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Species is a contemplation of the parallels between what fishermen do in recording fish species to what society does in recording the human species. From the moment we are born we are tagged and recorded. People are classified by their gender, their name, their weight and their length. We are given our birth certificate and released into life. So begins our life long journey of documentation; identity cards, tax file numbers, passports, marriage certificates, and finally the death certificate.

But in this orderly, official recording of our lives what is not measured and what is not captured, is the things that are truly important to us; our emotions, our individuality, our dreams. Species addresses how these often intangible things can leave physical traces throughout our lives. Through the sensory experiences we have, the emotions that play out on the body and the mementoes we are given with love. Species represents life, that suspended time between birth and death. It questions how can we measure a life? And it symbolises the final release from the physical body.


‘The imaginative world is also a type of eco-system, reliant on certain conditions and cycles of sustainability. Our mental health and emotional wellbeing, intrinsically connected to our physical heath and the health of our environments, employs ‘tag and release’ strategies of survival-acts of remembering and act of letting go. These are the invisible flows of experience that make up a lifetime, an unrepeatable sequence of emotional states and frames of mind linked to time and place. Sabrina Lauriston has attempted to photograph these invisible states in a series of partial self-portraits. Gesture and expressions are offered as phenomenal moments and passages of light and time are captured in pinhole photography. They are exquisitely unreal, like a fleeting memory, a secret, a wish, a hurt, the dripping internal tap of a wound that won’t heal or worries that nag, the wellspring of an idea that bubble to surface, butterflies in the stomach from the look of love. Lauriston releases an endless play emotion from a suitcase of self, that stiffening identity box, as a suspended animation.’

Beth Jackson 2016