The series, Collective Individual : Glass Portraits, considers the role of the individual’s identity within perceptions of self, family, and community. It arises from my own personal exploration of the challenges and benefits of living in a culturally mixed family.
Each of the glass portraits merges 5 – 8 individuals who share the same ethnicity and/or nationality–into a single image, similar to multiple exposures. This process subverts the identity of the individual while leaving artifacts of the merging process in the final image, suggesting the presence of a collective.
The viewer first encounters the work through its physical and spatial qualities, while simultaneously addressing the subject within the photograph. By bringing photography and glass together, two mediums that share a long history, I require the viewer to be present to fully experience the work. The fact that the image is upside-down draws attention to the photograph’s physicality. A glass sphere–equal to the size of the human eye–reveals the image in the correct orientation.
The completed art piece unites the portrait composite and the framework of glass, welcoming a dialog about tensions between collectivistic and individualistic cultures, as well as how these mindsets are perceived and reconciled within an individual.