by Sukey Parnell
About the Book
Sukey Parnell casts her eye back over her practice in portraiture to date. From the intimacy of her personal work centered around rites of passage within the family unit to familiar faces in showbiz, music and current affairs via personal projects on women midlife and counter-culture partygoers.
"Working primarily as a portraitist, Parnell turned to photography whilst navigating her entry into 'midlife', which was accompanied by the birth of her son and the death at home of her mother. Her work has sprung out of a desire to reveal the hidden psychic transitions that accompany female middle and older age and the attendant change in relation of the individual to their mortality and the gaze of society. ... Individual narratives are transposed into an allegorical form ... evoking a sense of otherworldliness, the unseen behind the seen, the transcendent and symbolic within the everyday ... recurrent motifs - thresholds, mirrors, portals - hint at larger rites of passage within a personal encounter.
Pete Smith, Senior Lecturer, Thames Valley University
I am a photographic artist working primarily as a portraitist and studying for a PhD. My particular area of interest is the transaction of the portrait - between photographer and sitter, and viewer and portrayed - and the representation of age and 'femininity'. Having worked in the creative industries as an actress and singer, I bring a 'theatrical' sensibility to my portraits, creating a moment of heightened appearance and loading images with a sense of the unseen psychic lives and character of my sitters.