We are all always in transition of some form but there are some stages in life that represent more meaningful or challenging transitions than others. I want to explore those transitions.
This first project looks at the challenges of transitioning from youth to adolescence and into adult hood by creating a series of formal portraits of the teenagers and young adults that frequent the skate park in my hometown. This location has served as a place to meet and engage with potential subjects, has provided a community connection for the project and served as a consistent backdrop that isolates the subjects and connects them aesthetically.
The subjects are a diverse but still close-knit group. They are emotionally connected and bound to each other by friendship, love and the shared experience of this transition. These portraits consider a range of themes and emotions many of which are sometimes only suggested or hinted at. Sexuality, masculinity and femininity, vulnerability, conformity, self-expression and self-confidence are all prevalent themes.
Shot over the course of several months and in spare moments at key points in the day, this has been a collaborative project. The group have welcomed me and been active participants in the creative process, in many instances helping me contract, set up and take the shots. This inclusivity has been the most rewarding aspect of the project and has afforded deeper insight into the subjects as the trust between us, and therefore their willingness to be photographed and explore their identity, has grown.
The project was conceived in B&W to reflect the latency of their emerging personality; their tendency to shy away from brightly coloured clothes that might otherwise alienate them from the group; the relative drabness of the structures in the park and the desire to let the subject’s expressions of emotion dominate the images.