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I grew up with a father who was a passionate photographer. I have fond early
memories of him examining photos in the family album with me and analysing
them for their composition and exposure merits. It helped to have a firm technical
foundation in photography from an early age.
I’ve always been fascinated with art, film and photography, and telling stories
with images. In my photographs I like to break down the rigid framework
and definitions of gender and sexuality. Some of my female cast sport
moustaches, some of my male models lounge languidly gazing into hand
mirrors like Velazquez’ Venus. I shoot both men and women for my
website shotwithdesire.com – my choice is more based on something
unusual or unique about that person that inspires me to imagine them
in a certain role. And okay, women dressed as down ‘n’ dirty bandits
wrestling in the dirt really does it for me.
My first photography was documentary photography of protests and
punks and now I like to recreate scenes from history, folklore or mythology
and retell them. I’m enthralled by historical tales of women who flouted
the social conventions of their era, often masquerading as men to do
so. I love playing with notions of passive/active femininity/masculinity
and other binary terms. I’m fascinated with old vintage sepia photos of
that world long gone, the first part of history to be recorded on film. I love
reading about the Victorian Age and their construction of sexuality and
how much bearing it has on western ideas of sex and relationships today.
It’s not just the late 1800’s I capture. I like taking viewers on a journey into
another world, another time or place, as far from reality as possible, I live in
a dreamland. I used to draw, paint and mess around with video a lot but now
photography is what I live and breathe.
The Stand and Deliver series was shot on black and white film. I spent a whole
summer a few years ago printing them in the dark room and hand tinting them
sepia, and then hand painting. I became allergic to the chemicals and now work
digitally quite a lot. They are limited edition prints, but I’ve scanned them in and they
are available for viewing on my website.
Visit shotwithdesire.com and myspace.com/shotwithdesire
SHOOTING FROM THE HIP
CAT O’NINE TAILS KNOWS HER WAY AROUND A
CAMERA AND ISN’T SHY ABOUT WORKING IT.
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