My work seeks to address the way photography has been deployed to reinforce notions of gender in western society.
Writers such as John Berger, Laura Mulvey and Richard Dyer have correlated binary concepts of male/female with activity and passivity and looking and being looked at.
Through personal practice, an attempt is made to eschew this active/passive binary when photographing the male body. This has involved a variety of picture-making strategies that have been influenced and informed by constructionist conceptualizations of the body such as Bakhtin’s ‘carnivalesque’ and Judith Butler’s notion of gender becoming an ‘activity’, together with Michel Foucault’s concept of discourse, which has been central to the conceptualisation of the ‘queer theory’ research paradigm.
The photographic methods used in my practice are performative and engage with processes such as stillness, or repetitious bodily movement, in order to reveal an unconscious or unprepossessed state to the camera, with the aim of transcending patriarchal codes and ‘becoming’ something alternative, something ‘queer’.
In addressing the process of naturalization we might consider Judith Butler’s suggestion:
“If gender is something that one becomes-but can never be-then gender is itself a kind of becoming or activity, and that gender ought not to be conceived as a noun or a substantial thing or a static cultural marker, but rather as an incessant and repeated action of some sort”.
(Judith Butler – Gender Trouble)
Qualifications and training
- 2011 M Phil, Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales
- 1999 Senior Lecturer in Photography, Swansea Metropolitan University
- 2005 Bed Sheet Dreams, The Room, London
- 1999 A Different Point of View, MAC, Birmingham
- 1996 Dark Secrets.......Mortal Thoughts, Newport Museum & Art Gallery, Newport Gwent
- 1995 Hunks & Heroes, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
- 2008 Unreliable Truths, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea
- 2007 Sitting Room, AKI, Enschede, Netherlands
- 2007 Love Is..., Orleans House, Riverside Gallery, London
- 2006 Paradise, Tactile Bosch, Cardiff, Wales
- 2004 Identity, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown