Emma Wood

Portfolio

12 STRANGERS

The purpose of this project was to create a set of images that responded to the theme ‘Community’. I felt it would be important to select a subject that was personal to me. At the time of the project I was summoned for jury service. My aim was to combine obscured identities and composition similarities to document and visually express the experience: 12 members of the public selected at random to participate in a trial.

I initially asked the original members of the jury to pose for a photograph. I focused on a body part rather than their face to act as a portrait of that person. I asked them to place their hands as they felt comfortable and took the shot. Their hands would act as an embodiment of the experience, as though each of the member’s hands signed the accused person’s verdict. Due to photographer’s error: no film in the camera, these images do not exist. After some consideration I came up with an action plan.

I decided to recreate the photographs with significant others, this further obscured the original subjects’ identity. Due to the nature of the context of the jury members relationship; a crown court trail, I felt it would be appropriate to keep their identities unknown.

Strangers who would act as doppelgängers were chosen to represent the original members of the jury, The people photographed were selected due to similarities I saw between them and the jury members, such as age, gender, clothing, and stance. These connections were made on first impressions and physical appearance. I asked the doppelgängers to recreate the pose enacted by the person I chosen them to represent.

The postcard size darkroom prints were arranged in two columns of six. This arrangement was chosen to represent the order the jury members were called and sat during the court case.