PRESENCE is a series of long portraits recorded immediately after an aquatic bodywork session.
What inspired me to do this project was witnessing my clients' reactions after each of my sessions. Having brought them to a standing position against the wall after a full hour's session so that they can gradually integrate the experience, they very often stay there for ten, twenty minutes or even longer sometimes. Quietly on the side, patiently waiting for them to open their eyes, I am always struck by the quality of their presence. It’s as if the face becomes a window within and through the moving gestures, their subtleties, even with closed eyes, you get a rare glimpse into them. It's as if all masks have been stripped off leaving a vulnerable and authentic self that they themselves may not even be acquainted with.
The experience of the session itself will always be different for each person. Some remark on the physical sensations, others have an emotional experience. But for the sake of this project, the session is simply a medium that allows the subject to slow down and immerse in a completely new experience. And as they then process and integrate that experience, we are able to witness, or follow, that journey into presence.
With the current obsession on self-portraiture on social media, the continuous updating and manipulation of our image that we show to the world, and the speed in which we process information, I think this provides a challenge to slow down and appreciate a different side of people, simple, unedited, in a moment of vulnerability.
We are currently shooting a series of portraits in London, aiming to exhibit the series within an art gallery space in London in 2017. If you'd like to take part in the project please get in touch.