I'm excited to share that I'll perform a modified version of the Unlikeness project during the TEDxHackney event on 14th April 2012. The TEDx events are local, independently organised and funded versions of the big video streamed "Ideas worth sharing" TED organisation.
I came across this event through a collaborator in last Saturday's shoot on Broadway Market. Daniel Vais (portrait=liked) is a social choreographer and dance activist and has made it his passion to realise this event in a very short period of time. He's full of energy and very inspiring to talk or work with.
The event topic is HAPPINESS, so the way the collaboration works will be tweaked to investigate this topic. I'm very excited to see what kind of images we'll end up with.
If you live in Hackney and would like to attend, visit www.tedxhackney.com for tickets (you need to have one even to access the foyer area). The event itself wil be a blast too, I'm sure, and if you live further afield you can see the talks streaming live on their website.
Every project has its lull points, where for a while nothing much is happening. So I just tentitavely looked at my blog here and noticed in shock that the previous post was MORE THEN TWO MONTHS ago! That's what happens when Facebook makes social blogging so simple...
Anyway, something had to be done! So I swoooped on this image Thea took middle of September of our Unlikeness session in Columbia Road. I cut it into a square and in a strange way it tells the whole unlikeness story like an album cover:
Right in the centre is the half-hidden blackboard, with the participation forms people use to fill out. Then there's the queue of people building up in the background, often hanging out for half an hour waiting for their turn. In the foreground you see me chatting with Sean who'll be in front of the lens next and then to the right is my battery-powered bicycle trolley. On top are some of the unliked portraits on display and my hero printer half-way through breathing life into Thea's portrait we did a few minutes earlier.
So it's the whole story in one hit. Lovely, thanks Thea!
Today we celebrated our one year anniversary of the ULIKENESS project. It seemed so short yet long ago, since I first wheeled out my aluminium box onto the top edge of broadway market. I was nervous and clueless how people would react, what they'd think and if they'd like or unlike their shots.
Back then on that first day I took eight portraits with three liked and five unliked. Today I took only seven portraits of which four were liked and three unliked.
Over the last year I've spent 33 days shooting for UNLIKENESs and have taken 581 portraits. 447 (77%) portraits were 'liked' and 134 (23%) portraits were 'unliked'. The gender split is 60:40 in favour of female and women are still twice as likely not to like themselves in their printed portrait then men.
The project made it around London's East End street markets, to a Bedford street art festival and to some of Berlin's weekend hotspots.
I've met many lovely people with a large cross section of trades, jobs and skills. I'm grateful for so many friends and contacts over the year and look forward to the 1000's portrait sometime in Autumn 2011.
Thank you to everyone who took part and a BIG WELCOME to everyone joining us in the year to come.
It's been a good few days since I blogged here. Unlikeness had a couple of nice shooting days in the meantime and everything is going swimmingly.
What took my breath away yesterday was the following note someone passed me in a rush while I was engaged in a nice unlikeness chat with Camilla.
The note is from someone I met on the last Saturday of July 2010 while I was out on Broadway market performing unlikeness. Back then Lucy appeared with her two friends and Jamie (who had his unlikeness portrait taken). At the end of Jamie's shoot Lucy told me about her cancer and her immanent move to Australia. This would be the last weekend they were all together. I took and printed a group shot. Lucy took it to Australia.
Getting the note made my heart leap. I hope to catch up with Lucy soon to hear the whole story and take another portrait...
I met up with Lucy a little later and heard the whole story. She went through a tough time including radio and chemo therapy, but came through healed. An incredibly positive and strong spirit carried her along.
She told me that she kept that portrait we recorded of her friends in London on the mantle piece and in hospital with her. It served as a sort of focal point and as a connection to London.
Lucy is now focussed on modelling, practising Thai massage and living a full & healthy life. Here's her portrait from this summer ======>
Lucy told me her story on a sunny Suday afternoon recently in London Fields, a park right opposite from where the Unlikeness portraits are usualy recorded. I couldn't have been happier.