Self portraiture found me when I was a teenager; listless and lost while at school and then shy and lonely at a campus university four hundred miles from home.
I borrowed a friend’s camera to take serious-faced portraits for Myspace (long before the rise of the ‘selfie’ – or was it?), and later I would go into the woods and prop my camera against a rock to capture myself in the daylight.
I’m not sure why I initially felt compelled to do this, but I know it had a lot to do with getting something about myself across to someone that I didn’t feel they could see. And later it was about being seen by someone who otherwise might never see me again.
Aged around twenty I began taking tonnes of self portraits indoors, and this became my solace and means of expression through heartbreak and isolation. Sometimes it gave me unbelievable strength and a sense of freedom.
In these portraits there is a fervour; a longing for understanding and contact; but above all, there is a breaking of silence, and the creation of a record of sorts.
Writing this at the close of 2017, I am assessing where to take my work next year. I promised to take on a print project called Handle with care, so I’ll likely start there…