By: Sophie Davis
I find a strange comfort in collecting images, It's a way of filling my head with beautiful things, dulls any pain and masks insecurity.
Collecting images of women feels as if I'm collecting wild flowers-building a personal Eden. I began a cathartic journey; an experiment that took me out of my own head. Away from the constant analysis of physicality, the years of self punishment, dissatisfaction and comparison,instead focusing entirely outside of the self.
I don't know these girls, and they don't know me. I ask when I first see them, out in clubs, passing on the street, in libraries, coffee shops, on the underground, whether they would let me photograph them. I don't just want their image, I also want to know them- as they say a photograph catches a soul, imprisoning it in a negative to be printed -reproduced- to belong. It's a sudden and foreign sense of freedom, a constructed intimacy that the act of photographing strangers produces.
The level of trust is so surprising, the acceptance of one another in that moment. The ease that comes with allowing themselves to be photographed by another woman. There is a desire to be gazed at and to be the gazer, intense moments that would never happen in reality. Those moments of brief connection can be extended and owned, even if they end up as fabrications- images pinned to a wall, remnants of an unresolved desire for something I cannot place.
Viewers question the motivation; the predatory nature that haunts the work and whether I want them as lovers, or as sisters or friends?
I still don't know the answer but I know the hypnotic need to lose myself in the image of another.