In early 2012, as my research in ‘Out of the Darkness’ began to consider the power of the gaze, in it’s various guises, one of the most important questions I asked myself was should I, or should I not, include the faces of convicted paedophiles in my work? I didn’t want to give them any sense of power through interpretation, so I began to play with the idea of various ways I could approach the problem. The intention was to pit the empowered gaze of the innocent against the disempowered gaze of the perpetrator ..
I appropriated many images of convicted paedophiles from the internet and decided to eliminate the problem of their gaze. The problem was .. how? I began to remove the eyes from the images in various ways, some of which are pictured above. I have continued to work with appropriated images of the convicted, though I have become more selective about which perpetrators I use in my more recent work.
Progress during the MA .. ‘Stains’, 2015
As my research into gaze theory progressed, I began to implement more extensive ideas about the gaze, and the faces became part of a multifaceted approach, looking to Lacan’s theorizing of the gaze, reducing the faces to the role of the ‘stain’ in my work (theoretically, metaphorically and literally).