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Planning and Preparation for Assignment 3

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves

My brief

The readings, research and exercises should have led you to think about self portraiture in a variety of ways. Some practitioners deliberately play with ideas of fluidity and multiple selves, whilst still being anchored to a nominal self. Selfies, often used as self promotion, are intimately linked to their intended audience.

Create a series of six images of ‘you’ that show different ‘selves’.


Before you send your work to your tutor, check it against the assessment criteria listed in the introduction to this course and make sure that it meets all the criteria.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills: Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills.
Quality of outcome: Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.
Demonstration of creativity: Imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.
Context: Reflection, research, critical thinking.


From this brief I thought about the subject of identity and how I could project a sense of identity into a set of portraits. My first actions was to write down my thoughts.

To begin my thought process, I simply considered a layout for the finished pictures.

This exercise was to kick start my thought processes and I started to think more about the pictures themselves. It was whilst I thought about the different aspects that made up my character, I was drawn to the paintings I have in my dinning room which are students studies of Picasso’s cubism period.

In these pictures, I see multiple faces and this is what I am looking for in my project. I feel that Picasso had found a way to express a character through his method of cubism and so I decided to attempt to produce a cubist style photograph with the help of multiple photographs blended as a collage with the help of Photoshop.

It also occurred to me at this point that our identity/character is in fact a collage of experiences both good and bad. These experiences are in a form of a journey that we all make through life and as we move forward on this journey we change both physically and psychologically. I felt that a cubist portrait might help express this. Moreover, I needed to tell a story using the journey as a theme.

Artists such as Damian Hirst, Glen Brown, Sherrie Levine and Jeff Koons have used appropriation of other artists’ work and re-presented it in a new way as their own. Sherrie Levine has re-photographed famous photographs, reprinted them and presented them as her own work. I therefore felt justified to re-photograph old pictures of myself and re-present them in a new way. I chose four portraits, taken at certain key points in my life, then re-photographed them as, surrogate-selfies.

The first of my, surrogate-selfies, was taken around the age of two years old, I chose this image as it was the earliest picture that was recognisable as Shaun Mullins. The pose on the rock with my infant smile and blonde curly-locks, speaks of an untainted innocence.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

My second photograph was taken when I was about nine years old and my innocence had already begun to be tempered by experiences of bullying and school discipline. This was juxtaposed with the confidence of a supporting and loving family and childish dreams. My hair has now darkened and straightened.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

My third portrait was taken when I was seventeen years old, this was on an airfield called, Meacham Field Int., Fort Worth, Texas, USA. I was learning to fly. At this point in my life I had dreams of becoming an airline pilot, life took me in a very different direction.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

My forth photograph was taken on my wedding day, I was 30 years old. I was now a Sales Manager for an aviation company and I rarely flew. I had a mortgage on a flat and bills to pay and I was beginning a new chapter in my life with new commitments and different dreams.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

My fifth portrait is as I am today. I am 56, no children, I haven’t flown in over 20 years, I have now left full-time work and I am working part-time as an assistant manager for a charity bookshop whilst studying for an art degree in photography. I am planning to spend the latter part of my life abroad.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

My sixth photograph is my cubist impression of Shaun Mullins’ identity through a collage of my multiple selves.

Shaun Mullins (Untitled) 2020, Different Selves.

Published by shauncn512659

Hi, I am an OCA student studying for an Art degree in Photography , my student number is 512659. My e-mail is:

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