Working title, ‘They are us and we are them’, a quote made by John Laub in Fergus McNeill’s Discovering Desistance documentary film ‘The Road from Crime’ . It seems to fit well with the concept of challenging the boundaries between ‘Us and Them’ and was recently mentioned to me by Fergus.
The process used in making this next set of portraits has been quite different to the ones I’ve presented previously. All the way through the project my system has been to make an image on Polaroid film initially (to ensure the composition is correct and as a reference for developing the film) and then, ensuring the sitter hasn’t moved, take the next shot on sheet film (negative). I kept hold of the byproduct of the Polaroid (it’s backing) and extracted the negative from this. It’s an unstable, messy and laborious technique. I’d originally planned on doing the entire project in this way but after extracting 18 negatives realised it was unrealistic. I also wanted to promote large format; the detail that is held within the 5″ by 4″ negative and the quality of the medium but because Polaroid negative is so drastically different (aesthetically) this wouldn’t come across. So I have essentially produced two quite different pieces of work at the same time. It adds an ethereal element to the final instillation and an innocence. Someone described this set of images as “womb-like” which I quite liked. I’d be interested to see what other people thought.
Full project description can be read on my previous post ‘Us and Them’.