Contact Sheet Four – My Urban Decay


My Urban Decay, I chose this title to reflect the emotive subject of my personal experience and health deterioration this photo-shoot is all about the decay within my urban environment.

The title seems appropriate as a branded cosmetic company uses that name and the brand I use and this depicts how my illness made me feel bland and non-creative, the colours striped and non-invigorated, and a mask I could no-longer hide behind, exposed and bare.

My symptoms started in my home environment, a loving, warm place that I felt secure. The environment of the hospital was warm; clinical, and harsh, I have used decaying flowers, chillies and berries which were all grown in my urban garden highlighting the rustic and extrinsic feeling I hope are encapsulated in my images. The items I have chosen are not suited to the environs of my home and almost decline consent by decaying visually at an alarming rate.  I felt that this represented the blood clot that was found in my brain, this was invading a space that was not appropriate and how it trespassed into areas it was not welcome. The invasion seemed to explore all different places physically and emotionally. I also felt that though the flowers are decaying they’re also extremely beautiful which is metaphorically representing my transition, as a person I strove to overcome my blood clot and to find the positives from the experience. I looked at the colour of the natural decay and how this could appear as a dissipating clot. The colours fading to a soft yellow and pink their vibrancy fading to a golden hue, I have also used red chillies and berries with a strong texture, in an attempt resemble clotted blood in the tube of the vase to make it look like blockage which is what occurred in my blood vessels. I hope the viewer understands this depiction as I have tried to demonstrate this in a beautiful and subtle way. 7024d8e1_22470_img_2738

Laura Letinsky:

Laura L

I was very much inspired by Laura’s work, her subject matter seems to show the decay and soft muted colours that I wanted to use for my project. Photographs of the decay of the natural world represent and help to beatify a melancholic reflection of someone’s life and the way we can read them, the food and what we consume, how it is presented and how I can incorporate this into my work. Laura has said: “the photograph is a transformative and particular way we see the world that then informs the way that other photographs are made and the way the world is seen.” Trying to communicate what one sees in the world differently and directly changes how we see and understand the world.”  This of course made me want to show the world how I felt and I wanted to express my own experiences almost as a healing tool. Laura also said it can be too perfect to be true and then the falling apart of that or the spit or glue to piece it together, her choice of raw material, organic and natural to reflect her perceived world, this made me think about the way I had to remain steadfast and stoic and the ways in which I could photograph this in my work. She also said essentially,” magic and wonder to take your breath away”  which was something I felt needed to be in this photoshoot because there needed to be beauty and wonder making it look magical but you question the interpretation subtly lying behind the captures.


How to understand a painting : decoding symbols in art / Françoise Barbe-Gall. 

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