CONTEMPORARY IMAGE-MAKERS PAVING THE WAY FOR A NEW GENERATION.
Susan Barnett explores the T-shirt’s power to tell personal and political stories about who we are, and who we want to be. “The project is about identity and perception because people are telling us what their passions are, their hopes, their dreams, their political leanings, the bands they like. These are all things that are part of their personality and part of their character.”
Favour Jonathan celebrates Afro Hair through Passport pictures. Her ongoing series A Statement of Pride juxtaposes the formality of photo identification with striking and intricate braided hair styles in honour of her Nigerian heritage. “We’re living in a time when black people are starting to see the beauty in our own hair; you get to a certain age and you ask yourself: ‘why am I buying chemicals to damage my own hair?’ There are so many natural hairstyles out there and it’s important to teach our daughters and our sons that they are beautiful!”
Sam Contis’ series Deep Springs speaks to the idea of community and the social self. Her images were made in a remote desert valley east of the Sierra Nevada. The work centres on a small, all-male liberal arts college, founded in 1917. Contis’ subjects are pictured at a moment in their lives – the early college years – that has been typically understood as a time of coming into one’s adult self. The college and its surroundings provide a stage on which Contis explores the construction of myth, place, and masculine identity.
Sofia Borges’ work is set in established, familiar environments: museums, zoos, aquariums, archives, among other institutions. Her perspective on the venues touches upon a sense of artifice and contrivance in how our understandings are formed. The masks and sculpted figures in Borges’ pictures must stand in for entire epochs and peoples that came before, and prompt us as viewers to consider how we understand our present reality.