The exhibition features four pieces of work: The Other Woman, The Clandestine Purse, The Married Man, and Fairytale for Sale, which all revolve around issues of marital infidelity or failure in some way.
Our favourite is Fairytale for Sale, shown in the gallery on one wall as a series of photographs of brides on their wedding day – but with their faces, and those of their just-married husband, family and friends crudely blotted out with Tipp-Ex or scratched out with biro. Through reading the printed emails and adverts shown alongside, we learn that these wedding dresses are all for sale and the fairytale of the perfect day has become tarnished by divorce, money concerns or maybe, just by a lack of interest.
Showcasing more of Natasha’s photography skills, The Married Man is a wall of images in saturated colour showing snapshots of a half-finished meal or drink at a cheap eatery or pub – with occasional intriguing glimpses of a man’s hand. For this series, Natasha undertook to go on 80 blind dates with married man looking for ..? Well, what were they looking for? Indeed, that was the question Natasha asked them and kept their answers on a digital recorder hidden in her red purse. The images come from the one of two – never more – images Natasha was able to take while on the date. Interestingly, Natasha used a cheap disposable camera rather than professional equipment to give the images a spontaneity and casual feel. However, all the photographs have been carefully printed by hand.
As mentioned above, while looking at the photographs, you hear a running commentary, The Red Purse, where Natasha asks the dates what their intentions are and why. I wonder if any of the men in the photos or even more telling in the voiceover (harder to disguise) know they are part of an artwork?
The British Journal of Photography calls Married Man a ‘ cheeky, thought-provoking project’ and adds ‘it’s the details that fascinate. There are bad-taste jumpers, sad bunches of flowers, missing wedding rings, bills paid with cash and ever-present mobile phones, all in the seemingly banal environment of London cafés and restaurants.’ Natasha also comments on the ethical implications of the project. Read the rest of the BJP article.
All images copyright Natasha Caruana. Natasha’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been shortlisted for the National Magazine Awards and The Deutsche Bank Pyramid Prize. In 2010 she was named as the one to watch in the Royal Photographic Society Journal and featured in the British Journal of Photography, and in 2011 she was selected by the Humble Arts Foundation as one of 18 leading female art photographers working in the UK. Natasha Caruana graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2008 and is currently a lecturer of Photography at the University for Creative Arts, Farnham. Married Men and Other Stories continues at the Photofusion Gallery until March 23 2012.
Photofusion, 17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA.