“The curtained face exemplifies all the frailty of age. The panel’s sagginess further emphasizes the mental and physical deterioration that time has taken from this woman. The color—a circus-like, exaggerated orangey red feels like a cheerless attempt to brighten a defeated veneer along with the woman’s own futile make-up attempt revealed on her half-closing eyelid (perhaps prepared for the original photographer). There is an eerie sense of struggle in this image—all elements trying their best and yet what remains is a greying eye and a demeanor full of sorrow, perhaps loss.
The frozen curtain creates a distance, a wave that is not moving and a third wall that the viewer must break through to fully comprehend meaning. The photographer framed this moment perfectly, so that little was left to distract from intention, creating a dynamic ingress to the human toll or perhaps the bedraggled curtain of life.” – Alison Morley
“The beauty and sadness of this photograph juxtaposed in one frame exposes the conflict of a body that has been physically maltreated. Virtually weightless, she stands proud and seemingly validated. The white gauze binding her tiny breasts and puffy white skirt is a conundrum, conjuring a ballerina at once light and wondrous yet bound and frozen in time. The one bit of color is a red flower as if to say: “It’s ok, I am pretty!” but her tired face, though covered in make-up cannot playact. Her gentle long fingers, once beautiful look frail and exploited. The concrete wall gives one a sense of imprisonment, perhaps self-ordained. There is so much struggle in this photograph to look picture-perfect, a contract between photographer and subject and yet the reveal is undeniable— the toil to a woeful sense of perfection. It is an agonizing conjured look at the frailty of youth, dreams, desires —drained from this woman’s life. The image is a story in itself; questions remain unanswered and thus leave us wanting more.” – Alison Morley
“In Laura’s statement she describes the anthropological phenomenon of how a growing reliance on modern technology is dulling our senses, and in turn how she responds to this idea – using manmade materials, signifiers for materialism, to create suits that cover the human form, and placing them in the gorgeous natural environments that we’re increasingly dislocated from.
It’s a powerful concept, and one that she realises beautifully in this expansive lake scene. The lone, dejected figure pales in comparison to the vast body of water and rising mountains, an alien lost in the wilderness. No longer fit for his environment. And the suit is a gorgeous, tactile prop, refracting the colors of the scene and picking out the bright blue tones of a hidden sky. There’s an aching beauty to it – it’s a poetic, deftly observed image that begs to be seen in large format.” – Life Framer
“There’s a touching intimacy to Barrie’s tightly framed figure, knotted and vulnerable, the arm contorted behind his back, held uncertainly. The freckles are like constellations – a sky of stars defining a map across his back. ‘Flaws’ they may be, but they’re beautiful and defining nonetheless. It’s a tender, well-realised portrait.” – Life Framer
“Paul’s study of a figure in his intimate, personal space is rich with information – visual clues to a figure obscured and contorted and unknowable, almost lost among his possessions. I’m drawn to the contrast between the figure on the canvas – plump and proud – and its opposite – our subject, skinny and twisted. Paul dramatizes normality, creating a theatrical chaos – half ballet, half battle – that to me speaks of beauty, vanity and self-worth.” – Life Framer
“Claudia’s statement describes how she reflects on childhood memories through self-portraiture. Putting oneself in the frame is never easy, particularly when confronting painful experiences, but Claudia finds a distinctive voice through the art of contrast. In today’s climate one can’t help but think about ideas of domestic violence and attacks on the female body when viewing this image, but here those ideas are presented with vivid, cartoonish and exaggerated colors. The result is something that is troubling, but also playful and clown-like. It’s as if she’s commenting on the absurdity of the situation she, and many other women, find themselves in. As if she’s mocking it on some level and saying ‘yes, this is a problem, but no, it doesn’t define me’.” – Life Framer
“Annique confronts the fear of ageing head-on – her image is haunting and disturbing, and memorable for it. We see an old man lying down but she inverts him, and creates a void ‘above’, emphasizing a sense of two distinct spaces – one occupied and the other to be, of life and death, of being drawn up into the darkness, or perhaps pulled down into the emptiness. His face expression appears resigned but there is no comfort, and this is reflected in the austere, harsh concrete surroundings. I see it as a meditation on death; of dread, loneliness and decay. It is far from being a comforting image, but it’s an incredibly effective one.” – Life Framer
“Natalie satirizes the long history of portraits of women draped across chaises-longues, the idea that art should be largely created for the male gaze. Instead we see a male, embracing his femininity, vulnerable and voluptuous, mimicking the cannon of femme fatales. The scene is not wholly-unfamiliar, but somehow startling – a strong indictment of a culture rife with objectification. It’s a rebellious, playful and subversive portrait – conjuring questions of modern society through a beautifully simple, and elegantly executed idea.” – Life Framer
“There’s a wonderful quote by Arno Rafael Minkinnen, a photographer whose aesthetic has no doubt influenced Berber: “There is something about how close you get to the act of creation by walking around by yourself in some stretch of forest in Finland, with nothing on, looking for a photograph, climbing rocks and moving around like a monkey. Bared assed and just digging your toes into the soft earth, you really feel like you’ve been created.”
Berber channels this spirit, this buoyancy and desire to connect with nature to create a gorgeous naturalistic composition, but here bursting with color. We see woman and landscape in perfect harmony, twisting and rising upwards in unison, the delicate contours of her back reflecting the rolling form of the branches. It’s visually satisfying, pure and intimate – a wonderful, just so slightly surreal, contemplation on freedom and connection.” – Life Framer