For those of you who read my posts regularly, you know there exists a special place in my heart for photographers who can intelligently write about their work… perhaps it is something I have always struggled with with my own work. I never have a problem discussing the work of those photographers I represent, but speaking about my own work is, of course, a whole different challenge.
Recently I’ve come across the words of Laura Pannack, who I feel can eloquently speak about her own intentions with her photography. Enjoy!
All three images are from Laura’s project The Untitled.
“Shut out from the teenage world the majority of us struggle to comprehend the behaviour of some adolescents. Through a lack of understanding ,which breeds fear,we tend to stereotype young people. However, these judgements are fuel for rebellion, intensifying the search for attention,identity and belonging.
The invincible yet vulnerable nature of teenagers has inspired me to embark on photographic adventures, sharing their company and releasing their undefined identity through the art of picture making.
I have intentionally chosen not to title my project as I did not want to label or define any of my subjects. Likewise, I have left it unclear whether my subjects are young offenders on probation, pupils with special needs, private school attendants or other young people I have encountered. The images are simply titled with the true forename of each young person, giving the viewer a hint as to their identity without attaching stigma – and emphasising the fact that each of my subjects is unique.
Adolescence is a universal experience and by considering these images we can begin to reflect and connect with the subject. Young people are a constant reminder of our existence, our past and our identity. Just as we wonder for them, we also review who we have grown up to become.
With the prevalence of negative images of young people in the media, it is time to celebrate British youth with their infinite diversities and see them as individuals with a huge potential of talent and skills they can offer to our country. We need to challenge those images which only serve to give our youth a sense of low worth resulting in a perpetuating cycle of problems, low image, crime, bad press, low self esteem and more crime. Constructing stereotypes and transcribing blame is preventing the next generation from being inspired to achieve and develop self-confidence. I hope through my imagery to challenge these perceptions.”