Sometimes you find a gem in the most surprising places, this gem turned out to be Welsh born photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith. This unexpected discovery was presented as a pop-up exhibition at an indoor cinema in Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona. Before I talk about the exhibition work itself, I would just like to add that displaying work in such an unexpected place is admirable as it shows photographers the new way to get your work out their and reach out to ordinary people, not just those who visit art galleries.
Trayler-Smith’s exhibition explores the taboo topic of obesity and takes on a personal style as it is set in her place of birth, Wales and uses her very real friends as subjects. This exhibition features her subjects in their own comfortable settings but displaying an obvious discomfort and uncertainty at their current appearance, as well as personal objects such as a fitness timetable, hand written inspirational post it notes on a bedroom and brutal drawings of a females perspective on her body. Such brutal honesty that the subjects and photographer bare themselves open to is shocking yet praiseworthy as they are prepared to explore the harsh subject of ‘The Big O’ as it is appropriately titled.
What I also discovered is that he display features facts about obesity in the UK that really helps to realise the scale of the problem and gives the display an element of adult seriousness so as not to be viewed as a glorification or cruel documentation of an all too real problem for people not just int eh UK, but around the world (Screenshot taken from Abbie Trayler-Smith’s website)
I am delighted to have discovered such an up and coming photographer who has been making great strides for a few years now, in ‘The Big O’ and other works such as ‘Still Human, Still Here’. This photographers frank and explorative work with a side of compassion is, in my opinion, the new face of modern documentary photography. I am excited to see what the future brings for Abbie Traylor-Smith’s talent. If you haven’t already, I recommend a glance of her work! (website below)
- The Big O – Abbie Trayler-Smith (2014) Available at: http://www.abbietraylersmith.com/work/the-big-o/ (Accessed: 30 August 2015).
- Featured image taken from the same website, all credit and rights to this image belong to Abbie Trayler-Smith and have been used for review purposes only.