Self Portrait Project: #7

I had researched Shibari (the oriental art of rope tying) when I was writing my graduate dissertation and I produced an image using it during that time. I was also commissioned a while back by a Cape Town architect to shoot a group of girls tied up for his annual New Years card to his clients (but more on that later).  I’ve therefore got a heck of a lot of this really pretty textured white rope in my collection of “stuff”.

It is a beautiful and rather intersting prop to work with in images because of the contrast in tone to skin, its implications of control and restriction and the aesthetic value added by whatever form one choose to create with it within the picture space.

The idea to shoot this self portrait came from no where in particular that I can pin point. I had wanted to shoot an image with very classical B&W dramatic lighting which is one of the things I achieved with this image. I love the shapes, lines and tensions of this image and creating it was an experience in itself…

So on Tuesday I asked friends Barbara and Cara to help make me into a kind of rope sausage. I have tied ropes for several images in the past as mentioned above, the techniques, after doing a bit of research, were pretty logical (to me), and the logistics of working with such a medium and a model also equally need to be prepared for.

With wine, gossip to catch up on and possibly not the right amount of explanation of my idea we began. It was a lesson in patience and friend-appreciation as my hands slowly went totally numb while they drank wine and chatted distractedly while a tried to be bossy unsuccessfully from the inside of my constrains.

Still, it was a great and funny shoot with a strong outcome. One would never imagine the kinds of things that go on behind-the-scenes of image making and what is put into creating such a simple image.

Self Portrait Project 007 Leah Hawker 2014

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