While at The Photography Show in Birmingham I arranged a portfolio review with Annemarie from the BIPP to discuss some examples of my current work. The portfolio contained images from three different bodies of work.
This project is a body of work created during the first 3 months of 2017. The work is exploring my relationship with the streets within the City of London I have worked in and around the City of London for the majority of my adult life. Each morning I arrive at Liverpool Street Station and given the proximity of the different offices where I have worked I walk to the office rather than use additional public transport. The streets become so familiar that I no longer focus on specific elements of that repeated journey instead it merges into a merged stream of images that no longer register. I wanted to find a photographic technique that would allow the reader to get the same sense where the eye no longer registers the individual elements instead they become smeared or merged in some way. The streets are full of people similar to me focused on a destination for an outside this could create a claustrophobic feeling a chaotic image entering their vision. At the same time the streets feel like the canyons of Arizona a place I would love to photograph. The materials that dress the modern city of London are based on an earthy colour palette the when viewed using the layered technique matches with those images.
Annemarie recognised this intent within my images suggesting that I should continue to develop the body of work further possibly even visiting other cities around the world to record their own city canyons.
The work of Edward Burtynsky who produces large scale images is an interesting parallel to this work as these images become more effective as they are printed in larger formats and Burtynsky is a master at this type of image making especially his latest work which is looking at the terraforming impact humans are having on the environment. Where his images take in the macro view cities my images are a microscopic view as they are recorded on a human scale.
Tilbury to Harwich
This project will become my main project for the MA and will involve me walking along different parts of the Essex Coastline and therefore I keen to see if the photographic technique developed to record walking within the city would translate to a non-urban environment or more specifically the Essex Coastline. As part of the portfolio review I showed Anne-Marie a couple of early images from the work in progress. Anne-Marie agreed that the images had taken on a painterly effect through the use of layering of images. She liked the overall composition of the images and the colour palette within the image.
Following the review I was made aware of the work of Ian Brown. My work is not as extreme as the technique used by Ian Brown in his work and example from 2007 titled Lae Bar Cornwall in included for comparison. Brown has merged significantly more layer together to create his images. This is not a new technique but was used by people like Sir Francis Galton when looking for common traits within criminals where images were merged together.
Childhood Memories as a project is project reappropriating photographic images which in the case of this project are images taken by my father when I was growing up. My father travelled to different countries for his work which gives a different dimension to the family album as we viewed these images as a family when my dad returned from his various trips. I wanted to combine these two very different elements together within this body of work while retaining the aesthetic of the original Ektachrome (E6) slides when creating these new images. The body of work also speaks to the fact that as we get older our memories can become blurred creating a new reality from the original events.
Anne-Marie was interested to understand more of the story behind these images and how they might be seen in the future I explained that one potential outcome is the images could be used to help raise awareness of different illnesses such as dementia that result in memory loss in later life.
Overall the portfolio review was very positive and Anne-Marie agreed that within the portfolio I presented there were indeed 3 different bodies of work however she could also see the interlinks between the different topics. She encouraged me to carry on developing the different themes as she felt all of them were relevant.