What is your relationship to the subject in the series?
The subject of the photographs is my wife, Helen Kocis Edwards. Helen and I collaborated on the project, including on the development of the concept and on aesthetic decisions. Helen is herself a visual artist. While I was responsible for the photographic decisions (for example the camera settings and lighting), all other decisions were made cooperatively.
Why did you choose to photograph your subject over an entire year?
Each morning we noticed that Helen got out of bed with a different but magnificent hairdo. It was as if, during each night, Helen was visited by an eccentric hair stylist who created a unique, whimsical hairdo. Being artists, we naturally thought we should document the experience.
How did your relationship with the subject change over the year?
My admiration for Helen grew and grew over the course of the year. She was remarkably cooperative. She would get out of bed every morning with me, and allow herself to be photographed immediately afterwards without any kind of adjustment or make-up (in a studio with strobe lights).
This was not an easy thing to do, particularly on cold, dark weekend mornings. The closer we came to the end of the project, the more I appreciated the sacrifices Helen made.
What role does digital manipulation play in your work?
Digital manipulation played only a small role in the project. The photos were deliberately intended to be utilitarian (like mug shots), a simple record of each morning hairdo. As such, only a small degree of manipulation was applied to each image.
However, at the end of the project, Helen and I decided we should also attempt to capture the year’s worth of portraits in a single image. Naturally, this required considerable manipulation.
We tried different techniques, including layering and aligning all 365 portraits on top of one another, as well as producing a digital animation. In the end, we decided to produce a single image using consecutive slices of each of the 365 portraits.
How do you expect viewers to respond to '365'?
We don’t expect people to have a single or particular response to the project. Over many years of practice, we’ve learned that no matter the message or story we’d like to convey, people's responses will always be novel and unexpected.
Our initial response to the project was, and still is, one of amusement at the wondrous things her hair could do. In addition to that, we thought the series developed into a little narrative, delving into Helen’s state of mind and revealing something of her character. However, those were our own personal reflections; we know and expect others will respond differently.
Interview by Nate Warburton & Caitlyn Hurley
Unity - Dates and Times
16th May 2018 - 26th May 2018
Opening Event - May 18th 6pm-8pm
Wednesday - Friday 11:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday - 11:00am - 3:00pm