A selection of Bike Portraits:
Simon. Davina. Gisele. Elaine. Lee. Margaret.
Andrea. Brian. Betty. Andrew & Angela. Dave. Bryony. Tom. Andy. Martyn & Martin. Margaret & Ron. Ian. Stu. Gary, Terry and Peter. Simon. Patrick. Isobel. Xiena. Rosa.
The portraits are deliberately messy; with jagged edges, overlaps and slightly absurd buildings. The shape of each emerges in the making. This technique goes some way to replicate the virtue of the messy, complex and textured ethnographic experience. While a single image can feel limiting, these portraits (some of which are made of up to 60 images), go some way to suggest more of the textures of everyday cycling.
I am also attracted to Hockney’s images because, ‘the centre of the collage seems to move’ and ‘the eye looking seems to slip, to be unable to ‘fix’ on anything’ (Reinelt and Roach 1992:109). This fragmentation works because it is very much in keeping with the spirit of ethnographic activity and the essence of the cycling experience. I also regularly place myself in images, thereby contributing to the mess.