We caught up with the British photographer about his fascinating series and upcoming book
Inspired by his subjects’ individual identities, British photographer Anthony Lycett’s images are highly unapologetic. With eyes staring straight at the camera, his models seem to challenge the viewer by asserting their singular appearance and identity, making their personality the centerpiece of the portrait series. Lycett’s interest lies in revealing what makes a person beyond their appearance, yet their appearance seems to be, recurrently, the subjects’ medium to externalize their identity.
As the artist juggles with the concepts of self awareness, diversity, and singularity, his photographs seem to all ask the same question- who do you think I am?
We caught up with Lycett about his unique projects and what he's got cooking next.
Can you tell us about your project documenting Alzheimer’s?
In 2009 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As our relationship changed, I started this project first of all to understand the new relationship we had which then developed into a way of keeping a connection with my mother. In life we are built on our memories, the experiences we have and store are what make us who we are as we grow older. Imagine then having the life you have had lifted out of your mind and lost forever, the good the bad the secrets we all keep all gone no longer to return.
I wanted to look at the idea of time and experiences so each time I would return home we would go for a walk along the lane from my parents' home. Each time we would reach the same point of the road we would stop to take a picture, the moment after my mother would have forgotten the moment but I had captured it. You see the change in time through the changing of the seasons, this is the circle of life and shows time as we understand it. It was always planned to be a personal project as a visual way for me to understand why I had been forgotten as the son of this woman. I entered it into a competition not really thinking of the reaction it could bring, it was successful in this competition and then featured in a weekend magazine as a photo story.
You then realise that you are not the only one who is going through this and felt a connection to these images. It is after all about all of us not just my mother in the picture, we could all be there one day on a similar street. It’s about not just the increasing awareness of the illness of Alzheimer’s but a realization of the importance of memories, the experiences we have, and to live life.
How do you find your subjects?
People find me or I am recommended people through friends. Social media is a great platform for connecting directly with people, you can get an idea of them and their lives by what they show on social media.
Do you have aesthetic style icons?
I love people who are confident to not just to find themselves but to have a lifestyle that is connected to the way they dress. David Bowie, Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes...
What do you have planned next?
Next is to see my project Self.Styled realized into a book due out the end of November. Self.Styled began because I wanted to celebrate individualism.