'People Tanning. Tanners' Stories of All Ages' is a personal photography project based on a subject and place that have haunted me for a while. Tanning shops, sunbeds, and after all our interests and obsessions for what we look like, how we dress up and feel within our skin, within the human shell beneath which we hide our feelings, insecurities, doubts, dreams, aspirations, worries, stress, anxiety, dreams.
Ireland. The lack of sunshine that has a huge impact on people's mood, low levels of vitamin D, often depressive state of mind and skin not exposed sufficiently to the sun, or not how much most of us living in the country would love to.
The Tanning Phenomenon and tanning culture including sunbeds, and numerous tanning salons are embraced by tanners as a way of escapism, mini 10-minute holidays and mood boosters that improve energy and relieve stress. There are many who use tanning beds to treat psoriasis and other skin problems.
What mostly fascinates me is what it means for the tanners lying comfortably in a sunbed for about ten minutes, listening to loud music and feeling the heat while tanning indoors.
What mostly intrigues me is the interest and fixation of ourselves, of likability, of what we experience underneath our skin, our everyday dressing up, behaving and perception of ourselves.
'Tanning is like dressing. ', one tanner told me, ' Within my human shell, I feel better when I am tanned. I feel more attractive and self-confident.'
Under the lamp of a tanning bed and with the tanners in front of my camera, I have been discovering the human psychology of our existence, the intimate, 'me time' moments we spend with ourselves and our thoughts.
Hours spent in a tanning bed are perhaps a need for solitude and peace in this hectic world, pampering, daydreaming, relaxing, entertainment, or urge to increase our inside/outside beauty and self-esteem.