Dean O'Brien's Blog

Picturing the Body research: Looking at ‘The Egg’ by John Akehurst

with 5 comments

As I am now starting my module on picturing the body I am start to look more at intimacy and private moments shared between those closest to us.  The work of photographers such as Elinor Carucci seem to capture this very well.

In 1997 photographer John Akehurst produced a body of work called ‘The Egg’ which appeared in The Face magazine in August 1997.  Google images was no help in locating any of the images so I eventually managed to locate a copy  of the magazine so that I could see the images as they were meant to be seen.  The hunt was well worth the trouble.  Superb abstract images which left me mesmerised by their great composition and strong curves.  The use of underwear added something to the images and had a greater impact visually than just plain nude body parts.

There are obvious similarities here with the work of people such as Bill Brandt, Edward Weston and Irving Penn but by using flesh coloured underwear on the subject he does seem to have made this work his own.  This is something which I need to consider when producing my own work.  Although I will be influenced by work such as this I need to make it my own.  This module is providing me with a real opportunity to shine and looking at the work of people such as John Akehurst is a great starting point.

What I most find appealing about this work is the simplicity.  For too long I have been tied down with complicated lighting set ups that are sometimes just over kill.  In fact it does have a major affect on the work which I create.  Too often in the past I have been too busy thinking about the lights, what type of softbox etc…rather than being visually creative with what is directly in front of my face.  The images for ‘The Egg’ were shot using just one light.  I rest my case.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

January 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Picturing the Body

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5 Responses

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  1. You’re learning my friend… Leaps & bounds Deano!

    Harpreet Khara

    January 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  2. can’t say that the images do it for me but simplicity is often the easiest and most effective way to do something. However, simplicity comes with an understanding of the hard way of doing something. It is then and only then that the penny drops.

    rick medlock

    January 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • I suppose the images are not to everyones taste but they had a real impact on me. It was a real break from the usual nude stuff that I normally come across.

      I agree with you totally though Rick that to shoot something simple you still need an understanding of how to do things the hard way.

      As always, thanks for the feedback.

      Dean O'Brien

      January 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

  3. Have to agree with Rick,
    Simplicity- best learn’t the hard way.

    Just part of the learning curve.

    Harpreet Khara

    January 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm


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