“Someone said to me, early on in film school….If you can photograph the human face you can photograph anything, because that is the most difficult and most interesting thing to photograph. If you can light and photograph the human face to bring out what’s within that human face you can do anything.”
– Roger Cinematographer
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. Wrinkles are the proof of a million smiles. So what better place for me to discover how and what details of a face can signify more than its physical form than the National Portrait Gallery of London.
A particular artist whose work is currently exhibiting at the gallery and that inspired me is Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970). The attention to detail of her painting speak volumes that allow us to engage with yesteryear characters and even comment on social context in a single picture.
After researching Knight’s work outside of London, I put together a gallery of several of her portraits that I feel have the most semiotic dimensions to them. Even without taking facial expressions into consideration her portraits offer plentiful routes for interpretation about personality, origin and emotions.
I am starting to see how expressions alone can tell a story. Now knowing that a single picture can have so much potency I look forward to using silent expressions as a powerful tool in my 1 minute portrait and other works of all genre to create.
Laura Knight’s static portraits have given me some intellectual nourishment into the various ways that I can express character within art mediums and also what may inspire me in the development of my own cinematic style. For my one minute cinemagraph I can now consider the importance of body language, clothing and lighting (in a similar way to brush strokes) to reveal my true self in 60 seconds without sound but in greater detail.