Lydia Roberts photographs are mostly self portraits, brave, unflinching ones, whose aesthetic lies somewhere between Surrealism, Gothic Punk and fashion, a body of work that conjures up the early 20th Century, a time of Modernism, experimentation, revolution, liberation.
They are truly quite remarkable pictures especially when you consider Roberts is only 19 years old, self taught and only starting out on a path of self discovery, her camera a keeper, a recorder, a lens through which she externalises her feelings, emotions, looking for signposts in the forest of her sub-conscious in an effort to find the truth about herself.
Many of these pictures are raw, brutal even – limbs are missing, scars exposed, acute angles dramatised – she doesn’t hide from the ugly, there are no taboos, she lays it all on the table and asks us to look, to question, to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of her work. Here’s what she has to say about her photographs:
I would hope not to control what people see in my photos, but to make as they wish of them. The possibilities of what you are presented with becomes endless that way, much more fun and sometimes daunting.
I see myself staring in a mirror; my reality, my fantasy, but more, the mad whirl of the world around me. It’s a liberation for me to be able to express myself this way, to take what I see and make it mine. I do try to keep life at a respectful distance to remain focused on what is sometimes just an abstract decoration to what I’m seeing
I’m always bowled over when I come across work by such a young artist, it excites me while simultaneously making me think what I’ve done with all my time; wasted it, pissed it away doing other things. However young artists, like Roberts, are the reason I do this blog and have got back to drawing and I look forward to following her work over the next number of years. I suggest you have a look at her flickr account, there is much to admire, to flinch from, to engage in, to love and adore.