Chimera (2009)Category: Photographic Art
Photomontage – Series of 9 (Parcel paper, nylon thread, gicleé prints)
Image size approximately 102mm x 150mm
The family album – one of the most established and sentimentalised collections of photography we use culturally today. It’s significant that the subject matter we manifest onto their tenderly thumbed pages has little changed for generations. From the pioneers of Talbot, through to the deluge of our photographs we share through social media today, the people we hold closest to us are the one’s we choose to photograph and document for posterity. With photographic albums carefully curated edits of the moments and people we love, the delicacy of the family album is in the ephemerality of what their component photographs capture as much as the memories that bond their users to them.
A family portrait, for example, proudly printed, replicated and circulated to all the family, that on it’s surface looks like any cheery snapshot should do, until you examine the expressions on it’s subjects faces. This subtle dissension, once noticed, changed any past regard of this photograph forever – I turned instead to other family photographs around it to see what other slips had sifted through. Over time, the family in these photographs diverged and reformed, though the carefully constructed albums remained the same. What happens then to a collection of photographs when the sentiment and relationships that govern them change?
Using primary sourced photographs, Chimera is a body of work exploring the distortion of memory and sentiment as direct consequence to social changes outside of the family album. Made through the crude deconstruction and reconstruction of original photographs, each montage’s contrasting imagery never perfectly aligns or imparts a whole narrative, creating new connections and compositions in their design. A Frankenstein’s monster, a Chimera of disparate parts, these images have been repurposed to show the conflict that resides within.