SOMA is a collection of photographs depicting segments of women’s bodies. They are  about the grace and profaneness of the flesh as it is lived. These photographs are awkward, sensual, sculptural and honest.  

SOMA 02

20x20in archival pigment print

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SOMA 04

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SOMA 06

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SOMA 10

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SOMA 13

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SOMA 14

20x20in archival pigment print

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SOMA 16

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SOMA 17

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SOMA 21

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SOMA 22

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SOMA 24

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SOMA 25

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SOMA 26

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SOMA 27

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SOMA 32

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How we live in and with our bodies changes greatly as time goes by. At different ages, or parts of our lives, we acquire different markings that keep our bodies tied to our experiences. Or we create marks of our own to remind us of certain times of our lives. It is how we learn to own what is essentially our being, lacking only the psyche. The flesh, with its grace and profaneness, becomes a keepsake — an object that we perpetually make and remake, and at times accept its new form as our age and experience grow.

These images are created by the process of dip-bleaching Black & White prints. Photographic bleach (Potassium ferricyanide) eats through the silver-gelatin. It distinctively marks and tints each print, weathering the surface of the paper, unraveling the flesh. Each marking, tinting and erosion is different, making it impossible to create two identical prints.

As the process smoothens the flesh, it highlights imperfections. As it hides the shadows, it underlines the form creating an abstraction. The form, constructed settings and the process all aim to create an sculptural parallel that represent the lived body. It is at their intersection that the desire for the ideals of nude photography collide with the the profaneness of flesh. In each print, the paper claims the image on its surface, each of a unique body, the print becomes a singular photographic object. These dip-bleached prints are then scanned, enlarged and reprinted digitally on archival paper.



“Saman Deilamani’s nudes are seen crouched over, from behind, their arms and legs curled out of sight. In the second photo the nude is starting to uncurl, and it’s like watching a Henry Moore sculpture come alive.”

— Peter Simpson, Ottawa Citizen (April 2012)

Using Format