During my MA I discovered the work of American Street photographer Vivian Maier. I was struck by the similarities between her self-portraits in shadow and reflection and the self-portraits I had been taking for a number of years. We seem to share a love of photographing ourselves looking, perhaps sharing a need to see ourselves belonging to a wider world . In this exploratory series of paintings and collages I used elements from her photographs to try to represent the taking of a self-portraits from three positions: Interiority – the desire to capture a representation of self that one can refer to in the future; Connection – the moment of making the image in the present when interior and exterior become one; and Exteriority – the way the moment looks when looking from the outside and from the past.
In Vivian Maier: Exteriority, Collage I placed the figure of Vivian Maier into the background of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” as I contemplated the ways we attempt to understand Vivian Maier’s work through existing cultural narratives. This led onto a series of small collages “Contemplation 1-5” of isolated figures.