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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Next Steps

Having resolved this body of work, I am off in a slightly different direction as the next module begins.

Picking up on comments made when I presented the naked portrait a few weeks ago, that I photographed the subject in the same way as a gay man would have done, I have decided to investigate this further.  What truly makes the image take with a gay gaze?  Will I feel like a voyeur in my work?  I have already booked in a female art nude shoot and several male art nude shoots.  I am not interested in body shape, size, age or ethnicity.  I am purely interested in how I photograph these images and whether the gaze of my work alters as I become more comfortable shooting the naked body.  I will be considering the work of female photographers of this genre -Vivienne Maricevic and Dianora Niccolini, as well as male photographers such as Rankin and Jeffery Silverthorne whose approaches will introduce new dimensions to my work.  I will also explore the work of Soraya Doolbaz, an Iranian-Canadian woman who describes herself  as a professional penis photographer.  Artists such as Duncan Grant will also feed into the contextualisation of this work.

I am also going to revisit the work of Mary Ellen Mark, Ward 81. I am planning to further explain mental health issues and treatment through staged portraits. The work of Julia Fullerton-Batten, amongst others, will form a starting point for my research into staged work.

My final area that I would like to explore further over the next few months builds on my current body of work.  I have been pleased that some of my images have an awkwardness and oddness about them.  Using contextual research on Justine Kurland, Diane Arbus and Ryan McGinley,  I aim to produce images that portray awkwardness and uncomfortable poses.

There are exciting times ahead and although this is my current thinking on the next steps, I am fully aware that things may change as I progress through my research and experimentation.

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