The Bumblebee's wings are too small for his body,
The “This Is Me!” series is dedicated to all of us who, with courage, joy, compassion and with a determination to love, live the life God has given us.
A few years ago Cirque Du Soleil toured Australia . I found their show amazing! To see what people were capable of through training and team work was incredible. As I reflected on the show I thought about Psalm 139: how God made us and knows all our thoughts, desires and actions. Psalm 139 has helped me realise that no matter how different we are, we are all made in God's image and we are richly loved. Psalm 139 has become a theme running though all of my photography.
I met Marnie at a party in May 2003. She sat bolt upright in her chair all night until someone finally commented on her good posture. Her reply stunned us!
“I can't move!” she said.
We asked why, and Marnie explained that she suffered from Scoliosis, and when she was twelve the doctors had had to operate on her spine to correct the condition. I was deeply touched and inspired by Marnie's story, and it has helped me to put in perspective my own concerns and troubles.
We all have our struggles, our strengths and weaknesses, our crosses to bear or Mt Everests to climb.
Birth of the “This Is Me!” Series
As I shared Marnie's story with friends, I found that they where just as affected as I had been. It also enabled them to share their stories. It made me realise that each of us has an amazing story to tell, even if we don't think so. I asked a few more people if they would be interested in telling their stories and making a portrait. As the number of people increased I realised this was quickly becoming a series!
I agonised for some time about how best to create a portrait that showed what Marnie had been through. In the end it became clear that a beautiful nude was the only way to show the physical scars or problems some people were dealing with and to keep consistent throughout the series. In a way being nude also means that the person is simply themselves without any other layers or identities.
The studio was set up with the same background, lighting and camera. The space was the person's, and they could present themselves for the camera as they wished, so that the only difference between each photograph is the person. So far, normal, everyday people through to people who have been affected by serious accidents or illnesses have all taken part.
I owe a huge debt of thanks to all of you who have been so brave in sharing your stories. It has been a joy and privilege to work with you!
This website presents the first twenty-eight people to share their stories.
My hope now is to find a major sponsor / publisher that will allow me to photograph at least another fifty people. The final aim is to produce a book and perhaps hold a major exhibition.
God bless, David.