by Julian Flynn
All the self portraits on this page
were taken before my move to France in late 2008
and after the Exhibition 'In search of Lost Selves'
which was held at Leeds City Art Gallery in 2000.
This exhibition marked a break in my
self-portraiture - I wished to move on from the
experimental methods I had used in making these, and to
try the following new approaches:
The Life-Cast Self-portraits:
these negatives were made between Autumn
2002 and May 2005 when I had the use of a large format
camera. I had some 30-40 life-casts made of myself: one
of my whole head, several full faces, and many fragments
and distortions. I photographed these using the old,
dusty strip-lighting in the disused factory where I had
my darkroom, making full use of the camera's movements.
Inspired by the 1949 -50 nudes of Irvin
Penn, I have printed these by overexposing the
photographic paper and then bleaching it back in a
reducer. This gives them their peculiar look and
tonality (see further details in the 'techniques'
section of this web-site).
The Mirror Self Portraits:
with these I'm interested in the way four
levels of reality can be made to interact within the
photograph's frame - myself (represented by my hand), my
reflection, what's behind the mirror itself and what's
behind my own reflection in the mirror. These Mirror
Self-portraits are the closest I've managed to come to
doing 'straight' self portraits.
Combinations and Juxtapositions:
These consist of experimentations with
various groupings of photographs taken from the same
session (so that that the overall work has a sense of
unity and uniformity).