I've been trying to work out exactly when this photo was taken. My best guess is the summer after high school, before university. I would have been nineteen and just returned from summer holidays with my family in Port Moresby to start an arts degree in Melbourne. So it would have been March 1982, more than half a life time ago. There are not many pictures of me from this time as I was so painfully shy. This one must have been taken in one of those photo booths in the city, perhaps for an identity card. It is not the sort of thing I would have done for fun. My first thought on seeing this photo is youthful innocence. But when I look closer, I see behind the shy good girl face. At high school I was a good student (except for maths), a boarding school prefect, someone trusted by adults. But I also smoked cigarettes, told lies, got into scrag fights with other girls, incited acts of rebellion in other students, played around with boys and broke whatever rules I thought I could get away with. And due to my shyness and perceived goodness, I got away quite alot. There was even one occasion I remember when I came forward and owned up to an act of wrongdoing and wasn't believed. Someone else copped the blame and the punishment. Luckily it was a really good muck-up* so I didn't get in trouble with the other girl as a consequence. Shyness and goodness are not the same, but for some reason the shy are often thought to be good. It's a bit funny when I look back on it now but at the time it was a peculiar and sometimes painful type of enclosure.
Check out other self portraits of enclosure here.
*muck-up, a boarding school term for an organised prank, joke or some sort of chaos involving a number of girls and often undermining the authority of the mistresses. The best ones were where the rules were followed but made to look ridiculous. One incident that comes to mind was a boarder's weekend excursion to a big park in the middle of winter. It was freezing outside and we were not permitted to wear trousers. So word went around and we all dressed in the most clashing and non-matching outfits of skirts, dresses, stockings and accessories that we could put together. No rules were broken so no-one was in trouble, but I can still see the tight lipped rage on the mistresses face.