Stephanie Mortimore - Gemini
Stephanie Mortimore is a recent BA (Hons) Photography graduate from Hereford College of Arts. “Stephanie’s photographic fascination is driven by a consideration of the medium's relationship with time, memory and transience. The photograph is a form of posthumous communication, projecting transitory appearances into the future; the print depicting corporeal bodies embalmed in the photographic emulsion like insects in amber.
Through her creation of 'Gemini', she engaged with photographs of unknown sitters, lost through time, connection and memory. She interpreted these anonymous sitters as constellatory bodies, granting them a bearing in time and space; astrological constellations pierce the photographic surface, transforming the formal into the fantastical. They are lost and reborn.”
F&A: Where did you find the images?
SM: In producing ‘Gemini’ I worked with a collection of graduation photographs that I purchased online in the form of a high school yearbook. The collection comprised a series of anonymous portraits of graduating students from Norway High School in Maine. On a personal level, I felt an instant connection with the sitters in that they were graduating students and I was soon to graduate myself.
F&A: How did you add the constellations?
SM: Gemini was inspired by the Roland Barthes quote: "The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star." From my reading and interpretation of this quote, I began considering the anonymous sitters as 'constellatory bodies' who exist, as stars do, as delayed projections of light into the future. In my creation of the images I physically pierced the photographic surface, allowing light to emanate through, thus transforming the formal into the fantastical.