There’s an appealing honesty that the nude form possesses, an openness and integrity. In order to preserve this, Harsent has stripped bare the process itself. No assistants, no hair and make-up and, most importantly, no direction from the photographer himself. The models were simply asked to pose within a particular space. Shots were taken, discussed, reworked and new choices made. Using a Polaroid type 55 was key to this process, its instant result lending spontaneity to the decision-making process.

In doing this, the work takes on new layers of meaning. The photographs are no longer simply interesting studies of the human body, they become records of personal choice, looking at how each model thought about the way in which they occupy space, given a process that afforded them the time to do so. In looking at these pictures we observe not only an accomplished exploration of shape and form, but also of subjects beginning to study themselves.

Continue…