Jennifer Pattison

In Sight of My Skin is an ongoing series of arresting nude portraits of women. The process of making this work so far has taken me on a highly personal journey. I chose to make a series of portraits of women without clothes as this was a situation I felt challenged by. My intention was to create a space where the sitter felt in control and allowed me to capture a little of their spirited character; the element of their personality which drew me to them.

My main focus when I set out to produce the work was to share an experience with another women and to claim little authority for myself. However during the process of taking the photographs I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of the women as they sat in front of me naked. How would I feel if the camera was pointed at me? Whether I liked it or not this project had forced me to explore notions about my body and myself which in turn became the overriding drive to make more pictures.

I spent a lot of time with each subject before I took the photographs to establish a special personal relationship. Allowing time for discussion and self-investigation, this open exchange created an honest atmosphere. All the portraits were taken in the sitter’s homes, conjuring an intimate atmosphere in which they could feel at ease. Within the frame of each portrait there is a whisper of the domestic interior providing an insight into how I perceived their world.

Whilst creating these images I discovered a new curiosity. I was drawn only to bold women who did not, in my view appear to be self-conscious. I identified this was the quality I was most interested in and became the main requirement when choosing each person. Seeking out only women who possessed this quality I had to ask myself was this something I coveted? And this question has now become one of the driving influences of this work.