When starting the MA in September 2016 one of the key learning points for me was to be able to take my work and place it with the context of contemporary photography and now as we approach the end of the module though I feel I need to allocate more time to studying other photographers I now feel more comfortable with the work’s Szarkowski, Sontag, Barthes, Berger and Batchen and how they apply to my own practice.
Through Ken McCullen’s film ‘Art, Poetry and Particle Physics’ I appreciate that all three disciplines require creative thinking to see meaning in the things we observe everyday. The beauty that John Berger observes in Jorge Luis Borge poetry is paralleled by the beauty of quarks observed by particle physicists at CERN. I took away from that Photo London Pre-Talk is the film gained greater depth and meaning from the context provided by Ken McCullen and Michael Benson that it would have had if I had watched it along rather than with a group of people who love and appreciate photography.
My Work in Progress for this module to focused on two Bodies of Work; Series No.1 ‘Re-seeing Childhood’ and Series No. 2 ‘CityCanyons‘ both bodies of work use similar but different photographic techniques to bring new meaning to their subjects. Each body of work focuses on a specific part of my life journey: Series No. 1 ‘Re-seeing Childhood’ covers my childhood through the images recorded by my father and my adult re-collection of those events; Series No. 2 ‘City Canyons’ covers the daily journey’s between different buildings in the City of London that after 25 years have become so mechanic the buildings that define though routes merge into a singular canyon wall that guides my path of travel.
When compiling the final edits for these bodies of work I spent time considering the context of viewing for City Canyons I settled on a preferred context of view relatively easily these images need to be printed larger so that the image sucks the viewer into the environment. Similar to the large images used by arts such as Burtynsky or Boomoon.
Determining the context of viewing for Series No. 1 ‘Re-seeing Childhood’ was much more difficult to define the images could be viewed in the gallery but what size of print would do justice to the work as the original images had been viewed on a projector screen 60 inches across but could equally be viewed on a smaller to make the viewing more intimate. An alternative would be to view the new images in their original context as a slide projection on a big screen. When reviewing the prints with my father I realised that the preferred context of viewing is a book as it allowed me to create incorporate my fathers memories of the creation of the original images alongside the new work similar to the images created by Jeff Wolin.
Upon reflection what is interesting about both bodies of work is that even though they are both resolved they could both act as points of departure of other similar bodies of work that explore these subjects in different ways of seeing that I have yet to discern.