I was looking at my collection of 20 ID photos of my face, passports and staff IDs that record the changes to my adult face going back to 1974. The question was: what is the average of that face?
I scanned the photos and stacked them in 20 Photoshop layers. The eyes were used to align each photo and the layers were set to the same transparency of 5%. When it was completed, I was looking down through the ghostly images to see the essential form of my face, the visual average that says – me. The resulting face you see above is both 24 and 64 years old, and everything in between. It is a further degree of the ID photo genre – it identifies me in all times of my adulthood.
This image is part of my new exhibition project called Dust and Scratches. This was named for the Photoshop filter used to blur the face into a more generalised visage, but also, with irony, to describe the visible effects of ageing during the 40 year span of the photos.
Dust and Scratches will be displayed in the new exhibition Persona, at the St John Street gallery in Prahran, opening on Tuesday April 12.