I am currently working on a photo project entitled ‘Veneer’ which seeks to uncover and exhibit the vulnerabilities, fears and hopes that can often be concealed and shrouded by dominant paradigms of masculinity, using photography, typically portraiture, as its main format for delivery.
I believe that, whilst improving with time, masculinity is often very restrictive of the emotions of young men, encouraging supposedly masculine traits such as ruggedness, heterosexuality, strength, aggression and a ‘bottling up’ of vulnerability, self-compassion, self-expression and self acceptance.
In the UK and ROI, the number of young-middle aged male suicides is increasing and I believe this lack of openness and vulnerability has contributed to this.
By encouraging self-expression, ‘Veneer’ attempts to achieve nothing less than the eradication of toxic forms of masculinity.
With Veneer, I hope to bring to the surface and document emotions, vulnerabilities, hopes and fears of men from across all walks of life, regardless of background, age, class, income, sexuality or social status.
The project largely involves 35mm and 120 film.
More photos, regularly updated as the project is ongoing, can be found at my website: liamjamescreative.format.com