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> > > Photographic artist Lynn Weddle aims to bring the lives of young carers into focus through Living Portraits

29 November 2013

portrait of a young man taken from a side-view

Fred: photographic portrait from Lynn's participatory project 'Hidden' undertaken in 2011

Lynn Weddle has recently been awarded an Arts Council Grants for the Arts to work collaboratively with Sound Artist Anya Ustaszewski to create a series of living portraits depicting the environment and lives of young people across the South East. The artists are working with a range of young carers support groups to find participants for their artistic programme.

Living Portraits will be a large-scale installation of photographic sound tableaux, employing moving and still images embedded with sound to celebrate and shares the lives of young people to be exhibited as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe in October 2014.

Lynn Weddle's practice is concerned with human interaction and exploring ways of presenting people through photographic portraiture. Her practice is intrigued by the roles that people play and challenges the ways in which we view each other. Lynn has worked with a pioneering ‘Auto-Self Portrait’ technique whereby the sitter is given control over how they reveal and present themselves to the camera using a cable release mechanism, producing a still image. 

Though Living Portraits she aims to further develop her work with young people to create a series of digital portraits, which bring the still images delicately to life by using Final Cut Pro editing software to animate the work. Using this software, the viewer sees subtle movement, including facial changes, eye movements and breathing rhythms.

In addition Anya Ustaszewski will work with the young carers to explore, gather and collate sounds to support the making of accompanying soundscapes. Anya experiences hyperacusis and this enables her to bring a unique perspective in terms of accessing auditory stimuli. She hears detail in sound and is able to utilise the most insignificant sounds exploring and profiling the creative and expressive possibilities.

The young participants will be at the heart of making the work; encouraged to inform the content and presentation, supported and guided by the artists. The aim is to use artistic processes to encourage the young people to take creative responsibility for their choices and to grow in confidence outside of their caring role. 

The artists will build relationships with the participants over a number of preparatory sessions, through initiating discussions and sharing personal experiences as they negotiate how and where they make the work that will be captured to contribute to a body of work for installation, enhanced with the accompanying soundscape. 

A Living Portraits blog on Dao will document the project as it unfolds working towards an exhibition at the Brighton Photo Fringe in October 2014 and and the Photo Therapy Conference, Finland 2014.

Lynn Weddle has a first class degree in Photography from Falmouth College of Art and a Master in Photography from the University of Brighton. Lynn has published her work through Millennium images in the Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian and has exhibited work at Petworth House, Pallant House Gallery, Four Corners and Brighton Photo Fringe. She has undertaken commissions and residencies from the Royal College of Physicians, English Heritage and Firstsite Contemporary Art. In her role as Photographic Artist and Artist Educator, she has presented at the Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography Conference in Turku, Finland, the Photographers Gallery and Camden Arts Centre.

Anya Ustaszewski is a composer and sonic artist, with particular interest in musique concrete, experimental sound art, sonic sculptures and modernist classical music. As a composer, musician and performer, Anya works with a variety of sounds and instruments, including those taken from everyday objects and found sounds. She has particular interest in immersive and abstract narrative sound experiences, as well as altered sensory perceptions and innovative use of software and technology.

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