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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Work In Progress Portfolio

For the current submission, I had to whittle down my images to just 18. Whilst the images below form the work in progress portfolio submission, the images not used are still very much part of the project and will appear in the full body of work. The images I chose to include were the ones that I deemed the strongest at this stage. This does not detract from the strength of the other images. I would have loved to have included all the images, but that was not possible at this stage.

I have chosen a square format for the overall submission as this does not detract from the images. The portraits are stronger in my opinion in this format as the eye is drawn to the person. The Oxford Dictionary (Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2017) defines a square as “fair”, “honest”, “straightforward”, “confrontational”, and “direct”. All of these are words I would apply to this body of work. The square also reduces the amount of up and down side to side motion of the viewer’s gaze. Instead, the viewer’s eye tends to move in a circualr motion around the image towards the centre of the photograph. This increases the engagement of the viewer with each portrait and helps them to interpret the image.

The work has been well received by my peers and tutors with positive and encouraging feedback. The aim of the sequencing is that the image of the mask conjures up an image in the viewer’s mind of the person they expect to see behind the mask. The reveal of the corresponding portrait reveals the truth. We are often surprised by the person we see. The words on the mask lead us to believe we know what the person looks like before we even see them. The assumption is based on our own experiences and emotions.

We are often surprised by the person we see. We had envisaged the person behind the mask in a particular way and are challenged by the person we see.

The viewer is able to relate to the words on the masks. We are all human and many of us have experienced these feelings. The final mask in the portfoli has so much written on it that it is the most powerful mask in the project. The amount of writing is shocking to the viewer, who lingers and engages with the mask for a long time. The final two portrait images are also powerful. The pain is evident and strongly displayed.

As a work in progress portfolio, I am very pleased with the overall effect and the sequencing. I am constantly amazed that I have been able to become a ‘confidante’ to my participant’s hopes and fears.


Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2017). square | Definition of square in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Dec. 2017].

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