South Africa   |  2022

Gold Winner

HANGING OUT - IN NATURE (self-portrait diptych series)

Photographer

Nicole Vittoria de Jager

Category

Fine Art Photography - Fine Art / Other

Company

Submission Group

Amateur

In 2020, my sadness and loss, together with years of repressed emotion, became the catalyst for introspection and the beginning of my journey towards self-acceptance. The year began with a global pandemic that brought the world to its knees. Like many, I also faced a brutal reminder of the devastating effects of ignoring the still stigmatised topic of mental health. Within 3 months, I had lost both my partner, Simon, and my friend of 26 years, Conrad, to suicide. On the 31st May 2020 I completely crumbled. Gut-wrenching heartache and the outpour of suppressed feelings, took me to a scary, yet honest place. Hanging Out - In Nature was born during this pivotal period and marks the reattempt of an all too familiar journey towards self-healing. This time though, I expose my vulnerability, giving a voice to my process through the use of self-portraits. These images portray my femininity and fragility. They portray being held captive, not by lockdown regulations, but by my self-limiting learned beliefs. A time of grieving, acceptance and letting go. A growing awareness, means I am no longer able to hide from myself, however, although armed with a wealth of knowledge and practical tools, self-sabotage, once a mystery in its obvious insanity, continues to wait in the wings. Drawing strength from a number of resources, I have found nature to be the most consistent teacher and healer, reinforcing that change is the only constant in life. My self-portrait series is ongoing and as I have attempted to evolve and change, so has this project progressed into a series of diptychs. The imagery whether contradictory or complementary, evoking feelings of either discord or harmony, allow my process of both self-forgiveness and self-acceptance to move forward. Undoubtedly, both my series and myself, will continue to change and evolve over time. A. All self-portraits were shot on the 31st May 2020, in Cape Town, South Africa. B. Each one of the natural elements was shot in Cape Town, South Africa during the Covid -19 lockdown. The individual locations vary.

Credits

Photographer
Nicole Vittoria de Jager
Amateur
United Kingdom
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Photographer / Company

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Category

Nature Photography - Macro

Amateur
Germany
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Photographer / Company

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Category

People Photography - Culture

Amateur
United Kingdom
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Photographer / Company

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Category

Editorial Photography - Photojournalism

Professional
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Photographer / Company

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Category

Fine Art Photography - Nature