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Friday, 29 April 2016

Jessica Hardy: 'These are all fictions of me'

Next up from the Documentary Photography course at the University of South Wales is Jessica Hardy with her project, The Running of the Tap. 

This project is very much in progress. It was partly inspired by the work of Laia Abril, with references to Rosy Martin and Jo Spence (who Jess wrote in her final paper - the link between research and practice coming good ), but most of it is coming from Jess's own experience with bulimia. 

It's an intensely personal project, with words from diaries, from school year books, reflections on former relationships and friendships, both uplifting and toxic all coming into play. 

Those elements and those words are still waiting to be resolved (which is difficult because they are quite brutal words), but the images relive key chapters from Jess's life, chapters that connect to the development of her bulimia and her ability to confront it through its causes. 

This is Jess's Statement:

‘Through the medium of visual reframing we can begin to understand that images we hold of ourselves are often the embodiment of particular traumas, fears, losses, hopes and desires’ (Spence, J, 1988) 

Recreation of memories allow one to reach a deeper understanding of themselves by exploring their thoughts and feelings attached to each moment. I now presently have Bulimia, an eating disorder that involves purging after eating. I believe that this could be linked to my past experiences, so through using the technique of recreating memories within photography I learned to help myself understand and accept what has happened to me to move on from it. After constructing my past selves I then worked with creating my present selves to understand where I am now in my life and again try to gain an understanding and acceptance of who I am.

‘These are all ‘fictions’ of me – as are all photographs. Each shows different ways of ‘seeing’ myself.’ (Spence, J, 1988)

Rosy Martin writes: ‘By acknowledging aspects of myself and my past, which I might otherwise hide, or see as my ‘shadow’ side, I have freed myself from internalized restrictions and oppressions, and have come to accept myself as I am.’ (Spence, J, 1988)

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