Ghillie Suite / by Ian Schmidt

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A Ghillie suit is a type of camouflage clothing first worn by Scottish gamekeepers as a portable hunting blind. It has been adapted by the military as a form of camouflage for snipers. The suit aids the shooter to blend into their surroundings and to break up the body so as to not be visible. This idea of camouflage was the beginning point for this series of portraits taken in 2017. Both the figure’s position and clothing were staged to replicate the idea of a traditional portrait. The image uses ties draped across the face to hide the face, while at the same time adorning the body in order to camouflage the figure.

As a young boy one of my first experiences with a tie was one of my father teaching me how to tie a Windsor knot in a silk tie. I used this experience to connect ideas of social hierarchy with the image of an adorned body.