There is no escaping the body. Each of us occupies this mass of tissue, muscle, bone and skin we call our body and we all own complex feelings about it, some positive, some negative. We have good days and bad days, often dependent on the perceptions of others.
This new work explores my relationship to my own ‘disabled’ body, both personally and in connection to society’s view of what is normal or perfect. It continues where my portfolio “I Am My Body” left off, delving into the discomforts and insecurities that come with pain, the pleasures and delights of what could be or what in fact is just the reality of my body. Each photograph is a small tale or contemplation that exists and evolves within my body at any time. As a whole, the project reflects longings, desires, hurts and limitations as well as mapping the physical history of my body.
The photographs also contain memories. The act of photographing myself repeatedly brought forth remembrances of surgeries and falls, of other people’s stares and their reactions to me. Many of the photographs utter the unkind words or enquiries that are often asked without consent, catching me off guard, and sometimes shocking me into remembering that I was supposedly different from everybody.
But actually this is a falsehood. The truth is there is no such thing as the perfect body as society will have you believe. The body pictured here might just as well be yours with the same longings, desires, insecurities and abnormalities as mine. It’s just pictured a little bit differently.
All images are printed in the darkroom on 16"x 20" Ilford semi-matt warm-tone paper and toned in gold.
|This Might Be Your Body|
|Body Is Experiencing|
|Look At Me|
|This Body Is Just Strange|
|Thoughts of Venus|
All images © Claire Gilliam