5 Phases of Michael Woods

5 portraits here that show a new approach to portraiture and the environment. I am engaged simultaneously in a project to capture every view I can of Trellick Tower (‘Au Tour de Trellick’) and develop a new way to make portraits of people.

I am constantly perplexed by the strength of feeling that I feel for ‘incomplete’ images, whether my own or other people’s. The malcomposed image with a face jutting into the corner has more emotional power for me than the perfect portrait.

I think it has something to do with the narrative power of images, in that classically/technically perfect portraits which enable us to engage with the shape, texture and environment of the subject ‘dictate’ something to us which we receive in a ‘reactive’ mode. In other words our perception of the human in the photograph (this applies to painting as well) is prescribed rather than intuited.

In this new approach I am hoping to provoke a response from the viewer’s deeper psyche rather than their ‘head’. I believe that this is where the true human connection to imagery is most deeply felt.

Alex Schneideman March 2014, London