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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Salon des Refusés

So, what didn’t make the cut?


Figure 1: Sutherst 2017

The numbering used in the table below refers to the Lightroom number which can be seen behind each image.

Image Number and Reason for Rejection

1 - Alternative image from the shoot chosen.  This edit does not fit with the rest of the portfolio.  A lighter edit was chosen for image ‘Untitled #3’. The body position doesn’t work in this version either.

2 - I decided that this was too literal an image to fit in the portfolio.

3 - This was removed after version 3 of the portfolio.  Initially I had included it as it fitted with the Cindy Sherman inspired image ‘Untitled #6’.  Reviewing the sequence of images, I realised that this image was just did not sit well alongside the others.  In fact it became distracting in the sequence due to the brightness of the image.

4 - This image did not make the any of the versions.  It was considered during the layout work on the wardrobe.  When compared to the rest of the sequence, the image stood out for the wrong reasons.  It looks too contrived within this body of work.

5 - The subject in this image is too comfortable in the pose.  He is actually trained in Samurai arts and this comes across in the image.  It is more of a true likeness than a performance when compared to the rest of the body of work.

6 - This image comes across as contrived and so did not make the final version.

7 – 12 -These 6 images were not included as they are now the starting point for a new body of work inspired by Mary Ellen Mark’s Ward 81 book.  They are strong images, but are exploring a dark topic which does not fit with the joviality of the remaining images.  For this images, it is not a total rejection, more of a ‘come back later’.

13 - This image has no real spark for me within the context of this body of work.  The pose is interesting, but the styling (apart from makeup) comes across as bland when laid out against the rest of the images.

14 - This image nearly made the cut. On reflection I did feel that it was quite an obvious construction.  The use of the guitar is great fun, but not that surprising, hence the cut.

15 - In my very early versions, this image was the final one in the sequence and was used to balance the rawness of the first image in the sequence (self portrait).  As I tried different sequences and sought the opinions of others, it became apparent that this image did not fit in the portfolio. With the exception of the self portrait, all the other images show more of the body of the subject.  This is purely a portrait and so does not work for me.

16 - I love this image! But it just does not sit harmoniously in the sequence.  It looks more stage-managed than the others and I was able to replace this with ‘Untitled #15’ of the same subject, but is a much stronger image visually.

17 - I had to make a choice between this image and ‘Untitled #12’.  I do think that this is a strong image, but it would have been the only black and white image in the portfolio, which made me think that it would not fit well and would stand out for all the wrong reasons.

18 - This was rejected because although there is an oddness about the image (she is wearing one ballet shoe and one trainer), the image does not include the subject’s face.  This makes it hard to view her performance, which after all is the intent of the work.

19 - When taking portraits of yourself, you cannot always see what the camera sees.  Here my t-shirt print really distracts from the image.  The concept is good, but the execution is poor on my part.

20 - Again, another image I love. I really had to detach myself from this image.  It is a good image, well executed, but it is so obvious in the composition.  This image has a place in my practice, just not in this portfolio.

21 - A great fun, odd image.  It just did not work in my sequence. Again, like image 16, I was able to replace this with ‘Untitled #15’ of the same subject, but is a much stronger image visually.

22 - This image received mixed reviews and comments from the people that were involved in reviewing my images.  One person felt that it would be stronger if he was climbing out of the frame, rather than having climbed through it.  Another voiced that they were unsure about the image.  For these reasons, it was rejected.

23 - Like image 2, this image comes across as too literal and expected to fit in the portfolio.

24 - Like images 2 and 23, this image comes across as too literal and expected to fit in the portfolio.

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