Shot Proof is a unique photo-series that highlights the dark side of alcohol use in an ironically beautiful and colourful way…

‘Last Friday night Yeah we danced on tabletops And we took too many shots Think we kissed but I forgot
Last Friday night Yeah we maxed our credit cards And got kicked out of the bar So we hit the boulevard…
This Friday night Do it all again’
Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (No. 1 Single)

A recent study conducted by Liverpool John Moores University claims that 1 in 5 UK top 10 songs contains alcohol-related lyrics. Binge drinking has seemingly become an accepted part of growing up; not helped I imagine by the average older child or teenager being exposed to more than 2 hours of music everyday, according to the same study.

So why is this dangerous drug so often endorsed by popular culture? One would be mistaken for thinking the negative effects of alcohol are barely existent, if our favourite celebrities are to be believed. In actuality, it equates to roughly 10% of diseases and deaths, with fatal liver disease rising by 20% in the last decade. Admittedly, inclusion of these facts would not necessary make for a good pop song but it is undeniably worrying that popular music neglects them completely.

Shot Proof is a unique photo-series that highlights the dark side of alcohol use in an ironically beautiful and colourful way. Several members of my close family have struggled with alcohol abuse so the work is very close to my heart. I have learnt that with people’s addiction often comes a certain degree of denial and even insistence that their level of intake is normal. This common trait is reflected in my piece as the colourful, high-contrast tones that give the impression everything is rosy within the pieces. These colours are juxtaposed with the morbid themes; feeling trapped (shot glass on mousetrap), deteriorating (cogs), dependent (IV bag) and self-pitying (umbrella). I chose to represent these 4 ideas because they apply to many of the alcoholics I have known.

Although the pictures are challenging in content, I like to think they can still be aesthetically pleasing as pieces of art. The images are deliberately simplistic unlike my previous pieces of work, such as Polavoid. By avoiding clutter, I am
inviting my audience to find the meaning inside the pixels and not to be distracted by busy backgrounds or excessive editing. Although I have a clear idea of what the pictures mean, I have left them deliberately open to interpretation so that viewers can attach their own meanings/experiences to them also. By doing this, I am allowing others the opportunity to enjoy the images as fully as I do.





SHOT PROOF:pictures and article by Rachael Broadhurst


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