Camouflage is a short experimental piece I made as a self-portrait. It explores one’s image and how that impacts on identity formation, expression, suppression and oppression.
Appearance is a factor that impacts heavily on one’s identity, so the image that we project outwardly affects how human beings see one another. Some elements of appearance, such as clothing, are things that we can control and alter ourselves. Others are affected by health, and mood. Others are outwards factors such as our social environments.
All these elements were factors in the creation of my film and addressed by experimenting with colour associations and performance with a focus on emotional responses to different stimulus. Flashes of inanimate objects are also used to trigger a reaction.
The result is a play on the connotations associated with the term “self-portrait”, traditionally this term inspires thoughts of grand paintings. The twist in my interpretation is that my body will be the canvas and the colours will tap into a range of my personal experiences and emotions.
Starting with painting my body white, I illustrate the ways in which this can represent cleaning. I turn myself into a blank canvas, white washing with flashes of suds and bleach. Next I use silver sequins and dazzle with a hint to mirrors and vanity. Hearts and symbols of traditional concepts of love question the positive and negative impacts romance can have on a person.
Yellow is a more cheerful colour with laughter and dancing, my yellow gumboots and toy associate this with the inner child before this is obscured by red, which alludes to violence and gore. Green interrupts this with nature and greenery before being calmed by blue water and sky.
All these different layers of experience come together to form a person, yet they are obscured by societies enforced rules and regulations. The grey of asphalt and office chairs interrupts the serenity of blue before giving way to an oppressive black. Poured by misogynistic hands, this gives way to distress.
Finally, the cheery on top is a tub of glitter, a half-assed attempt to bring back individuality to one’s self-definition.