(full series coming out 2020)
‘Sour-Puss: The Opera’ tells the sometimes fictional, sometimes emotionally biographical story of a woman grappling with her own sexuality and sense of self, created over a period of three years. Consisting of photographs by Diogo Duarte and drawings by Jessica Mitchell, it was born out of the unlikely friendship between the two collaborators - 32-year-old photographer Diogo Duarte and 53-year-old psychotherapist Jessica Mitchell. The ’Sour-Puss’ is a character based on real-life Jessica and real-life Diogo, resulting in a composite of both collaborators’ life experiences.
With its nihilistic undertones, a sour looking woman seems to be consumed within her own private rituals and absorbed in the contemplation of her own body, so much so that sometimes it’s as though she fails to imagine anything exists beyond herself. In the series, ‘Sour-Puss’ borrows Jessica’s body and face to take us on a literal and metaphorical journey that is fundamentally marked by shaming, isolation, staining and an absurdist search for meaning and connection.
In the opening photograph of the series, ‘Sour-Puss’ gazes downwards, head bowed in contemplation. An incongruous, green, thumbprint-sized stain marks her pale shirt. Her facial expression seems to indicate an emotional outpouring about to happen, as if she’s holding herself together for the photographer, thus setting the emotional tone of her internal journey.