Preparation and Planning for Assignment 2
I enjoyed all the reading and referencing of photographers towards this Assignment – many of whom I had already researched. I’m very interested in the relationship between image and text – how they interact and inform each other towards developing a narrative.
The brief for the assignment is quite open, giving us a choice between photographing the unseen or using props. I have experimented with photographing the unseen previously (see earlier post here ) and decided I wanted to continue along these lines but maybe use props as well. I had three main ideas.
A. My Father’s letters.
I have long wanted to do a project around these letters which were sent to me from Egypt when my father was there in the Army after WWII. They are infused with love and also with ‘messages’ about ‘being a good girl’ and ‘taking care of my mother’. These letters were still in the original envelopes, crumpled and showing their years. I had them ‘restored’ and also scanned them. Unfortunately I put them in a safe place when we moved house last year and haven’t been able to find them. I have the scans still of course but they aren’t as real to me so I’ve postponed this project until I find the letters – I’m sure I will.
This is again about re-connecting with my childhood and the places where I played. It’s a story I need to tell myself I think because it’s about memories and how they survive and change. I already have the photographs but might need to go up North again to revisit.
C. A story about my Great-Aunt
I did have great-aunts but this is a different one who lives in my head. The one I might have had. This idea was sparked by two photographs I bought at a vintage fair. I have also acquired some old negative glass plates and photographs, plus some handkerchiefs. This story is again about the way in which ideas and interests can be passed on sometimes by a kind of osmosis that isn’t recognised at the time.
I’m very interested in those three but then something else came along that became much more figural as a result, I think, of all the reading and researching for Part 2 of Context & Narrative.
I Thought I Saw You the Other Day
In November last year I spent a weekend, with the OCA in Brighton at the Brighton Festival. The work of Johanna Ward was an inspiration for me (see here ) portraying emotions around divorce and change and it lingered in my thoughts. On the Saturday evening I took a photograph of a girl amongst the crowd at a night showing of films on a constant loop in front of the Library.
The photograph is hazy and full of noise, but there is something about it that draws me. I started to think about times when you’re in love or a relationship has ended and you keep thinking you can see that person. Walking along the opposite side of the street; riding on a bus or in their car. Their face haunts you in your dreams but you just can’t reach or touch them. The phrase that came to me was, “I thought I saw you the other day”.
This stayed in my mind and I even gathered some other images together but they just didn’t seem right until I woke up the Saturday before the Thames Valley OCA Group meeting for March with an idea in my head. I would write a story about a relationship that has ended. It lasted all too briefly for the young man, Paul, and he can’t accept this. I created a blog he was writing for his therapist and an email address for him. I had checked this out with my tutor who thought that the idea sounded in depth and quite interesting but was concerned that it was quite a deep and emotive piece of work that needs some time to develop fully and maybe merited dealing with at a more advanced level. This concept is urging me to continue with it though and so we agreed that I would explore it now as a little foray into the idea.
I explained the concept at the TV Group meeting on 21st March. It was important to me to share it because, although I had already created the blog, I hadn’t made it public. Acknowledging my idea gave it legitimacy and an existence in the world. Also I know that although members of the group are supportive they weren’t likely to be too ‘soft’ on me, and would be honest in expressing their views and opinions. They all agreed that it sounded very interesting, and Jesse , our presiding tutor that day, similarly advised to contain it somehow in its creation due to the many possible ways of exploring it.
The couple are Paul Dumont and Laura McKinley.
Links to Paul’s Blog
This one takes you to the default WordPress blog which is in reverse chronological order here
However, if you follow this link you can read in the correct chronological order to gain a sense of the developing story here
The About section also gives further information on Paul.
Comments are disabled there as, of course, it’s a ‘private’ blog, but any feedback will be very welcome here on my C& N blog.
I found that as the blog developed I was beginning to feel quite melancholic and so I decided I needed to build in some safety for myself. I’ve achieved this by keeping my own separate diary (which will also take me into C&N Part 3 which asks for this) and also playing different music according to whether I am being Paul, a reader of the blog, or myself. This has worked well and helps to slow down my thoughts and stop them from darting all over the place. There are images in the blog itself, but I have decided that my assignment images will be created from my response to the blog as ‘a reader’.
My next post will concern influences – photographers, literature, films and music.
6th April 2015