Stephen Duffy, Iniquitous

What are emotions? For what might seem a life long question, leading to a quest through the lives of others and ourselves, it is clear to see emotion is a complex issue. Past memories integrate as part of us, sculpting our whole sense of worth, where we go and what we do. It affects how we react to certain situations, people and cultures. The human body is swimming with chemicals that translate into feelings.

Such a life long pursuit it seems is contained, briefly into five outstanding photographs. Each carrying the weight of the subject's world, deepest memories and atrocious fears. Whether or not Stephen's personality affects the scenario remains to be seen. Although they sit there convincingly, they appear to be completely alone. The place they have been taken to, removed from their artificial environment conveys in the terrified eyes. They form a gloss of liquid over the pupil before tears come to pass, before the emotion erupts. And like an incredible piano solo, it peaks and simmers as and when the narrative carries out in their minds.

The photographs attempt to carry the heavy connotation of atrocious acts, leaving initial physical scars but permanent mental recollections. They are invited to revisit and describe the actions they might avoid. As eyes sit quiet, reflective, their appearance becomes irrelevant in their reading as people. Their eyes sink your heart as their emotions plummet creating a complete collapse of the human body, momentarily. Some take it with accepting approaches, as they imply a stronger sense of being, some crumble and swim around in fear. Some pierce the situation, attempting to fight the past, in the present time. The marks left lay differently on the faces of others as each mind processes information differently. Each point of capture traces and remembers the moment of contact which make us as viewers stir up inside.

When we are rarely touched by photographs, they evoke emotion for us but not for our gain. They are for everyone to think. The climatic value they undertake raises an issue, an issue that photography rarely concerns itself with. We have stopped taking risks. These are not aesthetic although their execution is impeccable.

They reveal what we can never know. As the details are contained for themselves, never for us. We can only imagine the implications and affects the memories have claimed on their lives. All through the vital point of capture.

'Initially inspired from family stories, this body of work takes an engaging glance at the iniquitous memories of each sitter. The challenge, whilst constructing this body of work, was the importance of capturing the essence of an invisible emotion and making it visible.

To quote a statement that constantly plays on my mind: “It is impossible to photographically represent a subject’s inner life” (Thomas Ruff, Influence magazine, issue 2, 2004). Perhaps this is true, but what if the photograph does not focus on the subject’s inner life as a whole, but rather a specific point during a recollection of their history?'