by Mike Newton
About the Book
The depiction of a female figure absorbed in a task has been a feature of Western Art since the late 16th Century. This self absorption, where the person seems oblivious to their surroundings, and the intimacy linked to it, can be read as a metaphor for melancholic loneliness. The photographs in this collection capture female subjects in a variety of absorptive tasks. The natural lighting and settings contribute to the sculptural illusionism of the photographs and help imply that the observed activity is protracted. The lack of eye contact allows the spectator 'room' for philosophical reflection on the subject, thus reinforcing the real, the use of monochrome serves as a reminder that it is a staged absorptive undertaking and that we are sharing the photographer's private vision of reality.