Being A Girl was a body of work I produced in the final year of my degree.This piece of work only now makes sense to me, sixteen years later. At the time my art peers and tutors would quiz me on what each image meant, what was my sexuality? or worse they would dismiss it because I had know clear written concept backing my idea. What I could say at the time was my drive and passion to produce images and absorb what photographers and film makers were producing at the time. Cindy Sherman, francesca Woodman, Richard Billingham, Pulp Fiction, Blue Velvet and American Beautynjsut to name a few. All played there role in my understanding of what it meant to compose and capture your ideas. Now looking back it was definitely a coming of age project. Exploring the power of the female form and identify. Plus the environments that I photographed in the domestic scene with its familiarities and memories embedded in to its walls. The person in my photographs is my youngest sister, she was 14 years old at the time. The following is a written account by her who describes what it felt like to be my model. She had written it five years after the work had been created.
when I was asked to write my thoughts and feelings about how it felt when I was the subject of such a huge project, for some reason the same word keeps reoccurring and that is embarrassment, most people would probably love to have the attention on them and be the one who a photographer was so intrigued by but not me. Looking back I am glad I did it because it was important to help a certain person in my life and also I suppose it contains a lot of memories which I can look back at when ever I choose. Something else I remember vividly was why were the photo’s so dark and sorry to say this but seedy? I remember thinking at that age is this what photography was about or was it just my sisters weird taste? but what I think about it now I cant help but think how amazing and interesting they were, maybe when we mature, I taste changes or is it just me? When I look back and remember what photo’s were taken and in what situations the one that sticks out the most was lying in the bath, I cant exactly remember what I was wearing or what I was not wearing, but anyway, I remember laying in a bath freezing cold, mascara running down my cheeks and thinking what am I doing? but as different and as ‘seedy’ as the pictures were it was almost refreshing to see just how polar opposite they were from what most people would see as mainstream, they were completely different, out of the ordinary, daring and controversial.
Nicole Murphy 2008