Jonathan Knowles’ portrait (below) was selected for Portrait Salon 2014 and is part of his series ‘Bagsie’. ‘The introduction of the word ‘selfie’ into the Oxford English Dictionary marked a huge change for the world of portrait photography, brought about by the flood of self-portraiture across social media channels. But is this how we really see ourselves? Does this truly reveal a part of ourselves to the viewer? Looking to explore the current notions of the self-portrait, #Bagsie is a creative collaboration between Creative Advice Network, Soapbox & Sons and photographer Jonathan Knowles. The project sought out the talents and personal interpretations of 10 artists, asking each to draw/paint/create a self-portrait on a paper bag that reflected the personality within.’
‘Oh what’s inside you can’t hide…I spent several days having moments with the bag on my head. At first it would make me feel nervous and uncomfortable, but whilst I sat in a busy restaurant I realised I was actually calm and relaxed in the safe warm paper casing and actually it was the others around me who really felt uncomfortable. They couldn’t tell what I was thinking, if I was smiling or serious… They came to fear what was happening inside the bag… The unknown…To quote Frank “Would it help if I said my facial expressions out loud?”’ (hyper island.com).
Matt C Stokes
‘My #Bagsie self portrait is made up of lots of items I’ve kept and never really done anything with. I hoard items, y’see, and battle with throwing things away, stashing random toys and everyday items under the bed, around the desk, in cupboards, corners and bags. Any surface is a storage area. To steal a word off my hero Philip K Dick, it is the kipple that grows around me – and this is me trying to deal with it. This is me curating some of these items, reluctantly parting with them, setting them free… but alas it is done.’ (mattcstokes.com).
‘My contribution to the #Bagsie project is a simple experiment in lettering and image. I’m a lettering artist and my focus is on the hand-made, the authentic lettering that holds all of the kinks and wobbles of something created by human hands on paper in paint. The statement ‘None too perfect, but charming and honest’ is a phrase recently penned as part of a self-promotion project but has rapidly become the mission statement of my professional practice.’ (olifrape.co.uk)
‘Something that interests me is showing force or fury from unexpected or mundane sources, a kind of inner voice. For example, my logo is a tiny rabbit who is growling; he’s fragile, but cheeky. To illustrate this yell from the meek, I made a paper sparrow’s head for my bag. Sparrows are a nice representation of this idea, they’re small, delicate, common, but can be rowdy or brave. Maybe the anonymity of a bag gives added courage to let inner feelings out as the bird’s head has burst through the front. The other important factor? I thought it would look funny!’ (helloemma.co.uk).
‘This project has caught me at a moment when, in middle age, I am starting a new life. I don’t yet know where I am going, or who is coming with me. As so many old roles fall away, I am remembering the person I was before I had to become a grown up. I still worry at times, but I now laugh more, sing more, love more and judge less. I observe more and I talk less. I give more and I need less. I reflect more and I care less.’ (emilypeacock.com).
Jonathan Knowles is one of the leading photographers of his generation. Specialising in graphic still life, liquid and beauty, Jonathan’s unique photographic style has earned him award-winning advertising commissions worldwide. In the past ten years, Jonathan has consistently featured in the ‘200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World’ books. He is one of the top 10 all time award winners in the Graphis Annuals. Notable commissions include campaigns for many globally recognised brands, such as Coca-Cola, Guinness, and Smirnoff. He is also the creator of the famous O2 bubbles. He shot the Black Sabbath 13 Album cover, as well as directing and filming the footage that is currently played on stage during performances. Black Sabbath loved the imagery and invited Jonathan to the album launch in New York, where he received a friendly strangle of gratitude from Ozzy.