As I release my first professional website (ever) and write my first blog post (ever), I am excited to announce a new series. I have found, upon graduating a liberal arts college nearly two years ago, that I cannot conceive images without creating a series. I give you quite a silly one: Unbuttoned .
The subject matter arose from a simple conversation with my boyfriend, in which I was poking fun at his belly button for being shallow, little, and, as I told him, weird. He refuted that it was perfectly normal. "By comparison, maybe," I said, noting outies. So I decided to hold a photographic poll. Interestingly enough, belly buttons have sparked an unusual amount of confessions from self-volunteered models.
What started off as a frivolous and playful study has turned into a conversation about scars, blemishes, body folds, bulbous outies, linty innies; apparently everyone has an over-arching opinion of their own belly button. Negative, yet with an acute desire to show, once given the unusual opportunity.
While the series is still in it's early, evolutionary stages, I think of the way people divide others and their own bodies into categories. desired or as "other-ed." Dr. Seuss' Star Belly Sneetches comes to mind ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdLPe7XjdKc).
I think of body fads (60's torpedo boobs, "donks," school boy figures, thigh gaps), all of which contrast and oppose as the eras move along. Vulnerable bellies and belly buttons cannot be changed by some temporarily desired body type. They are the remains of what doctors cut between our mother's bodies and our own. They represent, in a sense, nurture that has been fractured and terminated. I intend to investigate that.
Check out the rest of the rest of the series here: http://audreydavisphotography.com/unbuttoned/
If you live in Birmingham and are interested in modeling your belly button, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prints are available for purchase (ranges from $15 - $75).