You can see every photograph from my daily self portrait project for the first six months in the following two videos. The photographs are shown in chronological order with each video illustrating three months.
It’s interesting to view them like this – each day ticking past giving way to the next. I get a real sense of the passing of time.
I’ve set the videos to two pieces of music that have made up part of my soundtrack then (and now) and are pieces of music which move me.
Is it art? I’m not sure what anyone else will think but to me it is, along with being a diary, a document of life with CFS/ME, a personal insight into coming to terms with my chronic illness, a sketch of life gone by and with it good and bad.
Daily Self Portraits: 4 May – 3 August 2007
Daily Self Portraits: 4 August – 3 November 2007
It’s slightly unerving to see so many pictures of myself in succession, even more so to see them in a public domain. But trying to communicate something to the others is an important part of the process.
I started this project on 4th May 2007, six months after my formal diagnosis with CFS/ME and eighteen months or so after first feeling there was something wrong with me.
It’s certainly not a project about vanity. I have to take a photograph of myself every day including some part of me (face or body) and I have to push the shutter button myself (as in self).
Every day I take a photo – regardless of how photogenic, creative or human I feel. I’ve had days when my arms are too weak to hold the camera up in the air, days when I can’t get the picture in focus because I’m shaking, days when my head has been so bad the auto-focus light is like a red hot poker in my eye, days when I can’t find words from my brain, day upon day in my pj’s unkempt and unwashed, days when light, life and love gloriously fill my world.
Cringe though I might at many of the pictures this process has helped (is helping) me to see, to learn, to grow. Helping me accept life the way it is and the way it must be. Helping to kindle an interest my photography (wanting to do it better). Helping to push myself artistically by addressing the same subject day in day out yet finding new and creative ways to do that. As well as sometimes – just being able to record a moment in a changed life.
I am now over 8 months into the year long project. I’m looking forward to finding out what stories this latter half of the project will tell.
You can see the full set of photographs on Flickr in my self portrait set