Jocelyn Allen / The Many Faces of JFA
After finishing university and moving back to the family home to work on a project about my closest relatives and myself, I started to think about the representation of a person in a photograph. Generally a portrait is just a split second of time, and I felt I looked quite different in one self-portrait to the next, even if they were only taken a day apart. With this in mind I began to overlay various photographs of myself, documenting short periods of time.
Having moved to London six months later, I set up a camera and a light in the corner of my bedroom with the aim of photographing myself everyday for a year and a day. I decided to take the single images in a ‘raw’ style. This meant not altering my facial and hair appearance for the sitting, as well as removing clothing and using the plain wall as a background in order to take away any possible distractions.
Every seven days I overlaid the photographs, and then every seven weeks I put those together to make one image. I used my right eye as a focal point, having noticed that it was the same in every photograph. This provided something that remained consistent throughout the process and helped fuse the images together.
The final image One Year, One Day (2011-2012) is made up of three hundred and forty eight photographs, with the missing nineteen marking the days that I was unable to take a photograph due to absence from my room. Throughout the process I only went on short trips that were deemed necessary; would take pictures at 3am if need be; and ran home on some occasions in order to beat the stroke of midnight.
Overall, whilst my right eye stays strong, the rest of my features develop and change with the duration to create slightly hazy images that one could arguably say create a ‘truer’ representation of me, or perhaps just an average one.
Jocelyn Allen (Birmingham, 1988) graduated from the University of Wales, Newport with a BA in Photographic Art in 2010. Her work often explores identity through self-portraiture, as well as commenting on society through staged images. In 2011 Allen’s work was exhibited at the Guernsey Photography Festival and she represented the UK in the Biennial of Young Artists of Europe and the Mediterranean. She was recently selected for the Magenta Foundation’s ‘Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers 2012’. www.jocelynallen.co.uk