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FRPS

Maria Falconer FRPS

Print Submission

Statement of Intent

Keep Her Unnoticed

Last year I celebrated my 50th birthday. My family arranged a small party to mark the occasion. My arrival was pretty much as you would expect for a birthday party. Warmly greeted by friends and family with a generous array of flowers and gifts, it was a wonderful welcome. But as one of my closest friends put her arms around me to hug me I ceased to hear her excited chatter, when over her shoulder I came face to face with my 17 year old self.

Around the venue hung a range of A1 portraits taken of me between the ages of 16 and 18.

There is nothing so disturbing as finding oneself unexpectedly staring into the life sized face of a former self, that is so clearly “ you” and yet so obviously not. But what made this experience even more disquieting was the fact that during this period of my life I had been a victim of domestic violence

In the weeks following I began to slowly recall a time, during the mid to late seventies, when my world was very different. A time that I thought I had long since dealt with, moved on from and forgotten.

This work revisits that world through the eyes of my 50-year-old self. It is a dialogue between two people, my self then and my self now.

Abusive relationships are characterized by fear, violence and low self- esteem. Less obvious issues however include possessiveness, isolation and disassociation

during a traumatic experience, a person may dissociate the memory of the place and circumstances of the trauma from his ongoing memory, resulting in a temporary mental escape from the fear and pain of the trauma …                         (http://psychcentral.com/library/dissociation_intro.htm)   

Each “self portrait” was conceived, lit and set up by myself. When necessary an assistant was employed to press the shutter.