Body image experiments

By June 3, 2015Journal, Musing
Madison Mclerie from Hug the Ground

I’m currently experimenting with different things with different people. After my film noir nude session, I got to meet Madi from Hug the Ground.

Madi’s current work involves woman’s body in its raw form – including fat rolls, body hair in places we don’t get to see much in public. Provoking? Yes, someone commented when I showed her work. Personally, I didn’t find her work provocative. When I first saw her work, I had goose bumps and I just had a strong urge to meet the talent behind the amazing artwork.

I told Madi before I met her that I’d love to photograph her. What I didn’t realise at the time was that she wasn’t going to wear much (in fact, nothing at all) during the shoot. Also, the projection of space image was her idea – acquisition of mother of all projector was my responsibility and huge thanks goes to Caspar who graciously lent me his Sony Bravia projector. While she was moving in front of the projector, I was really an observer the whole time and I captured what I thought would make good frames.

Madison Mclerie from Hug the Ground Madison Mclerie from Hug the Ground Madison Mclerie from Hug the Ground Madison Mclerie from Hug the Ground

After this ‘Space set’, we shot two more and images got more interesting each time.

Will these make some great pieces of art work? Probably, not. Is this ground breaking? I do not think so. Oh boy, I had a great time though. I also have a huge respect for this young woman (half my age and just became legally adult).  Her drawings are brutally honest and heart ranching. Her Photo Booth project is sexier than some seriously sexy porns. Her work is getting recognised – some published and some will be exhibited.

What Maid’s work has that others don’t seem to have is emotional connection. She may be young and naive still. People may turn their nose up for all that nudity. However, what I know for sure is whatever medium with which she chooses to pursue her art, she would be able to survive as an artist. By that I mean, making a living from it. That’s because she has the ability to evoke strong emotion with her work. That I believe will get her far. I hope I am not wrong and I hope I get to do just that with my own work. :D

After this post went up I received the following comment via Facebook. I thought I should share with you.

Nelly Reffet said

Interesting work, Songy. I suffered from anorexia and bulimia for a very long time (respectively 2 years and 9 years) and I had a very distorted image of my body. I basically only saw it as a burden, something that was trapped to my mind, that was slowing me down, a big ball of flesh I hated. So… I decided to model nude… It became a job eventually that got me to travel a fair bit and earn a living. But more importantly, it became a massive step in my journey towards acceptance and self-esteem.It took me way more than one session to familiarize myself with my body: how it looks for real, how it could be beautiful and gracious at times, and completely unbalanced and awkward and not elegant at all at others. It took me time to accept seeing photos of me without hating both photos as such and the body on it; it took me time to look at the photos and like (some of) them, even if I didn’t like the body on it; it took me time be more indulgent towards my body; it took me time to find my body beautiful on paper; it took me time to feel present during the session, totally connected to my body, embracing it, not trying to escape, to hide, to be elsewhere. The progress was slow but life changing. I whole-heartedly encourage women with low self-esteem and body image issues to work on their problem this way. xxx

Songy Knox

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