A look at a wonderfully dark series of portraits by an experimental photographer who may secretly be a witch. See more after the break.
Rosanna Jones is an experimental photographer heavily interested in portrait and fashion photography. Her darkroom fiddling, heavily applied to one particular photo series of hers, really brings her work into its own vast space and blows a heavy breath of liveliness into the images in question.
Her Darkroom series is dark and messy, just like life. Threads of human life, fraying at the edges, left in a damp attic for years to wither and crumble. Like a life abandoned or a life wrecked, the photos carry with them a curious narrative, not an explicit story, but a visceral sense of life and living and all the personal mysteries held within. The rich blacks and spooky grey tones render the pictures as if they were peeks into caves or wells, with secrets and complexities lurking deep inside them. The messy scratches and marks call up all those uncertain emotions we know so well; confusion, anxiety, fear. They bring to the surface of the images a sense of a life being slowly erased, an allegory for the effect of time and history on individuals: we will all fade, after a while.
Blurry, grainy realities and splodges of mystery fluids with double exposures creeping out from underneath give these photos a feeling of the occult, too. Her subjects seem lost in a bubbling ether of witchcraft and dark leaves, though even in their menacing surroundings their humanity seeps through inevitably, leaving an unstoppable imprint of themselves.