Sarah Moon is a British-born fashion photographer and film-maker who was born in 1940, and resident in Paris. After studying art she began working as a model, then, from 1967, became a photographer her work was noticed at the Modinsolite Exhibition of Avant-Garde Fashion Photography, arranged by Delpire Gallery, inParis,France, and sponsored by Kodak in 1968. Her carefully staged images are mysterious, nostalgic, and surreal, sepia toned or in colours muted and diffused by grain. She photographed for Vogue, Nova, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar (Great Britain), Marie-Claire, Votre Beaute, and other magazines and as well as making films.
Some of Moon’s quote’:
For me, photography is pure fiction,” Moon says, “even if it comes from life. I photograph people, of course, as I do nature – trees, flowers, animals – but I charge it with something other than reality, with feeling, with a certain feeling depending on the day. I compare myself to reportage photographers, who make some sort of statement about life. I don’t believe that I am making any defined statement. Instead, I am expressing something, an echo of the world maybe.”
“I suppose what I’m looking for, what they all share, is that they bring something to the photograph, they tell a story,” she says. In return, and demonstrating only the greatest respect for her subjects, Moon studies them endlessly: “The curve of the neck, the balance of the hips, the gesture of the hand… it’s not always the face that dictates.”
She discusses how she uses her camera to create a situation that isn’t there, and cheat reality, to show the audience an alternative reality. She takes advantage of what the camera sees, instead of what she sees. I think as an artist, this is a beautiful way to think, and method of thinking I wish to take advantage of.
Interpretation of Moon’s work:
Moon uses a female form as well as the surrounding of the scene (where the picture is being taken) to tell a story. The subject matter of this photography can be interpreted as a conversational piece; because the photography itself is telling a story of it own, which draws to the conclusion of it subject matter being about emotion. Moon is an automatic photographer who tries to capture a beautiful moment of seconds without planning it. Moon discusses how she uses her camera to create a situation that isn’t there, and cheat reality, to show the audience an alternative reality. She takes advantage of what the camera sees, instead of what she sees’.
Moon uses a repetitive mixture of sombre colours such as black and grey with a combination of a white subtle colour for her grain background. The colour scheme presented is contrasting within the photography as the female form becomes predominant thanks to the prevailing black dress and dominant skin tone of the female, which as a result creates a great contrast with the grain background.
Within the female form, there is recurrent shape of irregular triangular forms being produced within the negative space. By observing the posture of the female it can be assumed that she was feeling uncomfortable, depressed or sad as she was facing away from the camera. By wearing a black dress adds a mystery to the photography as black can be interpret as elegant, death, evil, power ect.. The subject matter of this photography piece could also be a representation of Moon’s emotion during that period of time.
The relationship between the different elements of this photography is quite straightforward. Moon used photography as media to produce this piece of work. She used a simple technique which is to change the photography with something other than reality, with her feeling, with a certain feeling depending on the day. This then, makes the image in this photography symbolic of Moon’s emotion.
This piece of work by Moon captures a feeling of empathy, as it creates a connection between me and her work. I can relate to some emotion in the photography such as dullness, in some days of my life, where I feel dull and disclosed.
Both I and Moon are using photography as media in our work, as well as body form. Moon has inspired me into progressing my work further by; not being restricted in using dull colours and to make sure an emotion is being strongly being presented in my work.