After 20 years of taking photographs of herself in private, June Calypso began a series of self portraits in which she stages herself as a fictional character named Joyce. Confining herself to rented hotel bedrooms and honeymoon suites, Calypso performs "solitary studies into modern rituals of seduction and the laboured construction of femininity".
As Calypso describes on her website: "Objects once perceived as radical, fun and nutritious – an electronic anti-wrinkle mask, computer equipment from the 1980s, baby oil, a tin of cold meat – have become joyless and oppressive. Joyce appears alone, consumed by artifice. Her glazed appearance acting as a mirror to the exhaustion felt whilst bearing the dead weight of constructed femininity."
Born in London in 1989, Calypso has been earmarked as one of the brightest new photographers to burst onto the creative scene in recent years. A graduate of the London College of Communication and Chelsea School of Art, she was this year's BJP International Photography Award Series winner and has scooped other accolades such as The Catlin Art Prize, Michael Wilson Award and the LCC Hotshoe Porfolio award. What's more, she has enjoyed solo shows across London and has exhibited internationally. Her work has also been featured in various national and international titles including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out.
In an interview with the British Journal of Photography, she remarked on her series Joyce: “I began staging these photographs three years ago, using my grandma’s bedroom as the set, or a room found on Airbnb. The idea always starts with the location – finding somewhere with a time-warp feel. This year I went to stay alone at a couple’s honeymoon resort in the US to continue the project. So it begins with an appreciation of 1960s pink decor, but also ends up as an awkward social encounter. I like to explore those feelings – seduction, solitude, desire, disappointment.”