Lucy Fisher, a photographer from Cardiff, Wales, is obsessed with legs. Her most recent project, “The Next Leg Project”, focuses particularly on legs and shoes from around the world, as she travels around the world with her Canon Camera mainly looking downwards. The response has been incredibly positive all over the globe.
The artist was able to fit us in for a brief Q&A despite her busy schedule.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? And where are you from?
I’m 32 years old, originally from Wales but currently living in London. I’ve never been very good at settling down. I spent the last couple of years in New Zealand, and before that I was in Switzerland. I love cooking, playing the piano and wandering around art galleries.
Could you tell us how the idea of shooting legs came about?
It all started with a shot I took of two transgender men in Auckland with great legs, who were wearing the highest heels imaginable. I took the shot then realized that nobody could tell that they were men, and therefore all prejudice was removed by shooting from the waist down.
What is so special about legs?
The legs are highly significant indicators of how a person is truly feeling. They convey non-verbal body language and are an important source of information about someone’s attitude to a situation. We all concentrate our body language on the upper half, leaving the legs free of fake gesture and therefore representing true emotion. From a portrait photography perspective I find it interesting to analyze the shots afterwards and determine what may be going on in the picture. I also have a strong interest in fashion trends and love documenting what people are wearing.
What is The Next Leg Project?
the next leg is a global photographic documentary of legs, to highlight the similarities we all possess as human beings. Most public art had very little to do with the public, so by posterising and pasting up the images in the streets, I am looking to bring back a sense of community with the project, as well as offering a fresh perspective on street photography.
Do you go hunting for legs and or you let them hunt you?
Photographing legs has become such a habit that I take photos wherever I go. Sometimes people will request to be in the project, but then they often pose their legs which is not what the project is about. I prefer a paparazzi style whereby there is only a split second to get the shot.
Do you shoot any legs you come across or are there any in specific that you look for?
I shoot whatever catches my attention. Sometimes it can be a fantastically bright pair of shoes, or someone standing with their legs crossed in an unusual way, but mainly it is a cross-section of city life of people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
How was people’s reaction so far to having their legs shot?
Most people support the project and are very happy to be involved. The majority of people think I have some kind of leg fetish, so give me a slightly odd look and carry on about their day. It’s only when they see the image uploaded onto the Facebook group or Tumblr page that they see it is more than just an obsessive penchant.
Any funny story you’d like to share?
I have a few celebrity legs who support the project as they love the anonymity they don’t usually get when they are papped in the street. One particularly famous footballer told me his legs are insured for more than the contents of his house!
Where have shot legs so far and what city was the most engaging?
So far I have taken photos in Auckland, London and Cardiff and have to say that they all offer a similar array of leg patterns. The fashion differs but not a huge amount as there are global fashion brands who seem to have saturated the shoe industry in every city. People walk a lot faster in London whereas in Auckland the pace is more relaxed.
Any plans on coming stateside?
the new york leg is on my to-do list for 2014 which I’m really looking forward to capturing. It will be interesting to see what defines an American leg and the differences or more importantly, the similarities we all possess across the world.
Have the internet and social media been a positive or a negative experience in making your work more accessible to the public? And why?
The internet- and particularly Facebook- have been extremely important for the next leg. Without this it would not have been possible for me to publicize my project and engage the people who are in it. The best thing about it is that these are real people, living their lives, going about their business, but their legs are captured in a moment and sometimes pasted up on the side of walls or buildings. It is fun and lighthearted, and the more people who become aware of the project the better. I encourage people who take selfies of their own legs to use the hashtag #thenextleg so all the images become part of a worldwide community.
What are your plans in the next few months?
I’m going to carry on pasting up the images- some will be site-specific, and others will be long pairs of legs dangling down from windowsills and letterboxes. I’m also currently working on designs for canvas shopping bags which look great! I have a few exhibitions coming up in the spring of 2014 but can’t say anymore about those at this stage as not to ruin the surprise.
What do you do when you’re not hunting for legs? What are your hobbies?
Baking. It’s my thing.
What is the best advice you have ever had on how to be creative?
The best advice I had about creativity was from my wonderful friend Lucy, who would always encourage my creative endeavors and used to tell me that there are no mistakes. It’s impossible to go wrong. That’s the best advice I ever had.