Each reflection of myself echoes a different emotion at me – 20 Heroes from the City of Roses

The first project using self-made ceramic figurines as models for lens-based images; a long-term/long-distance project that took nine months to complete.
It is based on anonymous interviews taken in 2012 with 20 homeless and transitional youth in Portland /Oregon and some of the staff working with them through the organization p:ear (http://pearmentor.org).
The participants answered questions in written questionnaires about their personal history, daily life style and special experiences (only street names or invented names were given).

Instead of taking a portrait shot the participants described their looks (with the option of also creating an imaginary alter ego) and a favourite surrounding for the figures created based on these descriptions; as settings for the figures I tried to find environments that would most effectively visually represent the described surroundings, because at the time I resided in a different place than the participants; this work therefor was in a way site-specific, or perhaps rather “reverse-site-specific” in the sense that I had to scout the local area with an open eye and imagination to find appropriate locations that seemed to offer themselves resonating the details as described in the interviews.

All figures in this project are wearing bunny-ears; it is symbol for feminine assumed or actual submissiveness as well as human naivety and false hope, but also courage and strong will, which I developed during a research year at SEIKA University of Art in Japan in 2008/09.

The photographs were exhibited together with the interview texts, as well as published online.
The project is a collaboration between the participants and myself and also social documentary.