We are 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 project looks at the challenges of transitioning from youth to adolescence and into adult hood by creating a series of formal and candid portraits of the teenagers and young adults that frequent the park in my home town. 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, gender identity, vulnerability, conformity, self-expression and self-confidence are all prevalent themes.
Shot over the course of several years 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.
Volume One was shot on medium format film and 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.
Volume Two is ongoing, shot in digital either at 50mm or 35mm and is being created in colour. This reflects my growing understanding of these individuals.