I’ve always had a passion for direct observational drawing/painting from life/nature, including the human figure/form/anatomy so when as an art/design student one was presented for the first time with the topic theme of The Extension of the Senses of Man to explore, the following became my rationalizing approach and how I explored this topic.
Skin is man’s largest sensory organ and primarily requires protection against the environment’s elements. Clothing protects humans, provides a barrier between the skin and the environment.
Thinly draped clothing veiled over the human form provides ample study of soft falling movements along body lines, flowing shapes & patterns etc. I wanted to explore the human form/skin/clothing exposed directly to elements in a natural environment ‘outdoors’ as apposed to life models posing in a protective drawing room set-up that I had been so far exposed to.
Stage 1) Exploring the extension of the senses by exposing the human form/skin/clothing to the natural physical elements of water, air and earth/sand at a public beach landscape and documenting this through the photographic medium. Two fellow art students modeled for me in loose light negligee clothing.
Stage 2) From there I developed a B&W photographic series learning several darkroom manipulation techniques in the process.
Stage 3) From the resultant photographic imagery (on the human structure, female shapes and forms, skin & cloth exposed to the natural elements of water, wind/air, earth/sand/rock in the landscape) I further explore and study the inherent structure and ‘dynamics’ of several images and produce several drawings.
I think my two fellow art student models totally enjoyed the creative photographic documentation experience, even though they got cold, wet and buried in sand, and I, the photographer stayed dry!