I’ve always been really interested in identity and exploring this concept in a way that makes us think about ourselves from a different perspective. I aim to evoke a sense of mystery and maintain a characteristic of concealment. When I was in varsity a lot of my conceptual work spoke about identity with the intention of not revealing the persons actual identity. My goal was to reveal how we put our own set of ideals or preconceived notions onto someone before we have even give ourselves the chance to get to know them, both on a superficial and deeper level. This idea has followed me throughout the years and I find myself unintentionally coming up with new ideas to express this. I am drawn to portraiture and more so the mystery in it. Now, more than ever, the ideas are flowing into this concept and I think it’s because on a daily basis we are bombarded by selfies and people posting their lives on various sites for the world to see. I am quite fascinated by it and I find it rather beautiful in a strange way. People openly putting themselves out there for the world to see, is quite a brave and vulnerable thing to do. I think it comes from our inherent need to be connected to each other.
Having said all of that, I miss the mystery. We give too much away too easily. I want to feel like I’m exploring and discovering someone or at the very least something new. I guess this pertains mainly to my art. I want to maintain the mystery to force people to use their imaginations. I want people to come up with their own stories and use their creative side to full in the blanks and those things I choose to not reveal in my work.
When I photograph my subjects I tell them I won’t be getting their eyes in the shot. The sense of relief that washes over them is interesting. By choosing to not reveal their eyes, I effectively take away that sense of identity. The eyes are the windows to the soul. We’ve all heard this a thousand times before, but more so now than ever, I have lived tha