Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Costumed Self Portrait Series-Obeah








This piece, entitled Obeah, was made around 1990-91. The photos are actual self-portraits. I used the self timer on my camera and ran back and forth. The style of photos was inspired by photos I had seen of 1920's film actress Louise Brooks. In those photos, Brooks was wearing a black dress and a string of pearls. Her dress and her black hair cut in a sharp bob, disappeared against the black background. What pops out are her face, hands, feet and the string of pearls.

Obeah refers to the version of Santeria or Voudou that is practiced in Trinidad. I wanted the costume, which is made of galvanised wire to be somewhat formless yet able to be manipulated. I wanted the poses to suggest a kind of confidence, power and grace.

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