I first heard about the project Form & Function from a tweet by Photofusion who were displaying Chloe Rosser’s images on their walls for an exhibition. And just before Christmas a copy of the book landed on my doorstep.
The best way to describe the pictures are that they show people’s backs in while they tuck their heads and sometimes their arms in. What this results in is a Henry Moore sculpture type look to the human body. A similar approach to the human body that Bill Brandt did in his images. These photographs do somehow capture the person behind the body while a Moore sculpture or Brandt photograph does not.
We are so used to seeing images of people without any blemishes or marks and it does take you a bit by surprise seeing these on the walls of Photofusion.
I was lucky enough to go to an evening talk by Chloe Rosser at the exhibition and it was an evening to remember. There was a member of the audience who insisted that the photographs should not be considered nudes or portraits and that everybody should agree with him. When he was challenged about his opinion he had enough by that stage and stormed off. He certainly was passionate about his art.
When I started this project I wondered what “art” meant in terms of photography. And the more I work on this project the greater the understanding I have in what it means.
I like my art to surprise me and make me think in ways that I would not have considered before viewing it. Regurgitating the same ideas is not a fresh way of looking at the world around us. Chloe Rosser’s work is surprisingly simple yet very thoughtful.
With thanks to Orla and Studio Photo Gallery for the facilities.