The Periodic Table Project

Periodic table 2

With inspiration from artists like Cindy Sherman and Nikki Lee, I transformed myself using only makeup, wigs, clothing and accessories, into different identities with a focus on youth subcultures. I took photographs of myself as the identities and used the photos to create the Periodic Table of Young Female Identities.

The Periodic Table in chemistry is a a record of all the elements, organised in an extremely purposeful and elegant way: elements in a vertical column known as a group are very closely related displaying very similar reactivity and characteristics, however elements in the same row, known as a period, follow specific trends. The identity photos are arranged in an analogous way to the way in which the Periodic Table is structured so as to present the photos in a more meaningful, insightful and thought provoking way, particularly illustrating how youth subcultures have evolved over time and how different social groups interact with each other. Like the periodic table, each column is a group, in this case a social group, and each row is a time period. The block at the bottom looks specifically at the different identities and stereotypes often expressed in school despite the constraints of a uniform, and the central block outside the main groups looks more loosely at common fashion trends of the decade. By using myself to represent the identities, I hoped to challenge people’s fundamental ideas about identity, beauty and the way in which we look and judge other people. Furthermore I wanted to point out how we are all equal, and that given different circumstances that I and the viewer could be any one of these people. The project was for my art foundation end of year exhibition at Manchester met which you can see below.

To see all the photos in more detail visit the photos page.