Portfolio Category - Portrait Awards 2014
My environmental portraits, of young individuals dressed in school uniforms, seek to create a complex body of work and provoke questions concerning identity, education, and class system. Each image exists as a single portrait within a series, a community of photographs. The subjects, dressed in traditional uniform attire, gaze in acknowledgment of the audience. Each young student stands within his or her domestic space, yet, there exists an awkwardness in the way each presents himself or herself. An overwhelming similarity exists within the physicality of the individuals, the colors and structure of the uniforms, and the sterile environments. They are so similar, yet distinctive. Inspired by the photographic works of Rineke Dijkstra, Tina Barney, and Catherine Opie, I create images questioning my personal ideas of education, family, and community.Ideas concerning portraiture are explored. What is a portrait? What is it to photograph another individual within their space? As an artist, a photographer, we are aware of the rules and structure concerning portraiture, yet there is also the element of chance, the intangible element. I believe the act of photographing to be the act of exploring, engaging, and gaining awareness.