Summer 2009

Artist Project / Front

Taking your place

Trish Morrissey

The images below are taken from my series Front (2005–2007), which addresses the notion of borders and boundaries using the family group and the beach setting as metaphors. For this work, I traveled to beaches in the UK and around Melbourne, Australia, where I approached families and groups of friends who had made temporary encampments or marked out territories, and asked if I could join them. I assumed the role of a woman within their group—usually the mother figure—borrowing her clothes and taking her place. The women then took over my role and photographed the group using a 4 × 5 camera (which I had set up) under my instruction while I nestled with her loved ones. These highly performative photographs are shaped by chance encounters with strangers, and by what happens when physical and psychological boundaries are crossed; both the cuckoo and mythological “shape-shifters” are evoked. Each of the twelve images in the full series is named for the woman I replaced within the group.

Hayley Coles, June 17th, 2006.
Chloe Gwynne, May 30th, 2005.
June Marsh, October 13th, 2007.
Katy McDonnell, October 5th, 2007.

Trish Morrissey is an artist whose forthcoming solo exhibitions include “Front and Other Works” at Impressions Gallery, Bradford, UK (July–September 2009) and at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (January–March 2010). Her work will be featured in the forthcoming book The Self Portrait in Contemporary Art (Thames and Hudson, 2009).

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