TJ Deaver | Photography + Design

Through the darkest times we learn to love ourselves. The photographs in the series, Penumbra, are created from interviews with gay youths about their life experiences with their sexuality. The coming-out process is terrifying in its own right but when coupled with the stress of struggling to fit into society, it can prove overwhelming. “Penumbra” is defined as the slightly illuminated space that dwells between the true darkness of the shadow and the area of absolute light.

Through self-portraiture I create a visual narrative of these stories, which are often lost in society. Scenes are created using human, environment and light as characters that interact, to invite an intimate experience between the photograph and viewer. I used self-portraiture to show my personal connection with the subject as well as emphasize the universality of these scenarios. This project has been emotional for me, putting myself in these positions has taken an exuberant amount of inner strength; through portraying these scenes myself I encourage viewers to reflect on how they would react to such turmoil. Although photography is often thought of as a representation of events as they happened, in my work I attempt to make real what is not seen.

Isolation.jpg Asphyxia.jpg Release.jpg Cleansing.jpg Adonis.jpg Its-Internal.jpg Rejection.jpg Comforted.jpg penumbra-4.jpg Solution.jpg What-Am-I.jpg The-Walk-Home.jpg Broken.jpg Formation-Of-Angst.jpg Is-He-Like-Me.jpg