'Man Now' is a photography project exploring ideas of modern masculinity through self portraiture. I lost one of my best friends in my early 20’s when he took his own life. There were warning signs but I was not equipped with a deep enough understanding of where he was at to be able to help him talk through what was going on. Suicide is now the largest cause of death in men under the age of 45 in the UK and is on the rise. I want to bring awareness to the need for men to come together and share their experiences and concerns and this lead me to connect with abandofbrothers.
abandofbrothers is an organisation which takes young men (18 - 25) who are in crisis, often leaving the prison system and exposes them to mature male role models through a unique ‘right of passage’ journey. The mental health and wellbeing of the young men who go through the programme and the volunteers who support them is profoundly positively effected.
For the portraits, the men sit in front of a two-way mirror with a 10x8 camera behind it. After explaining how it would work I left the room and they are free to look at their own reflection and trigger the camera in their own time by using a cable release under their feet.
I did not have any idea what had taken place until the films are later developed in my darkroom.
The negatives are printed on to silver gelatin fibre based paper, and gold and selenium toned. I shot 10x8 large format as I wanted there to be as much of the integrity of the person present in the final print as possible and I reversed the negatives so that we only see the exact image that the subjects saw in the mirror; their mirror image.
The prints were exhibited in the inaugural CALM Photography Movement exhibition at The Getty Gallery in London in May 2017. The exhibition was curated from a worldwide competition to create imagery around the concept of masuclinity and mens mental health.