Differently familiar

The work is an ongoing project that aims to explore different forms of familiar bonds which belong to the contemporary society. At the end of 2018 I’ve decided to begin this journey photographing some groups of my family, my partner’s family and some close friends’ familiar relationships. The following pictures belong to this first step.

When I was a high school student I was fascinated by the Flemish group portraits, painted with deep attention to the detail and to the individual expressions, feelings, clothes and behaviours. I could read different stories through each subject’s personal representation and pose. All in a single picture.

I thought about that very feeling when I started to explore the family portrait through my project. I wondered how the contemporary families and couples might express themselves through a single group portrait where all the individualities are asked to tell their personalities which refer to nuances and hints of personal stories.

I’m asking people to think about their lives and routines as individuals, about the diversity of elements that characterise their beings – inside the group and outside it – and then to “wear” them. In addition, I’m asking each group to think about common elements within their familiar relationship that might represent a symbolic part of their bond.

I see the family as an emotional bond where similarities and differences are intertwined. It is a private space, but also a social place where the roles mingle, exchange, blend and confront each other. Each one has her/his own individual characteristics and stories and so does the family as a group, as community, as couple.

I’m interested in exploring the performative nuance of the familiar relationships intertwined with the performance of the portrait itself that might reveal codes, paradigms, shifts, gestures, traditions, hints of lives.


Please note that this is an open and ongoing project. If you want to join contact me at info@gretalorimer.com