CAN Exercise 3.4 Nigel Shafran

Three bean soup, cauliflower vegetable cheese. Morning coffee and croissants (Shafran, 2000)

Nigel Shafran’s series ‘Washing up’ features images of kitchen sinks after washing up. Coupled with captions, we learn from the photos about the dietary habits of Shafran and his family.

Leaving aside the cliché that ‘men don’t do the washing up’, it doesn’t surprise me that a man could have taken the shots. They look a bit blokish in the sense that the scenes seem untidy and chaotic. They create an uncomfortable feeling. I feel as though I’d like to nip round and tidy up. I suspect most women I know would feel the same.

Does gender contribute to the creation of an image? Of all the photographic genres, I suspect that self-portraiture may be influenced more by gender than others. Why? In general terms, I feel women are more in touch with their emotions and more likely to reveal them.

Unfortunately, the male ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality still seems to prevail. In the 2019 Samaritans’ ‘Suicide Statistics Report’ (Samaritans, 2019) it is revealed that UK men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women. And four times more likely in the Republic of Ireland.


Samaritans (2019). Samaritans Suicide Statistics Report. [online] Samaritans. Available at: [Accessed 27 Nov. 2019].

Shafran, N. (2000). Three bean soup, cauliflower vegetable cheese. Morning coffee and croissants. [image] Available at: [Accessed 26 Nov. 2019].

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