When I took my most recent roll of film, the only thoughts that crossed my mind were ‘angelic’ and ‘aesthetic’. I often find in photography the idea of a photo as having a hidden meaning or element of performance can oversaturate my work, I take images to perform and portray emotion, evolving with what my photographic style is and what I want to say more than what the images themselves contain.
This over-saturation of ideas and meanings can clog the mind; so on this roll of film, I wanted to go back to why I started taking photos, aesthetics. I began taking photographs of things I found attractive, and that evolved more and more into making parts of myself attractive to perform them to the camera, creating surreal series’ of work. For the first time in a while, I elected to take images of things that were pretty, with no meaning other than their aesthetic value.
Aesthetics are frequently used on social media, using hashtags to gain likes on attractive images, taking the ideas of being an aesthete and turning it into a way to gain popularity. The idea of an aesthetic has evolved from a beautiful detail in a work of art, in a building, into a moodboard of ‘aesthetic outfits’ and ‘satisfying images’. Aesthetics have changed from something that is beautiful and the reaction to a beautiful object into an Instagram trend.
Going back to basics was important to me when I took these photos, testing what I find aesthetically pleasing, what I consider to be the beauty in every day life, even when that day is grey and rainy. Attractiveness is a very personal thing, we all see beauty in different walks of life, and that’s what makes aesthetics interesting; one person may see flowers as the most aesthetic object from mother nature, for others, it’s the clouds. Aesthetics and our personal view of what is aesthetic is fascinating, no two people see the world the same, we all see with different colours, different perspectives, different senses. My personal goal was to take images that I consider to be beautiful and have no deeper meaning, to show everyone around me what I personally find attractive.
I think aesthetics and the idea of simply using creativity to create beauty is fascinating. I want to create more for the sake of creating, with no emotional ties, just looking at everything we may overlook with the idea of placing it on a canvas. Beauty is in every walk of life, it is who documents it that makes it beautiful to the rest of the world. The idea of taking images that follow this soft, angelic and gentle aesthetic is a personal breath of fresh air, giving myself a chance to recharge from a constant internal pressure of giving all art a meaning.
Sometimes, it is nice to just look at a picture and enjoy its aesthetic – its texture, its contrasting colours, the small details that may be lost when you’re in the moment, rather than deciphering a meaning to every image. Beauty for the sake of beauty is a connection to the core of creativity, turning the world into a new aesthetic canvas every day.