Last Saturday I spent the day shooting a new self-portrait series. It was quite a simple set up, red cloth, fake skull and a candelabra. It was a series inspired by a culmination of things from all corners of my awareness.
One of said inspirations is from a photography series “Portraits” by Belgian photographer Tim Tronckoe. Another, as I’ve stated previously is the music of Dutch metal band Within Temptation. Songs like “Our Solemn Hour” and “Hand of Sorrow” lend themselves brilliantly to these images, which have a certain medieval flavour to them.
Another inspiration for this series came from the medieval practice of reflection on mortality or to give it its official name “Memento Mori.”
Above: A collection of other works inspired by the practice of Memento Mori.
The titles of the majority of images in this series are titles of specific episodes from the gothic television series Penny Dreadful. One of my favourite television shows of all time (I’m still pissed they cancelled the show mid-way through season 3).
This series is different from my “Fantasy of Freedom” self-portrait series not just visually but in terms of technique.
Whereas FoF was more closely linked to my standard photo-illustration work “The Blessed Dark” is pure photography. This harkens back to a time (about ten years ago) when I was working as a freelance photographer. In the interim years I just naturally gravitated towards photo-illustration but it seems this past year I’ve been gravitating back again to more photography based art.
Albeit self-portraits as opposed to the client based photography I did in the past, but it’s definitely more of a challenge to photograph myself and turn it into art, both physically and mentally. We all have our insecurities and I’m no different, but this process of constantly “putting myself out there” is helping with my self-love, so it cant all be bad.
I hope you enjoy this series!