Hannah Saunders is a photographer currently based in Cardiff, Wales. She is a recent graduate of the Documentary Photography course at the University of South Wales, Newport. Her work is often influenced by her interests in history, poetry and women’s rights. Her current work ‘Karass’ attempts to confront taboos surrounding the body and nudity. This work has been exhibited at the Secvente Festival of Photography 2014, and will be on show at the 2015 edition in Ploesti, Romania. Work from Karass has also been shown in Cardiff at the West Wharf Gallery in July 2015.
“‘These are the people I love.’ She declared. So I looked at the people she loved. What she had trapped in plexiglass, what she trapped like fossil beetles in amber, were the image of a large part of our Karass. There wasn’t a Granfallooner in the collection.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle
Vonnegut defined a Karass as “… the tangling of lives… as free-form as an amoeba.” They are individuals cosmically bound through haphazard divine fate, paths that seem to ziz-zag across the planet shyly to a meeting point and collide at a pre-destined meeting point in time.
My Karass compels me, inspires me, shows me there is kindness in the world at times of despair. These photographs are like jigsaw pieces, my ode to the fantastic individuals in my life. They are beacons of light, reminding me that we are not simply bodies destined for scrutiny and objectification, we are intelligent, conscious, organic matter suspended on a planet, as we hurtle gloriously through space.
I like to think of this work being rooted in the idea of collaboration, my subjects are authors their own image first and foremost, I’m simply capturing it. I want the viewer to discover that imagery of the body does not have to be sexually charged or produced for sexual gratification, it can be an empowering process and experience for both the sitter, the photographer and the viewer.
We do not have to follow suit, we are a generation that has the power to take back the authorship of our bodies if we dissemble and rebuild the frameworks we follow.
To view more of Hannah’s work, please visit her website.