Manon Ouimet

2018 - Ongoing

City of London, England, United Kingdom; Bristol, England, United Kingdom

ALTERED is a body of photographic work that challenges our assumptions of beauty, what it means to be whole, and what it means to be human. It focuses attention on a community of people who have unwillingly embarked on life-changing body alterations due to illness, war, accident and violence. The intention is to illuminate people who are often marginalised, and contribute to conversations around equality and diversity. By crossing boundaries between various photographic genres and merging a contemporary fashion aesthetic with a social-documentary focus, subject matter and practice, the work asks the viewer to explore themselves through the prism of others, to challenge or confirm their belief system regarding body-image and its representation, and to strive to be more compassionate and loving towards everyone by embracing our differences. Furthermore, the process of making these works also aims to help individuals regain confidence and reclaim their identity, embracing the practice of the ‘therapeutic gaze’ – whereby photography is used to assist people in redefining their identity, nurturing positive attitudes in relation to their physical appearance and providing them with a visual voice to state with confidence, ‘I am here’. Ultimately, both the process and the photographs themselves aim to be human.

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