2019 sees Susan Badcock on an intensely ironic journey as she explores the techniques of 19th century portraiture, interlacing her latest series with commentary on the excessiveness of disposable 21st century society.
Unashamedly confronting and personal, Susan has adopted and adapted classic black and white portraiture techniques, photographing her own daughter while questioning the future she will face.
“In an increasingly reckless society enamoured by consumption and waste, our children face an uncertain future. Yet they bear our burdens and carry our glut with wisdom and dignity beyond their years.” – Susan Badcock
The result is a raw and unmasked series that toys with the viewer. Trompe l’oeil comes into play with ironic and disposable accessories adorning the child. Cheap beads, plastic sunglasses, an iridescent slinky and even a bath sponge are her play things. Yet this is a child on the brink of transitioning to womanhood. Soon her toys will be disposed of, both literally and figuratively, as she evolves to the next stage of her life.
In a society obsessed with image and immediacy, Susan’s portraits are refreshingly organic and encouraging. In sharp contrast to the visual story-telling and physical perfection that today’s society has come to expect of young women, this is a photographic series of intimate exploration into the depths of the girl. It is soulful and unforced, authentic and arresting.
“We exploit ourselves in social media, telling the world about our fake lives and masked beauty.” – Susan Badcock
The resulting series is one of empowering tension as the values, morals and techniques of yesteryear vie for attention and worth in modern society.
Words by Pip Goldsbury