The Right to Opacity
Updated: Sep 20
I've been really caught up with unrelated stuff: my health, BRMTWN CO x The Grime Archive, and my proofreading work. And Philosophy.
But I've done it. My final draft.
I'd been thinking a lot about numbers since going to Lina Iris Viktor's exhibition at Autograph. I'd also bought some posters and a book of her work, and I'd been looking back through that too. She's definitely present in my work at this point.
But she was saying how numbers are very important to her work (she had 48 limited edition books available because she'd made 48 pieces, for example). And she uses 3s, 7s, and 11s a lot. It had me thinking.
I looked at my family. There's 7 of us altogether. Most of us are born on a day that ends in 7. 7 is the number of perfection in the Hebrew alphabet. I instantly gravitated to this number. So I decided to have 7 portraits instead of [did I even decide how many I was gonna do beforehand? 3? 10? 1,000,000?]. And why not shoot us while I'm at it?
Anyway, I managed to actually capture this process. I filmed the shoot, edit, and framing. Unfortunately, I had a doctor's appointment regarding stress-related symptoms (let's not say illness anymore), and it clashed (*ran over) with my studio training session. By the time I got there, it was too late to join the workshop, and was advised to do the next one. Haha.
So I held the shoot in my dining room, which wasn't too bad because all my subjects already lived there and knew what it was. Then I carried out both edits and framed the portraits at Margaret Street.
I used an LED on a tripod and a reflector instead of flash heads or arris. I had my DSLR on a tripod as well, and used a 50mm lens to capture the images. Later in post, I removed the backgrounds, product placement, some blemishes and aesthetic "distractions", the eyes (of course)
Jaz Morrison's 'Grace' [Draft] (2019)
Eugh, look at the stress breakout on my face.
With the way some of the eyes looked jagged (it was hard to remove the eyes smoothly because there was a lot of shadow in the image), I knew it was a good decision to have the gold border drawn on afterwards. The eyes looked a lot smoother once I'd applied the gold ink to the portrait.
- Jaz Morrison's 'Discord' [Draft] (2019)
- Jaz Morrison's 'Sleep' [Draft] (2019)
- Jaz Morrison's 'Imagination' [Draft] (2019)
I've now moved them into the actual exhibition space now. Risk assessment completed as well.
This has been a very interesting and rewarding experience for me. And incredibly stressful.
With Likkle and Tallawah, I didn't really have a deadline. I was just exploring freely, and without as strong of a theoretical or academic background. This has really taken me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. I'm grateful for it.
Until the next project?