Image: Andrew Jackson
Andrew has been working in residence at KWMC, photographing portraits of local women. His images were displayed as part of the Urban Portraits exhibition in May 2010, in a joint show with photographer Gina Lundy.
Andrew's Artist Statement
"Within my work, identity, or at least notions of identity, and the ways in which it is constructed, enacted and consumed, have been at the centre of my interest. In addition to this, I am drawn to the ways in which we read, connect or dislocate ourselves from the spaces and environments which surround us.
In the work produced, my attempt has been to construct a plurality of interpretation via both image and text, wherein the text element of the work creates an ‘environment’ that frames the photographs and provides a context (and juxtaposition) for the images to be read. The photographer Gary Winogrand once questioned the inability of photographs to really reveal anything more than just light on surface; perhaps in this sense the use of text is an attempt to counter this.
The original concept for this work was to examine the ways in which gender identity is entrenched within perceptions of working class identity. To, in this sense, explore this concept and then to counter the ways in which women within perceived working class environments are, as Dr Beverley Skeggs discusses, 'positioned in society by others'.
[According to Dr Skeggs], 'working-class women [are] stereotyped by the media as....single mothers or no-hopers. Such negative images [are] then often adopted by the real world… [whilst] working-class men [historically] often have a kind of heroic air…[for] working-class women [in contrast], femininity is strongly associated with stupidity.'
I decided to address this directly by producing images that sought to highlight and depict, upon the women photographed, the perceived weight and burden of the negative identities that others have chosen to impose upon them. [This has been achieved by] constructing and adopting a form of classical and indeed ‘empathetic’ portraiture, that would seek to hopefully disavow the perceptions which Skeggs had alluded to.
My original intentions for this residency were to focus more upon the relationship between the individual and their location, and, more specifically, attempt to focus on the questions 'to what degree do we define the spaces around us' and 'to what degree do they act to define us in the eyes of others'. [I aimed to do this] whilst creating an atmosphere where gender identity within Knowle West could be reflected and discussed.
It must be stressed though that this is an unresolved and, as such, an unfinished work that in truth is only the product of a month’s residency in a city which is not my own. I hope to be able to continue to explore and expand upon these themes in future works. As such, this time to conceive and develop ideas and new writing has been an enjoyable and beneficial period."
To see more of Andrew's work go to www.writtenbylight.com