“The Fabric of my Life”
I struggled a lot with this prompt, mostly because there were so many possible interpretations, but
also because I had no clue where to start. I started shooting pictures around the house — a place I’ve lived all my life, and therefore our relationship runs deep. I found myself most drawn towards patterns, both inside and outside. While there were discussions of photographing body parts and taking a more literal approach to the project, I was reminded of two separate projects from high school. One was called “Body as a Landscape” and the other consisted of merging several photographs into one. I decided that I wanted to combine both projects, and use the photographs of home along with my face, to represent the person that I have woven and constructed during my time here at home.
Aaron: My first reaction is to read the textures as part of a tapestry of personality with each pattern read as symbolizing something, e.g., tiger stripes for strength or drive, brick for solidarity or integrity, rough spots for imperfections or scars. Your hands on your face makes me think about the act of feeling those textures, and this combined with your facial expression – calm, accepting, contemplative – makes me think you’re accepting yourself, or someting along those lines. I do think the composition could be improved by having more space under your chin visible in the frame, perhaps by choosing a portrait rather than landscape orientation. I also wonder what this would look like with more contrast, or even in color?
Amanda: What a beautiful shot! The angling of your hands cups your face in such an aesthetically symmetrical way! I was quite confused about the textures as first, but after reading your Artist’s Statement, I was drawn in much more to look at each pattern and try to guess what the source might be. I do think that there could be more of a defined expression on your face – is it peace & rest from being at home? Thoughts of fond memories? It would be interesting to see you cover more of your body in these mixed textures as well – I think it would be particularly beautiful if you got shots of your arms or back with this pattern emphasized even more!
Jacquelyn: Really interesting! The title of your artist’s statement was perfect for your photo. My favorite aspect of your portrait was its use of different textures and images. To me, your portrait was a quilt – a collage of various fabrics pieced together to give you more depth as a person. One question I had was what each of these pieces of fabric meant; why were you specifically drawn to one texture versus the other? Which fabric do you identify with most? All in all, I really enjoyed your portrait; it was hard not to reach out and try touching your face!
Khatiti: I like the way that you interpreted this project! I think it is natural to tie a part of your identity to your home, especially since you’ve lived there your whole life. I also wondered about what the fabrics and textures meant specifically, but even without knowing the details, this photo expresses a lot. I also like your facial expression; it makes me feel a sense of serenity or comfort, the way that I would assume that your home makes you feel. I think that the overlay of the textures is just enough, and was done very well from the editing side. Great job!
Mary: I think your idea and your technique for this photo’s concept are really interesting and really strong. Also, the general photographic technique is nice and very clean. There’s a little bit of contrast lost in the areas with the textures overlayed, but that’s understandable. I wish that your expression were a little stronger. You look very tranquil, or maybe alseep. I would have hoped for an expression that represented you as confident, maybe staring into the camera. Since the idea is these things from your upbringing have helped you become who you are as an adult, I think it would have been nice to have a stronger pose, more confident or assured.