Identity by Lisa-Jo Oliver


Using the Genre of Documentary, this body of work is about creating a variety of images which represent identification within today’s society by just focusing on a fraction of a person’s body, rather than the whole. This is explored through portraits of different people’s hands.

The people in the images are anonymous, and unrecognizable as only their hands are available to reveal information to the viewer.

What the intended outcomes portrayed in the images are: the secrets our hands can reveal through images such as; profession, religion, age, interests and style, or hobbies, etc. A variety of these different types of topics was photographed in the making of this project. There is a saying that our Hands never lie, this is true for my project, as all these images were taken by me approaching people at work or on the street and asking them if I can take a simple portrait of their hands, they weren’t set up images, but more asking people and seeing who agreed and who didn’t as some people can be quite self conscious of their hands. The aim of this project is to portray personality through simple images of hands. They are a cropped version of a whole of a person’s identity and they each tell a different story, or say something about that person.

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The project began to develop after I had taken an image of both my Grandparents hands and collaged them together. This image is about everlasting love, hands from a different time, hands that have seen the world and gone through generations of changed technology and events. My Grandparents worked full time all of their life until their retirement, my Grandad was in the war and my Nanna was a dinner lady most of her working career. My Grandad is now 91 years old. These images are unavailable to see in this image but you can see the wedding ring which is an important factor because they have been married now for 67 years.

This project is the first time I have explored Documentary. This Genre, gave me the opportunity to make human connections with people and the public, from both myself and other cultures which allows insight into capturing their human expressions through my camera. [Official Website]

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