Looking for Love


This series focuses on members of a dating agency for people with learning disabilities, and was driven by two distinct themes. Firstly, the work attempts to show the instability of the portrait photograph as a means of understanding the ‘truth’ about the identities of the people within them. The imagery is assisted by text, and the important relationship between the two signifying systems is highlighted.


Secondly, I work from an empathetic position and with this work, aim to ask questions about the lives of my subjects. As viewers of this objective style of representation, we are unable to detect noticeable mental, emotional or physical impairments. Neither are we able to foresee the ideas, interests or beliefs of each subject without the accompanying subject-written dating profiles. Therefore, my portraits are about the individuals and not the range of disabilities they may face. In an attempt to challenge old fashioned stereotypes, I hope to highlight their individual identities, their notions of ‘self’, and their relationship to others. The chiaroscuro lighting and blank backgrounds help to express the three dimensionality of each subject, focusing on the human detail that exists behind the blanket term ‘learning disabilities’.

Using Format