Tabula Rasa (2021) is a photographic series exploring the powers of communication, connectivity and curiosity, by way of play, performance and allegory.

With the Latin phrase Tabula Rasa (‘blank slate’) acting as the crux of the series, the images explore a dynamic between subject and the expanse of an inanimate space afforded to her within a finite two hour period, all the while treating it and its features as if in possession of a discernible consciousness. The bareness, or rather, blankness of the two: the subject with her nudity, and the repurposed office space with its derelict and empty rooms, helps amplify an intimacy, an honesty and frankness between the two; one that is not afraid to err on the side of the surreal, of absurdity and of unashamed silliness.

The subversion of the location’s formality, by way of specifically pre-planned ideas that make use of both the unclothed form and the hallmarks of corporate order, disrupt as much as they discuss, just how signs, body-language and gestures help shape and define the human experience. As the subject is seen listening, climbing, rolling and posing, all the while with an intimacy, a naivety and honesty that entertains as much as endears, there remains a prevailing and personal self-discovery in the quest to bond with the expanse of space. Its many imperfections; stains, cracks and markings, serve as both reminders of its age and original purpose, almost human with its finite nature and inability to escape the perils of time. 

Linked by coincidence, the series can also be read by way of the Greek philosophical reading of the same Latin phrase, in which humans are not only born without knowledge, but learn through experience and perception alone. If nothing else however, the images document an accumulative display of intimacy, naivety and delicacy; how time can be filled when the restraints of normality and familiarity are removed, how relationships honoured through physicality may be more tender than realised, and that at our core, we are creatures primed for discovery.

This series was made possible by way of the kind support of SET Space, Woolwich.