisen whilst looking at themselves. Every individual had their own experience however, there were some similarities in the age groups and sexes with how they actually interacted with their reflections. My observations of how they behaved however, didn’t give any clue to the thoughts and feelings they revealed in their writings. Their words went beyond the surface and opened up the person behind the gaze. The hand written texts, the way they wrote on the page all became integral to this project the words and the pictures complementing and enhancing one another. This marriage of image and words builds pictures of fragility, strength, time of life, self awareness and blissful ignorance of self.

All Images © Copyright Virginia Woods-Jack 2017

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