Martin Usborne – Nice to meet you
I remember meeting a stranger on a sunny day whilst I was suffering from depression.
‘Nice to meet you, how are you?’, said the stranger.
‘I’m fine’, I replied.
I wanted to howl.
What happens to those raw, painful parts of ourselves we hide away? The anger, confusion, uncertainty, hope? And what strategies do we use to hide these parts of ourselves? Politeness, arrogance, speed, disinterest?
Each image in this series is a portrait of a dog photographed through a material or substance: a wet pane of glass, faint smoke, dense material, bleeding light. Nearly all of the dogs are abandoned, untrained, often aggressive. One is a wolf. (Every dog was carefully handled and protected
in the process). The images are titled with everyday phrases that so often hide subtexts.
As with the previous series, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, canines are used here to reflect that unspoken, instinctive side of our nature. In my own experience it is dogs – along with some other animals – that have the ability to communicate certain feelings most directly even though they have no words.
But the series is also about the voicelessness of animals, about their hidden pains and silent needs that to many people are not so apparent.
(with special thanks to Jake Churchill and Prokopi Constantinou)
More images and other interesting projects on www.martinusborne.com. His wonderful project MUTE was featured on this website in 2010. “Martin Usborne’s key interest is man’s relationship to (other) animals. Although his imagery is sometimes dark – capturing the way in which we silence, control or distance ourselves from other animals – his pictures strive for a subtle humour.” He lives and works in London, he studied philosophy and psychology and then 3D animation before finally settling on photography. He is currently spending a year to see how many animals he can save in 365 days. Read the ongoing blog on www.yeartohelp.com. He hopes for this to become his next book.