I believe we are capable of feeling emotions in such a strong way, words often fall short, no word has enough power to express true feeling. Emotions are often divided into good and bad. I tried to create and capture the purity and trueness of feelings without categorising them. We may be able to decide how we deal with certain emotions and situations but we are helpless when it comes to deciding how certain situations make us feel. I believe creating art is about expressing feelings, dealing with daily life and its influences as well as encouraging and inspiring others to think outside the box. Everybody has the power to see it the way they want to, it is about the experience of the viewer. With NUMB, I am telling a story, a story about the power emotions have over us.
INSPIRATION AND PREPARATION
I love the journey, starting off with a simple thought and progressing to the final images. The more I am in charge of the concept of a shoot the more creative freedom it allows me. Numb began like every project, with the inspirations. I looked at different artists and their work as well as kept my eyes and mind open while going through my daily life. Wherever I saw something I liked I stopped and tried to figure out what exactly appealed to me about it and what emotions it caused. It could be colour combinations, nature, a poster at an underground station or conversations I had overheard. I started writing down my ideas and took notes on my phone wherever I went. Next, I created mood board and collected old statement necklaces of friends as well as some other possessions they had no more use for. I went through my boxes of fabric, got out my hot glue gun and tools, bought spray cans and started creating face accessories. To me it was important to be inspired by what I had rather than buying new things. It narrowed things down and felt like I had more freedom to create.
Some of my favourite pieces of the shoot are the two looks with the tights and flowers as well as the white facepiece I used over Julie's mouth. When it came to the shoot, I had one box with the pre-made pieces as well as another box with "stuff" which allowed me to create pieces the same day. I felt very prepared and had a clear idea how the final images should look but at the same time I left enough room to create on the day and see where it would take me.
by the time of the shoot, the project did not have a name yet. Of course, throughout the whole project I had an idea but nothing seemed 100% suitable. I would say this was one of the hardest parts of this project, as when it comes to certain things, I am a real perfectionist. It helped to see the final images Andre sent. I kept looking at them on my phone over and over again. I took notes wherever I went and spoke to family members and friends about it, I described what I was looking for, a word that would illustrate the intensity of a very deep emotion, a word that would describe the feeling of crying, but no tears are running down the face.
I had a massive list on my phone, and I tried really hard to come up with something suitable till one day it hit me. I was on the train going into central London when the word NUMB just popped into my head. Straight away I knew ‘that is it ‘I gave it another two days to see if I would still like it, and I did! I am very thankful for everyone involved, and a massive thank you is owed to André, Esther from ATEO PHOTOGRAPHY, as well as to the models Julie and Feana.
PHOTOGRAPHER: André Theissen ATEO Photography
MODELS: Julie, ICAN Model Management, Feana Groeneveld, Select Model Management
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Nora Orthofer