I was first exposed to contemporary circus in 2003 and I have been fascinated with this new art form since. Contemporary circus builds on the old traditions of the circus while fusing it with theatre and dance practice. In photography I find that circus as a subject matter has mostly been explored in a nostalgic fashion or portrayed as a novelty.
Through meeting circus artists I gained an insight into the sort of commitment required to train for circus. I started working on Undisclosed as a long-term project to create a document of contemporary circus practice. I collaborated with a mixture of performers but I removed all the attributes of performance – the stage, the lighting, the costume and the makeup - to focus on their physicality and the process of creating circus.
Over the course of the project, my understanding of circus, and how it could be explored visually, grew. Through collaboration with the artists I found ways to choreograph circus for the camera, experimenting with movement, exposure times and my own location within the space.
In Undisclosed, and in my work generally, I endeavour to capture the extraordinary potential of the human body to exhibit flexibility, strength and agility, a fraction of which most of us realise.