4 photos taken on a disposable camera. 2 landscapes, 2 partner portraits. although these photos have no mapped out, intentional meaning behind them, i really like them. i didn’t realise how vivid the colours were going to be when i took these photos and questioned with myself over whether to edit them or not to make them less harsh, but decided not to as i think the intenseness of the colour represents the subjects well.
egg and soldiers
this is a pen drawing i did that i added colour to using photoshop. i wanted the image to represent the unnecessary fear caused by police and other authoritative figures in todays community. i purposely used this everyday, typical english breakfast as it is a familiar object that symbolizes the how common encounters with police are and emphasize the lack of absurdity that comes with outright injustice and “crooked” powers of authority.
this is not a suggestion of police hate and negative narrative on all society, but a representation of lawful people who are made to feel uncomfortable instead of safe around police and other figures, for what reason?
i had quite a few inspirations when creating this image, the main influences of this drawing were illustrator Sam Taylor and Alexsandro Palombo. These artists create cartoons that comment on society and some controversial topics that matter to them personally as well as to broad communities. this was my first attempt at combining a drawing with the editing tools on photoshop and i’m quite proud, not particularly of how the end result came out but that i persisted in trying out a new process i was unfamiliar with initially.
click below to view other variations of this drawing
body, a response to john coplans
after seeing a selection of self portrait photographs taken by john coplans, i was inspired to take some pictures of my own. i really liked how the pictures looked and how it was sometimes difficult to decipher exactly what body part was being shown, making me question how well we even know our own bodies. when taking the pictures i couldnt help but notice how, out of context the body resembles an amazing barren landscape, it reminded me of some pictures by carl warner.
John Coplans photos were mostly black and white and though i had originally intended for mine to be too, i had a sudden change of heart and decided to shoot in colour and see how i felt when i started to edit them.
instead of taking self portraits, i decided to use a model as i wanted more to explore than capture something specific. what i did discover is that i really like the idea of taking a body part out of context by focussing in on it and how it can somehow dehumanize the body.
i edited the hue and saturation to emphasize the idea and vibe of dehumanizing the body. the ultraviolet tones create an air of mystery, relating to not being 100% of what body part is being presented.
my goal with this set of photos is to make the audience think about what body part is being shown, of which gender and why they look sexualised in these photos when they are body parts often not related to the idea of sex. the question i pose is, does it matter that they are “unsexual” parts of the body, why would it change your view if they were sexual body parts? the ambiguity of these photos really accentuates the idea i’m trying to convey, but my announcement that there are no sexual organs in these photos, relieves tension and allows the audience to think about how these pictures would be different if there were, and whether the gender of them matters, rather than deciphering if they are explicit.
click below to view the entire set of images
pigs in a space
This collage revolves around the consumption of social media and its relationship with todays lack of interest in where we came from. the collage presents a selection of images that symbolize individually a few different exaggerations of society and media consumption, but as a whole my aim was to make audiences think about how they are connected in their point of view, rather than what they symbolize to me. i think people who see this will be able to roughly understand what themes i am trying to convey, i have tried to dramatize them to assist this. for example, giant burger in Zuckerbergs hands symbolizing greed. as a society we invest our time daily to participating in these social acts via the internet but are not harnessing the interest we have to create or explore further. I feel i am neglecting the people who pioneered the techniques and ideas we use to function today and know more about media hot shots than great inventors and creators that built our foundations. This collage represents my personal idea that like a fork to food, social media should be used as a tool, to help consume knowledge, not to be consumed themselves.
first experiment with photography, taken with pinhole camera and developed by myself in dark room, at the school photographed. i left a large wonky border because i wasn’t confident enough to attempt to make a neat centered one and did not remove it because i feel it relates to the clumsiness of the rest of the photo and the fact this was taken very unprofessionally with a tin can by me of my school.
norah b portrait
this collage was inspired by the style of the famous liz taylor portraits by Andy Warhol. i saw one of them in the tate modern recently and thought that the minimalist detail of her features express so well how much of an idol she is and that her face is so iconic it can recognised by simple shapes.
I decided to create this collage of artist Norah Borges as she interests me so deeply. I wanted to present her as if she was a well known figure by all - recognisable even with minimal detail, as i feel she should be.
after tedious searching for a good photo of her on the internet, i eventually settled for a blurry picture that showed her face from a downward angle (not what i would have preferred to represent this woman!). I drew a version of this picture onto a4 paper and divided it into sections, labelling them lightest to darkest in terms of shading, to assist when i began placing colour paper. i used tracing paper to cut out the sections i needed from matte and glossy sheets of catalogues and antique magazines. I tried to use interesting textures to create some detail to the colours and bold patches rather than to her face which purposely has a lack of. I chose to keep most of the colours fairly monotone in their feel as i felt the detail in them stood out more, creating contrast and defining her features.
recreation of illustration
this is an illustration originally by Norah Borges that i re-created using gel pen and then washed with pink and yellow watercolour. this is outright plagiarism on my behalf but after researching Borges and learning of her unfair lack of recognition compared to her renowned brother, writer Jorge Luis Borges, i wanted to tribute a piece of her own work to her. her drawings are soulful and passionate and by duplicating my favourite illustration of hers, i made it possible to have a mini Borges in possession and celebrate her talent and life. i respectfully tried to re-create this accurately to feel connected to her personally and hopefully spread some awareness about this woman and her work. i hope that one day she will be as well known and celebrated as her brother!
About Samara Willis
I am an 18 year old girl from London, UK who aims to explore and provoke ideas about how we distinguish what is acceptable in modern culture and the role morals play in art and media. Also create illustrations that are usually intended for greetings cards or other small products. Fond of collage, sketching and photography, I have not yet found a medium to explore in its entirety so continue to experiment with various styles, techniques and materials for now.
disclaimer : all works and concepts shown are entirely my own unless stated otherwise.