Everybody needs space. Individuals need room to develop and blossom. Personal space serves as a retreat, a safe haven. At the same time, we humans are intrinsically pack animals. At some point in life, we are bound to encounter other people in the world around us. Having our own space can be liberating, but it can also constrict us. We seek and set boundaries.
Imagine this scenario: you suddenly find yourself in a box. Naked, bare. Your vision is limited. You can’t stand up straight, let alone find something to cling on to. There’s nothing to anchor you. For us humans, it’s a claustrophobic and unnatural environment. This is the exact situation that I created for the participants of my Playroom project. They were given a very brief amount of time, first to orient themselves within the space provided, approximately half a cubic metre (100x50x50 cm), and then: to make it their own.
This artificial environment forms a backdrop in which the soft whiteness of the box contrasts starkly with the sensual, innocent, smooth form of the human body within it. Going back to basics, focussing only on the essential, the human being, was of utmost importance to me. Clothes or colours, which inadvertently reflect the fashions of the era, would be an unwelcome distraction from the expressive, sculpture-like bodies. Despite the absolute restriction of the space, the diversity in the series is astonishing. Every image is unique.
It was also exhilarating for me as a photographer to see how differently the models worked within this space – in some cases, they conquered the box with confidence, whereas others were reserved, pensive, cautious in their interactions.
The Playroom project has now been running for many years. Now it’s time that the pictures will be presented in a photobook.
You will find this project on kickstarter! Take a look! – I am grateful for any support!!
In the following you see a small selection. In total, several hundreds of unique pictures have been taken. These are to be seen in my photobook.