Grafton, Jacqui Jay

The art of portraiture has existed for (probably) about five thousand years and its history is a rich mix of the conventional (eg Rembrandt, Gainsborough etc), the surreal (eg Picasso, Magritte etc) and the controversial (eg Mapplethorpe, Arbus etc) and is ever-changing, never so much as in the world of digital technology.

My portraits are the result of many influences and genres from over the centuries, not only designed to record, but to entertain, amuse and, sometimes, tease out a touch of the unusual.

In the majority of my work with people, I either put groups into pre-determined situations and ask them to role-play within that scenario; or I photograph individuals, sometimes in uncomfortable circumstances in an effort to see how far I can push boundaries. Not all of my pictures are of one piece, but can have any number of layers built on them until I achieve the result I had originally envisaged.