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Coursework 1 – Idea 1 Black and white obscured portraits

Khadija Ahmed Khadija Ahmed


Artist research

Khadija Ahmed


Francesca Woodman

Untitled

Francesca Woodman is best known for her black and white portraits of herself and female models, which are usually obscured by blurred movements and long exposure times. She took her life at the age of 22 in 1981. It has been suggested after looking at the Tate website that ‘Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings.’ In the photograph untitled Woodman appears in the center of the frame moving in a circular motion in a ghost like kind of state. The photograph was taken using a long exposure losing detail, particularly in her face. As with a lot of her work this is a key feature in Woodman’s work, which raises questions as to whether she wanted to remain unseen to the viewer, ‘her body seems to merge with its surroundings, covered by sections of peeling wallpaper, half hidden behind the flat plane of a door’. This again shows her determination to hide her identity and her face. It creates a sense of vulnerability and loss as if her presence seems to be disappearing. Khadija Ahmed


All of her images remain

monochromatic creating a sort of ethereal or ghostly feel. The photograph above creates a sort of heavenly effect with the sheets creating the effect of wings and her body floating or levitating upwards. It seems as if Woodman has jumped while she took the photograph, as if her body is being lifted upwards, towards heaven. She uses the abandoned warehouse to create the ethereal image. Francesca Woodman: From Angel series, KhadijaRome, Ahmed 1977


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Tono Stano The use of over exposure allows the photographer to partially hide the identity of the model. Taking this into consideration, I tried to do something similar with my photographs. I tried to remove the identity of my model and only leaving behind the shape of the her. Not only does this help to draw in the viewer but it also creates a sense of mystery but also honesty with nothing else coming between the model and the image. The overexposed white of the models body and the black of her eyes and lips and background all juxtapose against each other creating an image which seems ghost-like. The darkness of the eyes makes it hard for the viewer to look away, seeming almost hypnotic. White shadow

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Anastasia Korosteleva Anastasia Korosteleva is a contemporary photographer living in Russia, documenting the youth culture of today. The photograph above is part of the Girls series, documenting the hardship faced by the gay community in Russia. According to the Dazed Digital website, Korosteleva’s portraits are ‘an exploration of contemporary Russian youth today’ and a ‘reflection on LGBT rights.’

From the series ‘Girls’ The effect of the faces being melted came from the idea of lesbians being burnt as witches in the medieval times and also a way to hide the identities of the models. The way the models are holding each other creates a sense of vulnerability and fear, as if them holding each other will save themselves. Since the legislative ban on gay propaganda, societies attitude towards Khadija Ahmed the LGBT community.


From the series ‘Girls’

All the photographs in the ‘Girls’ series consist of the faces of the models being burnt out to hide their identities. It creates of sense of isolation and helplessness. Although they are using each other for comfort they still seem scared and vulnerable. Khadija Ahmed


Final outcome 1

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Final outcome 2

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Idea one evaluation My original intention of taking the initial photographs was to create a set of photographs which obscure the model completely in a creative way. Overall I think the initial photographs came out quite well, due to the lighting and composition which created a strong visual affect on the viewer. The lighter and darker tones contrasted well against each other, giving me a good set of obscured images. However, I was a bit dissatisfied with the developed images as I feel these were not as strong as the initial photographs and seemed a little flat. I had used acetone to burn out the face of the model to hide the identity of the model even further, I feel this technique didn’t work as well because some of the images were flat and subdued. I feel that with this first approach I was a bit stuck for ideas and didn’t push my imagination and boundaries to the maximum and I played it quite safe. However, I think the idea of burning the faces, which came from the artist Anastasia Korosteleva, had worked really well in some of them, bringing in a little colour as well. Francesca Woodman’s work helped me greatly in taking my initial photographs, as I knew I wanted to blur the whole body and face of the model but her worked helped me in getting the right composure and lighting. Also, Anastasia Korosteleva’s work really helped me in the development of my photographs as I had become a bit stuck in developing my work. Khadija Ahmed


Coursework 1 – Idea 2 Black and white obscured portraits

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Khadija Ahmed


Camilla Akrans Swedish photographer, Camilla Akrans is best known for her advertisement campaigns for fashion, receiving an award from ELLE for best photographer of 2006. She began shooting in 1999 and has a aesthetic that can be described as soft and romantic. She tries to connect with the model she photographs to try and portray their identities through the image. in the Berlin Fashion Journal website, Akrans states that she only wants to show ‘strong women’ in her work, wanting the women in her photographs to be the way she is perceived.

Kate

Khadija Ahmed


In this image, we see a strong woman, not shying away. Although she is obscuring part of her face with her hands, it does not make her look weak or timid but instead shows a playful side to her, authority as well. The monochrome palette keeps the central focus on the model’s face and draws attention to her eye and smile. The black background makes the audience feel as if the model has emerged from the darkness, bringing light with her. The monochrome palette creates an almost vintage look to the photograph. The photographer also focuses on the lines on the models hands and face to possibly highlight her emotions, her wrinkle free hands could suggest her young age and free spirit.

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John Stezaker John Stezaker is a contemporary artist, who lives and works in the UK. Stezaker appropriates images found in books, magazines, postcards and also faces of classic film stars and uses them as ‘ready-mades’. Through the use of the juxtaposition, Stezaker creates an elegant, visually stunning hybrid of film stars. The viewers attention is drawn straight to the point of over lapping. The main focal point Marriage I

create a new face. being the nose, in this photograph as this is where the two photographs come together to create a new face. Khadija Ahmed


The monochromatic colours gives the viewer a sense of vintage Hollywood and also a slightly ethereal feel because of the hybrid that has been created. The lighter tones on the top half of the image looks as if there is a light source shining above and creating a shadow on the bottom half of the image. This image, Marriage IV, is also similar to the image before, juxtaposition of a man and a woman's face. However, this image is not matched up correctly and emphasises the different faces and features. This could suggest the difference in men and women’s power and status and how different a man and woman can be, even in marriage. Marriage IV Khadija Ahmed


Bobby Neal Adams This is another visual artist I used in creating my developments.

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Charles Guo

Fashion image, unknown title Upon first glace, the image looks like a projection shoot, however, after a closer look you are able to tell that they are advertising big fashion brands. By having a model that is Khadija Ahmed nude, it allows the watches to be emphasised. Although the

Images are simplistic they are aesthetically pleasing. It could be suggested that the images of the watches were reflected on a nude model as so enhance the curves of her body and the watch. By having a nude model and plain background it stops the viewer from getting distracted by clothes and a patterned background. The projection of the watch on the nude model may suggest that beauty can be brought to a person through wearing the designer branded watch or even get you beautiful people by wearing it.


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My original intention was to create a set of photographs which partially obscure the model in an artistic way. Overall I think the initial photographs came out quite well, due to the lighting and composition, which help to create a strong visual affect on the viewer. I was a quite satisfied with the first set of developed images as I feel these were quite strong due to the juxtaposition of my initial images and I had used and Stezaker’s images. The contrast of the lighter and darker toned images create a set of aesthetically pleasing images. The light and dark images seem to show the healthy model in bright light and the homeless in a darker light, which is similar to how they live, in dark, dingy places.

However I feel that with the second set of developmental images , I was a bit stuck for ideas and didn’t push my imagination and boundaries to the maximum, playing it quite safe. However, I think the idea of using the model’s actual sister as a projection image worked quite well in obscuring the model and creating a ghostly feel. I was quite pleased with my screen print outcomes. The images were clear and I think having coloured paper and newspaper in the background helped in creating aesthetically pleasing prints. The contrast of the black and orange helps to draw the viewer in as the orange is similar to the colour of red, which is used as a warning colour. Khadija Ahmed


Coursework 1 – Idea 1 Black and white obscured portraits

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Valerie Belin

Untitled series

Visual artist link Khadija Ahmed


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Daniel Gordon Visual link to further development of images

Still Lifes, Portraits & Parts, 2010-2011

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I feel like the initial set of images came out strong and clear because of the lighting and composition. With idea 3, I didn’t stick to the coursework title completely as the developed and final images were not black and white, however they were slightly obscured and created visually pleasing images. Belin’s work helped me greatly in giving me an idea on where to start for a third idea. I think her work was aesthetically pleasing because it was crisp and clear, the slight movement in the image helps to draw in the viewer as its quite hypnotising. I tried following her work quite closely, however I didn’t change my model’s appearance to make her look more glamorous, like Belin.

I was quite pleased with my second set of developments as I think this approach really obscured my model. However, I would have liked to create a few more obscured collages if I had more time. I feel I was lost for time with this third idea.

Khadija Ahmed


Coursework 1 – idea 1 & 2