TIFA 2023 People / Self-Portrait

Tableux Vivant

  • Prize
    Silver in People/Self-Portrait
  • Photographer
    Patricia Pettitt
  • Technical Info
    Staged Self-portrait Digital Photographs
  • Photo Date

Translated from the French, tableau vivant means ‘living pictures.’ The dramatic genre peaked in popularity between 1830 and 1920. It designated a cast of actors remaining still and silent for approximately thirty seconds on a stage. With inspiration from cinema and the history of painting each self-portrait becomes a ‘tableu vivant’ where the characters are arranged for dramatic effect and appear absorbed by their own storylines. There is no plot connecting these images. They are purely symbolic expressions of unfulfilled dreams, identity, gender and religion.

Patricia’s journey into the photography world started in 2018 with various photography courses at IPCI where she gained a Masters in Artistic Photography in October 2020 and where she is currently an educator. Her photographic language relies strongly on her experience as a performer. Patricia works alone and stages detailed pictures in which she plays the protagonist role. Her work is based on staged photography and using this language she creates fictional stories where she is both author and character. Her images evoke issues of femininity, intimacy, beauty, desire and melancholy.