Art Photography

#kids #portraits #scanner

Ethereal Portraits Created Using a Desktop Scanner by Maitha Demithan

June 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs courtesy of Maitha Demithan

Artist Maitha Demithan has worked in a variety of media over her career, and in 2009 landed on the use of scanography to create portraits. This process involves using a scanner that comes in contact with the subject but does not expose the intense light source to the sitter’s eyes. The dream-like scanned images have a dramatic focal field, in which the in-contact surface of the subject quickly fades to black, and the subjects’ eyes are usually closed, distancing their inner thoughts from the viewer. Despite the large-scale finished products, Demithan actually works with a desktop-sized A4 scanner. She takes up to 100 images and then digitally layers and stitches them together, playing with the combination of different focal points and textures to create a printable collage.

Demithan has used scanography both with human and animal subjects, including falcons and owls, and she often reflects on themes of family and animal-human relationships in her work.  She shares her approach to image-making:

I let the process of scanning and drawing in the presence of the living being – be it human or animal – define the portrait and the outcome. The outcomes are difficult to categorize or express as the interactions between the ‘sitters’ and between the ‘sitters’ and myself create the moments I wish to capture. These often hold an emotional quality.

The Dubai-based artist has exhibited her digital photo collages throughout the Middle East as well as in Australia and Germany. Demithan offers a selection of her works as prints in her online store, and shares glimpses from her process on Instagram.

 

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, apply for our annual grant, and get exclusive access to interviews, partner discounts, and event tickets.

 

 

Also on Colossal

Related posts on Colossal about kids portraits scanner