"Sure." was not the instant response I expected from Jess when I asked if she'd get into a field and cover herself in mud, or maybe it was.
One thing I've realised in my work is how committed people are to the art of producing something together. It's incredible how much people push themselves for that one shot, placing ultimate trust and confidence in you, giving everything they have.
This sense of drive, this beautiful momentum comes from, I think, the wanting to create expression. Through exploring our creativity and pushing our boundaries, we not only discover what's within our reach, but what's outside it too.
I find this fascinating; our lives are ring-fenced by limits, what we will and will not do, what change we'll embrace and what we'll reject, which ideas we'll build and which we'll cast aside. It feels unique, then, that in the pursuit of art these boundaries are set much further afield.
There's a poetic justice to that which, only when you stand back, you see creativity for what it really is - the space in which all things grow.
I looked at Jess as she applied mud from aside a puddle to her face; it's clear her commitment to this growth is unbarred. It's confirmed again when she asks "What shall we do next?" as we say our goodbyes.
Ive always believed in capturing raw, rarely edited shots which surface that which I see in people. These of Jess don't just represent what's in her, but the potential in all of us to get covered in shit and come out the other side knowing you'd done something different.