For 25 year old conceptual portrait artist, Rosie Hardy, that examination of self is what starts her creative process. Her first step, she describes, is to “have a mental breakdown, analyze yourself and your past and all the issues and complexities in your mind.” She then spends hours reading poetry about these personal questions and issues, confesses to crying, posts an Instagram photo with one of these found poetry excerpts, and then pours out of her own heart a personal poem of her own on her blog.
I’ve recently been going through a lot of soul searching and wound fusing, and I’ve produced some pretty personal work at the same time. It’s therapy to me.” From those poems filled with lessons and truths about life as Rosie sees it, this artist then turns to photography to visually portray her new found ideas. But before grabbing her camera, she starts with her receptacle of random findings: her phone and journal. Here she keeps her idea sketches (“really terrible drawings of stick men doing all kinds of weird stuff”), inspiring quotes, and location finds. It is these random musings, coupled with whatever life question Rosie has been exploring through her readings, writings, and tears, that lead to Rosie thinking next of an analogy or imagery that would help illustrate her struggle. For example, in “The Last Tornado” it was the image of the girl choosing not to escape the coming cyclone that proved the perfect analogy for those that engage in self-destructive behavior.
After all this soul searching, Rosie decides she is ready to start shooting. She grabs her camera, driving around in the rain and fog of her native England to a location she has noted in her journal. Often she brings a friend who, as she describes it, “also needs cheering up.” This friend doubles as her “human tripod” when Rosie is shooting self portraiture and is more reliable than her flimsy, cheap tripod which Rosie says has a terrible tendency to blow off cliffs and fall into lakes. Besides, Rosie feels that with a friend alongside her she “tends to look a lot less weird doing some of the stuff I do.”
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