"Photography is the only medium which allows me to sculpt with human flesh," says London-based photographer Chloe Rosser, who has just published her first book of human sculptures
The anonymous bodies in Chloe Rosser’s photographs sometimes belong to people who are friends or couples, but mostly they are strangers. They twist, bend, and stretch, before they eventually lock together, transforming into curious, intimate, and sometimes grotesque, sculptures.
“Photography is the only medium which allows me to sculpt with human flesh,” says Rosser, “the human body is the most intimately familiar thing to us. Seeing it in these strange poses affects you deeper than if you were to see a sculpture because it’s real, and you can imagine being it, and feeling what it feels.”
Rosser’s process usually begins with her models rolling around on the floor, testing out poses and ways in which limbs and necks can fold away. Generally, she photographs at their homes, where she strips the walls and floors of any furniture and decoration so that they are left bare like the bodies.
The project started with a self-portrait of her own back, which she took in her bedroom during her final year at Falmouth University. Though she had worked with the body for years, she feels her images didn’t feel strong until she depicted her torso without limbs. “It’s so weird and arresting, because you’re looking at the whole body as it appears in that moment, but actually it looks so strange, and sculptural, and grotesque; but also beautiful.”
None of Rosser’s photographs are edited because she wants the project to promote body positivity – scars, wrinkles, cellulite, and even scuffs on the walls and floors have been intentionally left as they are. “You have these marks on your body because they are lived in, just like your home. It’s evidence of human life and humanity,” she explains.
Rosser worked with models of all shapes and races, and ranging in age from 20 to 70 years old. In many of her pictures it is unclear whether the model depicted is a man or a woman – or whether they identity as male, female, gender fluid or trans. Many of her subjects were life models, but because of the anonymity of her images, people who had never stripped off for the camera before also got involved. “Everyone that modelled for me has said it was an extremely liberating experience,” she says.
www.chloerosser.co.uk Form & Function by Chloe Rosser is published by Stay Free Publishing and is available to purchase for £35 www.stayfreepublishing.co.uk Chloe Rosser is represented by L A Noble Gallery www.lauraannnoble.com