#stillhere - Emma Mudgway

An investigation into the visual language of the selfie


Emma Mudgway

2017, Graphite on Paper.

February 10 - March 9


The process of making self portraits stretches back through recorded history, with early examples discovered from Ancient Egypt. However, the modern practice of selfie taking relies on new technologies, and moves this process beyond the realms of the artist and into the everyday, for anyone who possesses a smart phone or digital camera.

#stillhere is an ongoing investigation into the visual language of the selfie. The work utilises the time intensive process of drawing in graphite to muse over the possibilities of this phenomenon, examining the role self portraiture now plays in our daily lives, and how the digital space allows us to explore notions of identity and self expression.

The selfie can easily be dismissed as an act of narcissism, but after an investigation into what is being shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, it seems there a lot of people with a lot to communicate. It is a practice that puts the control over how we are represented (as woman, as men, as LGBT or straight, as belonging to a specific culture or subculture…however we choose to identify) in our own hands, to share with as many or as few as we choose. #stillhere is an affirmation for all who participate in the act of sharing selfies, “Here I am… I’m still here, and this is what I have to say.”