So this is a little bit of a different flashback Friday post. I’ll be going through some old self-portraits and explaining them a little bit further. In the next few weeks there will be more posts like this so don’t forget to check back next Friday.
The first image that I will be explaining in the short series is an image that I named ‘The Manipulation’ – You can view in better quality on my FLICKR.
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through dishonest, misleading, or even derogatory tactics.
The photo was highly influenced by Brooke Shadens blog post ‘Opinions are not fact’ and the Oscar Wilde quote ‘Be yourself because everyone else is taken’.
I created this image because at the time I felt manipulated. I cannot remember the exact situation I was in, but I remember feeling extremely vulnerable to the fact I was being manipulated by someone close to me. I was living it every day without knowing. I know to this day that I didn’t have the strength to stand up for myself. During this time, I remember feeling so frustrated. I isolated myself from the manipulative behaviour because I just didn’t understand how I could resolve it without just taking my self out of the situation altogether. This probably wasn’t the best idea because it made me feel lonely and incredibly unenthusiastic about life. I wanted to get out, move on and ignore everything that had happened. But I couldn’t. Until the day I decided to photograph this concept. After it all made sense, I was able to express myself through the emotions that I was feeling and understand the manipulative behaviour that I had been put through.
I felt rejuvenated.
As I go through life (maybe some of you will resonate) I cannot process emotions without closing in on myself and studying them until they cannot be analysed anymore. I do this so that I can react in a way that I feel is fair and justified, including all the pro’s and con’s. This helps me from being irrational and loose. It is just coping mechanism of mine. By shooting my emotions, it enables to me to process visually how I feel. I’m almost projecting each situation into a still, visual image so that I can file it away in my brain. I have a mental library of all the images that I have taken, and how each image helped me understand the mechanics and emotive language stirring in my skull.
The image was taken in my bedroom in the flat I lived in, in London a few years ago. I took it with natural light with the window just to the left of me. The room was extremely small and compact which added to anxieties. I wanted to create a doll like appearance, the jewels are stuck on in a way that they feel unable to move and not flexible. The hand then added to the process of the changing shape of my face, the manipulative behaviour of the counter part. The hair was designed to look crazy and almost mane like, this was to represent the undying wild emotions that I was going through.
The next images were outtakes from the shoot, however still remain a process of how manipulated and mislead I was extremely sensitive too.