Stephanie de Leng
would love to have implants. You see, these do not even fit in one hand. When
I have the money, I am going to get some. I heard you can do it with your own
fat these days, but I don’t have enough fat. Like, how bad is that? I wish
I could take someone else’s. July 2005
Landscapes" is a reaction against the excessive use of air brushed images
by the media. We have grown accustomed to a two dimensional stage where not a
hair is out of place. For many this translates into a warped view of the real,
three-dimensional world and how we are supposed to look.
fashion industry seeks body types so atypical to the average human form that they
are almost a freak of nature. Model scouts are sent forth to the four corners
of the world to track these rare creatures down. Once found, they are groomed
and polished to perfection, photographed, and then buffed further in Photoshop.
their abnormally long legs, tiny waists and symmetrical faces sitting upon giraffe-like
necks, not many of us can ever hope to look like them. Yet these enhanced images
are splashed across every media outlet, proclaiming an impossible ideal to strive
for. In many people this can cause a deep-seated unease,or even depression. It
is from this realization that my project has been conceived.
are going to do a body exhibition? Can I be in it? I have horrible bat wings and
fat on my upper back. Isn’t there a name for this? There should be. Lets
see…how about back tires? That is really funny. October 2005
as looking at images of perfection is depressing, I decided that looking at humanity
as it really is - warts, scars, cellulite and all – could be paradoxically
uplifting. I have asked random people to confront their deepest insecurities by
revealing to the camera the parts
of themselves they struggle to like. No judgement was made as to whether they
were ugly or otherwise.
of trying to cover up and beautify, I have approached this project from the viewpoint
of a landscape photographer, striving to reveal as much detail and definition
as possible within a pleasing composition.
Some of these images will provoke
response, and yet others will make you wonder
what the problem is. No judgement was made by me as to whether a part was
unappealing or not; it was simply enough that the subject thought it was.
In the interests of equality,
I have exposed myself to the camera as well. Along
with all the other sitters,
I am not recognisable, and yet, I consider my body part
more reflective of
me as person than any portrait ever taken, in that it reveals my deepest secret
a final aside, I am increasingly concerned with the social and moral aspects of
photography, and what I can do, to "un-do" the damage that is being
done to society, in particular our young, by the airbrushing of photographic images
put before us. In this regard, I now primarily concentrate on social reportage,
with a portrait basis, and projects such as "Body Landscapes" in an
effort to impact positively on our planet and people today.
Landscapes - Ongoing Project Series
can also listen to the excellent The
Roger Phillips RADIO Interview, November 2, 2009
See Video clip: http://www.stephaniedeleng.co.uk/about.html
images copyright Stephanie de Leng, Liverpool, UK