“Each of us, as Whitman writes, does ‘..contain multitudes’. Contacting the jostling crowd of inner selves, giving them a chance to speak and to act, can greatly enrich our lives.” (Julia Cameron, “The Vein of Gold” page 87)
In Inner Selves I have created five characters – Performer Pete, Judgmental Jack, Nervous Ned, Furious Frank and Rebel Ray – to explore the “jostling crowd of inner selves” we all possess. I have used the genre of self-portraiture and deliberately chose characters I know are part of my personality but rarely seen by others. In the work I show each character in front of a crowd, a literal and metaphoric representation of the judgment we fear when we let these inner selves out.
I begin the series with an image that represents the jostling crowd of inner selves and my five characters are hiding within the crowd. The final image portrays a growing acceptance of these characters without the fear of judgement as their existence has been acknowledged. I want Inner Selves to invite the viewer to reflect on their own inner selves and to encourage the acknowledgement and acceptance of them.
Each image began as a photograph before being manipulated in Photoshop to produce prints reflecting the vision I held for each of the inner selves. The artistic challenge was in self-portrait making and using Photoshop to tell the story through combining multiple images. I used obvious layers and rough selections to indicate that inner selves can be poorly defined unless they are examined. I also wanted to reflect that as humans we all have imperfections.
An outcome of this project was further development of my artistic and storytelling skills in photography. Also, there was fun in creating the characters suggesting more work on this theme may be possible in the future.