Portrait through objects

Do possessions speak to character in the same way as a portrait might?  Certainly they may disclose more by way of association.  That’s how the pictures here seem to be working.  I collected a handful of items which have followed me around for some time and thought about how to present them.  I had thought of straightforward top-down pictures of open drawers, always an invitation to the viewer to dissect the minutia of an individual’s clutter, but it seemed a bit too much like Kim’s game and a touch literal.  Also, the mess of items all strewn together might be too confused, dense.  So I went for single items, but rather than have them sitting in isolation I placed them in a mock museum setting, as if they were mouldering away in some glass cabinet in a basement.

It isn’t a very posh museum.  It’s a bit dusty and the exhibits are somewhat careworn.  They are intimate, however; they relate to me in a very direct way, particularly to my sense of self, which I reckon is formed by experience.

They are presented individually, out of context, in a basic setting.  I lit them to show as much detail as possible with sharp focus throughout (focus stacked).  The originals look pretty good but the web size WordPress algorithm has mashed a few of them.  I think they would look much better printed.   They are quiet and a little sad.  Because they lack context they appear vulnerable through isolation.

These took more than a day to do!  A standard studio table-top product type arrangement with an overhead softbox, a black cloth sweep and various snooted kickers and fill cards.  I can faff around all day long, which made a change from apologising to people for taking up their valuable time (I am getting out of that habit now).

They look just like I wanted them to, but the tombstone cards didn’t quite fit the scale on some pictures.  It was intended to look less-than-perfect from a curatorial point of view.