Beauty Exceeds The Frame - Locating Beauty in a Postmodern World


“The beautiful is powerless but always exceeds what frames it, and what always frames it is discourse.”

Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe (2000)

 Current aesthetic concerns about beauty are multi-layered, complex and controversial, and mostly consign beauty to the margins of contemporary artistic interest. I see beauty as a value and as such, more central to society than seems currently to be the case. I have in mind that the essential qualities of beauty include symmetry, balance, accord and that it is no coincidence that ‘beauty’ and ‘fair’ have similar meaning.

 The Gallery includes some original images – magical, moody, dreamlike.  As the project evolved, the dreamlike nature of them changed and some new images appeared by accident in the course of their production. The new images affirmed the ghost-like, autonomous nature of photographic images generally – images reveal themselves. The revealed images were scanned, resized and reproduced to create the large prints that were exhibited. The ‘altered-state’ images disrupt and erode an otherwise classical presentation of female beauty to present an almost post-human image. The original image is dispersed across the frame, opening up spaces for conversation, imagination, referents.

 As my exploration progressed, the images became a kind of deconstructed reality, and finally, mere traces of a person, a woman, a time and place and an idea. The final images simultaneously reflected and represented the contradictions of the material yet ephemeral nature of the subject and the photographic process.