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BA (Hons) Photography

Amy Clarkson

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Aristotle

The world we live in is full of things that distract us. We lead our lives following these distractions in the pursuit of happiness, yet very rarely take time out to find it within ourselves.

My work focuses on the internal search for happiness through a form of photographic meditation. The photographs were taken on a 5x4 pinhole camera allowing for a long exposure, where the sitter took their own photograph by pressing a flash sync lead in time with their breathing.

The subject in each portrait was asked to focus on something that was perhaps troubling them in some way, and to breathe in thinking of these things. When breathing out each time, they were told to release the thought, and replace it with a feeling of positivity at which point they should press the flash, which would not only create the image on the film, but also a bright light in the eyes of the sitter, which acted at as visual stimulus to the notion of gaining positivity.

The photographs have been hand printed in the dark room, a place that I find to be relaxing and cathartic, rather like the process of meditation. Additionally I wanted these series of internal reflections to become objects, as our emotions and thoughts often do not. The imperfections in each print are reflective in this sense of the unpredictability of our contemplations, the imperfections in our lives. However we are reminded by each print, not of this, but of the happiness that is inherent within ourselves, and our own ability to access it.

Amy Clarkson

Amy Clarkson

Amy Clarkson

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