During a year-long illness, I spent more time looking at photographs in books than making them.
A series of anonymous nudes from various sources, all made between 1843-1910 entered my consciousness and kept me restless. It was not just the finality of the title, “anonymous”, but wonder about the relationship between photographer and subject. I found myself dreamily inventing backstories. Is that a moment of intimacy or a fond remembrance in their gaze? I spent a lot of time imagining what they might have been like outside the photographers studio.
To satisfy my curiosity, I scanned the original reproduction to digitally remove them from the studio. Then printing on clear film I could photograph them against a window onto a landscape or combine the film with traditional darkroom processes such as blue cyanotype. Mirroring my own recovery, I started embroidering, sewing or drawing a costume or blanket as a gesture of renewal and second chances. This project is ongoing.