V I C K I H A I N E S
Lens Based Artist
Residence: Tewkesbury, England
2011-2014 BA (Hons) Fine Art Photography, University of Gloucestershire
2009-2011 Triple Distinction - BTec National Diploma in Photography
Commercial Freelance Photography
I am currently working commercially as a photographer predominantly photographing weddings and studio portraits, in order to fund my studies at University.
This involves me completing all of the necessary formalities or running a small business, including tax affairs, various insurance policies, marketing and advertising, sales and customer service.
Curating and organising exhibitions
Working in a group, I took a lead role in curating a very successful exhibition in Cheltenham High Street.
Before beginning my career path as an Artist, I had a successful sales career spanning 20 years. Working towards sales targets, leading small teams of sales reps, formulating business plans and giving presentations to large groups and one to one.
Film Camera (including medium and large format)
Videography and Editing
Adobe Premier Pro
Working with models
I use my work to explore issues that I feel I have an affiliation with and/or strong opinion about. My primary aim is to resolve personal inner conflicts surrounding these issues by a process of research, experimentation and then finding ways of making my thoughts into art which is both satisfying to me and promotes a reaction from the viewer. This process almost always involves me studying and testing my own opinions and gathering views from other people by photographing and interviewing them. Although I may not always find my resolution, the journey is usually very cathartic for me. Through this process, I am constantly updating my opinions and beliefs and trying to achieve a balanced view on life.
Part of the motivation for making my work, comes from the hope that it may invoke a sense of (un)comfortable familiarity from the viewer, that some of them may recognise the context of my investigations and feel a connection to it and trigger debate. To me personally, my work represents my lifelong search to find and understand myself within the greater context of my own world. I seek answers, I ask questions, I expand my mind through creativity and hope to inspire debate amongst others.
My process usually begins with a question and follows with a crude visualisation of a potential end resolution, for example, a book, a series of images or a video project. I try to envisage how the finished work would satisfy the original question aesthetically, to try and gain a theme, before I consider the content.
I have self published two books, one which is very personal which I do not intend to make public at this stage as it addresses some of the issues from my childhood, and the other entitled 'Show Boobs' which is an expose into the sordid and easily accessible world of sex on the internet. Focusing one on particular site, this book demonstrates how children and vulnerable members of the public can log into a highly sexualised forum without any identity or age checks and instantly be faced with live streaming webcam images of men and women masturbating (and worse) and trying to entice you to do the same.
Much of my recent work has been video based, which suits my need to provide the viewer with a narrative. The film Broken is probably one of the most sensitive projects I have worked on. During the making of this project, I was not only heavily pregnant but also subject to an abusive domestic situation in my own home. I used the project to explore the experience of others and gain an understanding and perhaps clarification and placement of what I was experiencing myself. The process of interviewing and listening to these survivors gave me a sense of camaraderie and in many ways, the strength to bring my own situation under a little more control. Since making this film, my home circumstances reached a pinnacle point of no return culminating in me being on the receiving end of a violent physical attack from my (at the time) partner. So I may, in the future, revisit this project and add some of me own content to the footage.
Following the film 'Broken', I began to question my own ethics as a photographer and in particular my apparent prudish attitude to the nude form. I realised that as an artist working with nudes on various commissions and projects, I was imposing my own insecurities into the editing process by using studio lights creatively to mask and veil unflattering parts of the body, and during the post shoot process, I found myself employing the same ethos by tweaking the exposure or using the dodge and burn tools to enhance shadows and highlights to maximise the visual aesthetic into conforming with modern hegemonic views on the perfect figure. So I challenged myself to create a project studying the human form in its naked state. No creative lighting, no editing, no nothing. I wanted to feel at ease with and, metaphorically speaking, embrace the naked form without shyness. So I embarked on my most recent project, which is entitled 'Naked'. This is a video project where I filmed a number of men and women, completely naked , in the studio. The only instructions I gave them was direction on where to stand and a rough idea of how much physical space they could move in to stay in-frame. I filmed each person for four minutes and did not engage with them verbally during the shoot. The resulting film is an interesting and somewhat confrontational study of the naked form. Made for exhibition, each persons footage was displayed individually, some at full size, some oversized and others very on very small monitors. As this project is so new, I am still coming to terms with its meaning to me but suffice to say I have gained a lot of personal empowerment from doing the project.
I am very passionate about my work, I have always expressed myself creatively. I think of the whole collection of my work as a transitional biographical journey, with each project signifying a pit stop - a place I have explored.