Tears is a photography project which uses projected light to create a series of unique, and often abstract images of people. The project is collaborative, with each participant bringing a new approach to the shoot.
Every contributor is sent six sheets of black paper before their shoot. They are encouraged to create tears, cuts, and holes into the paper in whatever way they choose. These papers form the basis of the projected light patterns. Only the light from the damaged part of the paper reveals the participants, who are segmented by the shapes falling onto their skin.
In the same way, the light which falls onto contributors is distorted and transformed by the shape and skin of the body, which is illuminated in the otherwise pitch black room. Details emerge in the fragmented light. Skin textures, hair patterns, tattoos, all take on a new form.
There are few restrictions for the tears, and contributors are encouraged to be as creative as they like. The only rule is that the piece of paper needs to retain some basic cohesion, so cannot be torn into separate pieces. Anything that makes a negative space in the paper can work. Cuts with scissors or knives, holes torn with fingernails or the edge of a blunt knife, bite or burns; all are encouraged.
Some people have chosen to use the paper as a form of creative expression, creating holes in recognisable shapes. Others have used patterns, folding the paper and snipping at the edges to make symmetrical repeating forms. Some have chosen to interpret objects or places or things they have seen. Others have said they did it with little thought and just attacked the paper.
There is no single approach. The act of creating the tears is itself part of the project, with each person revealing something of themselves through their choice of tears, which takes on a new form and reveals more. The original tears are transformed by projection onto the body.