Susannah Douglas

We all have an image of ourselves eating an ice cream at a birthday party.  If not we recognise the form. These photographs provide the evidence for the construction of our personal narratives. The powerful desire for unique moments.

But what do we do with this desire, based upon values deriving from the capture or representation of something unique, when we live in a culture built upon the ability to repeat? A culture where mass (re)production guarantees consistency, where to cut, paste and copy is only two clicks of one hand? We sift through a flood of representational images which are portrayals of conventions rather than evidence of the content they purport to show

Sourcing photographs from the internet that play into familiar tropes – from the team group shot to holiday snaps –small interventions are applied, referencing familiar photographic techniques-cropping, repetition and mirroring.  These are re-created as detailed pencil and ink drawings on paper, limiting the scale of the works to that used in domestic printing. Through selection and grouping of the found images attention is drawn to the conventions we unconsciously play into in our everyday life. How these ideals aspire to the unique yet also promote the generic.

There are multiple levels of play on originality at work as the inherent nostalgia of the amateur photograph is unpacked. The fragility of the drawn images complicates the relationship to originality whilst maintaining the desire for the unique hand-crafted work.

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