To celebrate the launch of Jaron Hill's Digital Residency project Greetings From The Sick Bed, we’ve selected five artists who have explored photographic portraiture: Roy Mehta, Izabela Brudkiewicz, Alistair Woods, carla cuomo and Eric Fong.
Coastline, 1998 - 2003
Roy Mehta draws inspiration from the British coastline for his latest exhibition at the Tom Blau Gallery.
Taken over the last seven years, the work is a social document of life along the British coast from Brighton to the Outer Hebrides. The sea and sky hold prominence in every frame and serve as a backdrop to the figures in the foreground; families, lovers, friends and strangers. The dominating seascape affects the viewer's reaction to the images. When the skyline is dull and grey this appears to be reflected in the emotions of Mehta's subjects. For him perhaps a lucky coincidence? Or was it Mehta's intention to play on the relationship between colour and emotion. Sadness is set against a grey background while young love is shot in warm sunlight with a perfect blue sky. Mehta is careful to keep a distance between photographer and subject to ensure that he does not taint the subjects' emotions that weigh heavy within the frame.
Abstract views views of the coast offer relief from his emotionally charged portraits. A solid blue sky against a mottled concrete sea defence creates a tranquil landscape that has a paint like quality to it.
At the heart of this project Mehta questions out national identity. He places his subjects at the edge of the sea and on the edge of life.
Forget pictures of happy holiday makers in Kiss me Quick Hats, Mehta's work has a vulnerability about it that is far removed from any romantic view of the seaside.
Dawn Sumner © BJP 2003
Self-portraits, 2017 - 2020
Self-portraits are extremally important to my creative process. I am exploring everyday, mundane home life, as a mother I use a desk light and the iPhone camera. The raw quality adds authenticity to it. I aim to present motherhood as it is, in a hardest but at the same time in the most beautiful way. I aim to document the present moment or present emotion. When applying rice grains onto my body I exaggerate and deform these emotional experiences awarding them with a new concept.
Negative Portrait Collage, 2013
A selection of portraits that have been created through the manipulation of the photographs negatives in the darkroom.
Through You (Marcel, 2007), 2007
Looking for definitions of identity and investigating the one to one relationship has been a major driving force in my work since I started practicing photography. Taking portraits is a very complex, fascinating and delicate practice that became for me a process of self-knowledge, a work on the self and on the other that gave me the possibility to record the way I experience life and to explore somehow the sense of existence. The self that I aim to represent in my work, is real, imagined, utopian, ambiguous, ideal, mystical. It is one and many at the same time. It is a reflection of myself into the unknown and familiar territory of the other. By pushing the limit of portraits and recalling also its traditional language, I embarked on an imaginary journey into the private and intimate space of the self, exploring the liminal zone, both physical and emotional, between me and the others, intimacy and remoteness, while deeply observing our condition as human begins.
These images belong to Series I, and contains work produced between 2004 and 2012.
Shanghai Remedies: Portraits, 2006
- Mr Hu, retired martial arts teacher
Produced during a British Council & Arts Council England residency in Shanghai, this work explores the consumption of medicine by local people through a series of portraits of individuals and the medicine in their homes, and reflects the subjects' diverse health conditions and personalities.
Published 11 February 2022