You may have noticed I spent the summer of 2014 photographing a number of models, I know, something of a rarity for me. I can now reveal that I that I was working on a series of images to submit for my Associate qualification in Portraiture.
I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something a little unusual, something unique and something that would not normally be associated with my usual style of photography. The result was a set of human & insect morph images. I wanted each element of the image to be of equal measure whilst at the same time retaining the identity of the insects and the look of the models. At the same time I didn’t want the models to look like they were humanized insects so elected to give them a slight fashion/glamour look to retain the human element.
The panel of images went before the judges at the The Societies Convention in London on January 14th and I’m very pleased to say it passed, so now I am an ASWPP as well as an ASINWP.
We are asked to submit a Statement of Intent, which is read out to the judges prior to them inspecting the images. I have included it below to give you an insight into my influences and the way my brain was working or not as the case may be.
Finally I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to my lovely models for giving up their time for me, without them this project would not have been the success it was so thank you Hannah, Haz, Roseanne, Jo, Kerri, Kyrie, Nicole, Georgia and Sophie. And to Pink Lady MUA and Maria Lucas MUA for their creations and assistance.
Also, thank you to my wonderful judges, George, Richie, Tom, Stuart and Ramon, for their kind words of encouragement and for passing the panel.
Lastly to my wonderful husband, John. Without his words of encouragement and assistance this project would never have gotten off the ground xx
So before I get too carried away and you all start blubbing at my Oscar winning style speech here is my Statement of Intent and my gorgeous creations.
The Curiosity of Entomorphosis
Entomology is the study of insects. The scientific study of entomology didn’t start until the 16th Century when the systematic categorisation of various orders through collecting and preserving insects grew out of natural curiosity. In the 19th the Victorian’s thirst for the exotics and the unusual saw many species of plants, flowers and animals brought to this country, along with their inhabitants – the insects. Those that didn’t arrive alive were set, dried and pinned specimens that were collected and maintained as part of a collection for exhibition.
The Victorian fascination with the unusual also included the macabre and the unexplained particularly in the human form; the most popular were the Victorian Freak Shows. These were presented as a Human exhibits; this might typically have been a lady with a beard, or a man with no arms, perhaps even the famous Siamese twins Eng and Chang – or most famously of all, Joseph Merrick more commonly known to us all as The Elephant Man. Today most of these conditions or illnesses can be explained through our advances in medical knowledge thanks to the research of those early pioneers.
The Victorian era also brought us the invention and development of photography. Whether your genre is street photography, nature & wildlife, landscapes, still life, fashion, weddings or portraits, photography has allowed us to continue our obsession for recording and documenting the world in which we live. I think I can safely say it is a subject we are all reasonably familiar with and one which brings us all here today.
Our interest with insects and the un-natural continues and the desire to morph and humanise insects is a frequent one. Many of us engaged with comic book Superhero’s like Spiderman, Batman or Cat-woman in our childhood and as a result of the film industry, the next generation already has its firm favourites with the films such as Monster’s Inc, Monster’s University and Bug’s Life with characters like Dean Hardscrabble and Rosie, the Black Widow spider.
My inspiration for this set of images is born from my own personal enthusiasm for entomology and wildlife photography, the allure of the Victorian Curiosities and the desire to step out of my ever so predictable comfort zone to create something a little extra-ordinary.
The continuing Curiosity of Entomorphosis – The Lady Bugs.