Part 3 project 3: Self-absented portraiture

Nigel Shafran Washing Up 2000

Figure 1: Nigel Shafran, taken from Washing up (2000)

As previously in Context and Narrative we can communicate our ideas and concepts by means of an absented presence, a technique not restricted to self-portraiture.

Some examples of it’s wider use already researched during this course are Chloe Matthews Shot At Dawn (see here) and Paul Seawright Hidden (see here) the resultant images can create a physical and cognitive space between what is present and what is absent from the frame which allows the viewer to reflect upon and evaluate their own response which can be a deeper emotional process and one which I find intriguing.

An example of a more autobiographical work already researched elsewhere in my learning log would be Sophie Calle’s Take Care Of Yourself (see here) emanating from a rejection letter received from a lover. This and other works by Sophie Calle often draw upon her own experiences as she explores aspects of human social interactions and as such are a form of self-portraiture.

The final artist I will consider in this study of self-portraiture is Nigel Shafran the former fashion photographer who now concentrates more on capturing the everyday in life often taking images of objects in their immediate environment almost as still life images as seen in his series Washing-up (2000), “How we place things can be telling of what and who we are,”. (Shafran, 2008).


Jobey, L (2008) ‘Domestic Harmony’ The Guardian (Online) AT:

(Accessed 6 July 2016)


Figure 1: Nigel Shafran, taken from Washing up (2000) AT:

(Accessed 6 July 2016)





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