Kallina Brailsford
photography....moving image....mixed media

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Therapeutic Self-portraits

This series is a part of my extensive research on the therapeutic qualities of photography - as a medium and as a process - which is central to my photography practice.

These photographs are a reflection and an exploration of the meaning of 'home' and the sense of belonging. Having been living for a long time away from my country of origin I often 'crave' the safety of home to only discover that being back in what I called 'home' no longer felt like that.

Engaging in methods like re-enactment and cathartic emotional expression, I embarked on a journey of self discovery - ultimately 'home' for me is a place of safety. A place which reminded me of being protected by the womb. 'Home' isn't a physical place but an internal 'safe place' or perhaps a search for a memorable imprint of a fragment of safety like the one where I am hiding behind my mother's skirt.

In therapeutic photography the process is integral to the end results of the photographs.

This series has been produced using a Canon 5D mark II using a stocking and vaseline to obstruct the lens.

Self-portrait of photography

When I started my research on therapeutic photography and the benefits of one expressing their dark side, I discovered that photography in itself symbolically carries these ideas and is representative of this process. I find it fascinating that the very medium of my choice already contains all these ideas in itself, both within the image making and printing process. Light and darkness have an equal place within the process of photography; one cannot exist without the other. Upon looking at the printing process as well, it is through being in the dark and bringing light within the darkness, through which the image emerges. The same as the psychoanalytical analogy “To make light is to make a shadow, one cannot exist without the other” (quoting from Carl Jung)

I have used light sensitive photo paper covered with black wax to symbolise this play between light and darkness in both the photographic and psychoanalytical sense. Bee’s wax mixed with black oil paint to completely make the wax opaque, has been layered over the light sensitive paper to stop light hitting the photographic paper. This symbolises once again the process of ‘discovery’ on one hand the printing process of photography with Niepce layering bitumen over pewter in an attempt to produce the first photographic image, and the process of self-discovery that is encompassed in going through the different layers of one’s consciousness . The participant in this interactive piece of work would have to make a conscious choice to carve through the black wax - symbolising our shadow as if making the choice to bring light into their darkness - the empowering but difficult choice to self-discovery.


Reverse Panning

The process of observation while taking photographs can be very meditative. It stops the mind drifting and one has to open their eyes and mind to the present moment in order to capture it.

These photographs are interpretation of how I see the land. Often nature and 'the landscape' is perceived as something static I wanted to capture the ever 'moving' nature of my surrounding.

I have developed a technique that I have called 'reverse panning' which involves a specific combination of speed of movement of the camera and shutter speed thus making the foreground sharp and the background blurry.

About Death

These are mindful landscapes of cemeteries and how I interact with them within my own mindscape.

The question of what happens after the death and confronting my own fear of death is something that is present a lot in my work.

5x4 large format camera
Double exposures
Black and white sheet film
Hand developed E-6 film with C-41 chemicals (cross processing)

Encaustic Photography

I use wax to modify and cover a lot of my images. I print photographs on wood and apply layers of bee's wax over them.

The possibilities are endless with this technique from just layering on top of a normal image to give it some texture and softness, to full on collages and mixed media, creating one of a kind pieces of art work.

Some of these pieces of work have been exhibited throughout Europe and feature in private collections.

Music Industry

Commissions for the music industry.

Jake Bugg photographs (including an album cover commission) feature online on a number of websites and publications.

Moving Image

These pieces of work have been exhibited in various locations including Antenna and the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, UK.
Content © 2013 Kallina Brailsford