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Laura Thompson – Winner

This image is from Laura’s  project, ‘ Senseless’ heres some more information about her project.

“There was a particular tribe which was able to see Venus in full daylight, something which to me would be utterly impossible and incredible…Later on I looked into old treatises on navigation belonging to our own civilisation and it seems that sailors of old were perfectly able to see the planet in full daylight. Probably we could still do so if we had a trained eye.”

– Claude Lévi-Strauss, Myth and Meaning.

Based on various anthropological and scientific studies, it has been observed that as people have become more dependent on modern technology and science, their senses have gradually dulled and become dislocated from our natural surroundings. Anthropologists such as Lévi-Strauss have also noticed the opposite occurring in cultures that are still living in nature and actively participating in it. The cultures with roots in mythology and animism, the belief of the connectedness of everything on earth, are especially in tune with their senses, which as a result, have heightened.

I began to look into various mythologies from around the world and the costumes associated with them and observed most involved the covering of the face and many times the entire body to transform the person into a mythical being. At the same time I was looking at urban legends and hoaxes such as Bigfoot and people’s obsessive fascination with these elusive beasts. What interested me most was that many seemed to be based on existing mythologies and the fact that many of these creatures seemed to be trapped between two worlds. The work is centred on constructed “yeti-like” creatures made up of either disposable manmade plastic forks, earplugs, vinyl gloves, car air fresheners or compact mirrors, each representing one of the senses. These creatures have been consumed by these modern, materialistic items and as such can no longer sense anything at all. Neither human nor animal, they wander between worlds fitting in nowhere, yearning to be part of a world they no longer belong to, and becoming a creature of myth.

Photographed using a large format 5×4 field camera.