Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dr-Benway on food #guest

I'm pleased as all hell to have my husband, Thomas Dorman AKA the infamous Dr-Benway, as a guest on my blog today. Not only is he an absolutely fabulous creative director, but he's also directed award-winning indie art/horror films and his photography has appeared in various magazines. Recently I accompanied him on a shoot where he collaborated with a chef... But I'll hand over to him now so he can continue...

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The inspiration for the three images came from an old 1960s cookbook (the same one used in a scene of Rosemary’s Baby). Some of the images of meat in this book are both delicious and disgusting at the same time. The colours are especially interesting as they have been coloured afterwards by hand.

In addition, This also gave me the opportunity to work with the amazing food stylist and chef Kayleigh Snyman. She played a massive part in making the concept come to life.

I’ve been interested in the similarities of viewing and consuming for quite some time now; the similarities between finding something beautiful and delicious.

These images deal with these similarities. They also deal with the mixed feelings I have for the snobbery that can be found in the culinary industry; as with all snobbery related to culture. I’m both in love with culture and repulsed by the insincerity of most so-called food/cultural elitists. So it’s natural for me to cheekily create an image showing the barbarity of cannibalism dressed up.

I’m also fascinated by how an photographic image objectifies a subject. This is something with which I wanted to experiment.

These images are in essence still-life memento mori, an artistic theme dating back to antiquity. Often food would be shown alongside a skull or the food would be shown rotting or a fly would be places to remind one of the fact that everything fades. The watch references this stopping of time.

The Japanese have a very similar concept in what they call mono no aware and is a concept relating to the awareness of the impermanence of life and a gentle sadness in its passing. The relating to this idea with the cherry blossom dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality.

One of the joys of creating these images was working with the model Jane Scott. I’ve been wanting to do another shoot with her for quite some time now and was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to do so. As with most of my shoots, the model plays a big role in the creative process and Jane most certainly played a big part in this.

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