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Sarah Clementson

Attraction

“It is possible to reveal beauty simply by calling attention to a human face, or by showing relationships between people.” – Robert Adams, ‘Beauty in Photography’


This is an exploration into the themes of beauty and attraction. The notion that we are subconsciously attracted to partners with a similar appearance to ourselves has become more widely accepted than the familiar 'opposites attract' theory. My intention isn’t to prove or disprove either concept, but to photograph and present patterns of similarities and differences, comparisons and connections. The completed project consists of two series which work both separately and in conjunction to the other.

There is a uniqueness and intrigue in the attraction between the partners in a relationship. A beauty removed from media ideals, a beauty reflecting deeper connections and understanding. The portraits attest to identity and thus are concerned with the recognition of this within the relationship. Comparisons are drawn between the two partners, resulting in a shared identity and creating a narrative.

I have purposely removed the subjects from any usual context and established a direct gaze with the viewer. The psyche beyond the portrait indicates that the longer the viewer looks at the features the less familiar the face becomes. The viewer starts to notice more, the study begins to reveal typically overlooked details, leading to a deeper reflection on the unobserved. We are given a glimpse behind the features, allowing the images to transcend the single instant.

The questionnaires collated represent each person I have photographed. The names throughout have purposely been made anonymous, as the idea isn’t for the viewer to link names to faces, rather for an individual perception and intrigue to be created. The research is presented in pairs; representing the partners of each relationship, giving an incite into individual attractions, opinions, ambitions and how these relate to their partners.



Sarah Clementson
May 2004