“An instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism”. Delving into dualism can lead to all sorts of interpretations depending on their context.
Please note for the purposes of this artist’s statement, I wish to keep it simple -in accordance with the definition above. Every day, I am intrigued by the array of contrasting images that I face. This takes many forms with light/shadow, opposing textures, wealth vs poverty and so on. I thrive in their abundance, as does my camera! I may capture this within the same photograph.
For example, the image of rice and fingernails highlights a basic, unsophisticated foodstuff- in contrast to the beautifully manicured nails of the model. Freddie Mercury’s plaque is a wonderful tribute to his life. Yet next to it, dead roses topple haphazardly face down. Or, I like to play and juxtapose unlikely images against each other, such as the traditional pictures of indigenous tribes in Papua New Guinea vs the youth in modern day South Africa.
This body of work offers you a series of random images often in conflict with each other. The subject matter, boldness, colour, and intensity of these images aim to shock, incite or peak our interest, and bring our small, confined worlds back to the harsh reality of existence as it is. We are confronted with opposites:-
Light vs dark / Fine vs course / Complete vs split / Dry vs wet / Raw vs manicured / Traditional vs modern / Civilised vs uncivilised / Natural vs manmade / Moving vs stationary / Desirable vs undesirable / Tainted vs pure / Angelic vs evil / Death vs life / Timeless vs changing
Oftentimes, it addresses what we would rather not see, face or change. It encourages us to delve deeper. Step out of our comfort zones. Face the collision. Head on. Heart on.
“Duality teaches us that every aspect of life is created from a balanced interaction of opposite and competing forces. Yet these forces are not just opposites; they are complementary. They do not cancel out each other, they merely balance each other like the dual wings of a bird.” “Dualism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.
And then, this is what makes it so interesting. The obvious differences that would seem to separate instances of life, actually balance them out and bring them into co-existence.
About Michelle Luffingham
Where most people were instilled with a code of ethics and direction for life through a religion of some sort, I was taught from a very early age that I came from the stars – that I am made of “star stuff”. Under the heavens, I realised the Universe’s innate mystery, and humanities insignificance in the big scheme of things …
I was taught the deepest respect for Science in its ceaseless pursuit to unlock the secrets underpinning reality. I see Art and Science as closely linked. There is a science behind all creative skills, and a poetry in seeking the truth through knowledge. I believe we are all artists by birth into this incredible Universe. It is our duty to use our senses creatively, to listen, learn, to grow and to teach.
I grew up in the small farming village of Winterton at the base of the mighty Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. My formal education saw me majoring in a BA Political Science. I am self-taught, and have no training at all in Photography or the Arts.
My real education occurred on the road. My travels have taken me briefly to parts of Africa, the USA, Australia, Papau New Guinea and Russia; and for longer periods to the UK, but especially Asia where I lived, worked and travelled for over 5 years. Solo journeying is tremendously stimulating for the senses. However every normal day anywhere in the world is also a journey of exploration for me. This is where I truly fell in love with the camera. Out there. Inspired by everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.