Tuesday 22 April 2014

Artist Profile: Imogen Crew

Artist Profile: Imogen Crew

Coming out again and again, having to answer inane questions about how you have sex – these are just a couple of the issues facing young lesbians and photographer Imogen Crew has had her fill of them.

In her stark but impactful black and white photographs, she portrays a teenage girl, faceless, bare chested, nipples taped over, questions and exclamations scrawled across her front. In some, she appears resigned, humiliated, uncertain maybe. In others, she scrubs frantically to erase the insults.

Taken when she was just 16 years old, as part of a project called Contrasts, these images were of particular personal relevance for the artist, who was, herself, asking these selfsame questions. The images reflect her own coming out.

“I wanted to explore the questions and labels lesbians face in society,” Crew says. “I started by thinking back to questions I had, and I asked friends of mine who had experienced different things while coming out.” The model is a friend who had recently been through the process as well.

The use of thick black tape crisscrossed over the nipples adds to the image in a number of ways. Crew wanted it to show how even though someone is ‘out’, the coming out process recurs daily. Additionally, it desexualises the image so that the message becomes the focus of attention.

Now 18 and studying photography at college in Leicester, Crew works with a Nikon D500 and enjoys “the look of film photographs, the little tricks you can do to transform a negative, and the technique of developing film and then enlarging your images.”

See Imogen Crew’s photographs on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/110589857@N06/

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