These selections were made by Elizabeth Orcutt, an artist working with photography, currently making self-portraits as part of a PhD. Elizabeth also works as a lecturer at Falmouth University and has had an earlier career as a picture editor.
Alexandra Davenport makes images that are intriguing and compelling. Here are works, films and photographs, that index the intersection of the self, its execution and its description. As art historian of performance, Jonah Westerman says, the images sit "snugly on either side of a temporal and ontological divide: the live act on one side; its representation on the other" (in BAKER, Simon. 2016. Performing for the Camera. 01 edition. London: Tate Publishing: 223).
With an early training in dance, Alex graduated from the London College of Communication in 2013. She currently has work in the Museum of London's London Nights exhibition (open till November).
In recent practice, Alex has been researching hysteria, particularly what is omitted from the photographic account. Working with the archive of the photographically notorious mental hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, she noticed the hinted presence of the hospital staff as they presented their patients for the camera. She says, arms appeared cropped by the frame but, "acting as apparatus to hold, support and manipulate the bodies in place". To be Confirmed: Exercises in Self-Doubt will be installed as part of Alex's MA Photography Show at The Royal College of Art in June.
Trix Carver's project was made in collaboration with people living with a brain tumour. The approach came from a chatting to a friend, and the portraiture was made 'in conversation'–a dialogue with the sitter became the key to visually describing the experience and "the social effects of ... an invisible illness".
With its roots in participatory practice and the countrywide photo cooperatives that sprang up in the 1970s, this photographic tradition considers the ethics of portrayal and respect for the sitters' struggles. It is heartening to encounter more and more often photography that so explicitly places the experience of the subject at the centre of the image-making.
A postgraduate of Goldsmiths (Photography: The Image and Electronic Arts 2017), Trix co-founded the South Bank Collective CIC, where she worked as a producer and photographer and her work is still represented. She works as a stills photographer and studio assistant at an eyewear design company in addition to working on illustration commissions.
Talk Me Through It is an ongoing series.
Becky Warnock is another practitioner who is acutely aware of the ethics of image-making. A visual artist and activist, her methodology takes into account the ethics of portrayal from the perspective of her collaborators and her work actively questions the tropes that are often circulated by NGOs. She says, "I am passionate about social justice and using the arts as a platform to stimulate dialogue and exchange." Her graduation work points to the politics of photographic 'othering' and privilege.
Since graduating, with MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the London College of Communication, in 2017, Becky has continued to develop work with these themes in mind. She has collaborated with Photofusion (where she is Community Programme Manager), PhotoVoice and Olive Branch Arts.