Before the module began but after the first module I shot and buried some film over the park where I am carrying out most of my work at the moment. I buried the film beneath the tree next to John's bench I have been focusing on. I want to explore decay and how that will alter the images of the tree but also the concept it creates in relation to someones passing and decay of memories.
The work by Rohn Meijer and Peter Hoffman have both explore the ways in which to decay or alter a negative. Hoffman is interested in the chemicals and contamination of water. Where as Meijer using the chemicals to add a surreal element to his photographs.
Above: Burying the film
Left: Peter Hoffman
Right: Rohn Meijer
During this week I had a different kind of feeling I hadn't felt yet when walking over the park and visiting John and the tree. It was a kind of anger at the world. These emotions came from feeling chaotic in myself but also at the thought of losing the people we love without being able to do anything about it. I felt full with regrets, fear, turmoil, but as well as those a kind of thankfulness for the time we do have and the impact people can have on us. I created these images using 35mm film, I shook the leaves of the trees and shot with a slow shutter speed.
The results do show the emotions I wanted to create and the colours keep the vibrancy of John. I am interested in possibly layering this images with others to create double exposures or I am beginning to think of producing a video much like the work John produced.
This week I shot two films both using 35mm purple lomography film. The first film I shot the colours were more red which and the images slightly more chaotic. I chose to use a colour film to try to incorporate a new feeling and the red ones were a similar feel to last weeks images. Some of these I also double exposed to show the layers and frustration.
The second film was later that week where I had time to reflect on my feelings and try to understand why and where they had come from. The day was bright and I was feeling alot more positive and I think this shows in the images. I was interested initially in the purple film because of the symbolism of the colour.
The spiritual meaning of the colour purple...
"In the meaning of colours, purple and violet represent the future, the imagination and dreams, while spiritually calming the emotions. They inspire and enhance psychic ability and spiritual enlightenment, while, at the same time, keeping us grounded." (Accessed Sept 2019)
"The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic." (Accessed Sept 2019)
Both of the quotes above has areas I was interested in exploring and showing when using the purple film the second time. In particular 'keeping us grounded', 'ambition, creativity, and magic'.
I decided to dig up my film from the park which took around 15 minutes to find! I do like the results of the film however I think I may have left the negatives in the ground for too long as most of the image was lost. I do like the effects of the film and think they will be a nice addition to the project dedicated to John. The images are dark and show decay but are interesting in areas where they have highlights. These will make good overlays for other images; even the Hawstead panel images to link both projects together.
This week I also discussed with my tutor the possibility of creating a film. I had already considered developing a short video as John himself made videos linked to sound, texture, colour and music. Using all of the images I have created during my 'What's left behind' project I am going to experiment with creating a video and also a book to finalise this part of my project.
I took a trip to the botanical gardens in Cambridge. Whilst their I shot a 35mm colour film and created an in camera double exposure. I wanted to create images which merged the structure of the buildings with the plants, or the vast trees with the details within in the plants in the green house. This shoot wasn't directly linked to either of the projects I've been exploring however all of my work involves the human experience especially within nature. I wanted to create some images I could use as experiments or layers but I am really happy with the final results and like the images as they are. Whilst taking the photographs although I am considering the layers and composition, I am in a meditative state.
Although I have been separating my projects I do feel they have a link to the human experience and emotions. They are beginning to tell stories especially where I am involving characters from the Hawstead panels, or more recently looking into Greek mythology. I hope to be able to link my shoots so that they have a common theme.
Stories are a way of us making sense of the world.
This week I have been planning whats next for my project involving John and thinking about the layout for my book but also how I am beginning to link both projects together. I am looking forward to having a 1 to 1 with my tutor next week to show the work I have completed to date and hope to be able to discuss where to go from here. I have lots of ideas and photo shoots planned but I am aware they may be linking clearly to myself but not to others, I want to make sure the concept is clear in terms of my development and moving forward.
This week I did a photo shoot which ended up having lots of ideas into one. I like the Pre-Raphaelite style and want to try to create the rich colours in my images. This shoot initially came from another Hawstead Panel with the quote, "Appearances reflect the person within". I wanted to recreate the panel in a similar style but then began to look into Greek Mythology to link to the text. I started by looking at Narcissus and his story based on him falling in love with his own reflection and rejecting the Nymph Echo, I then thought about the text in the opposite way and discovered the Greek God Pan who was disowned by his mother for his looks and the fact he was half man, half goat, but in the end became one of the most notorious Greek Gods.
I used different outfits, locations, poses and styles to show the difference between the the initial idea, which quickly moved onto Pan as I felt as though I was just directly copying the Hawstead Panel. My most successful I feel are the images of Pan. I shot all of the images digitally but also used two film cameras I hadn't used before. One of which is the Kodak Retinette, a view finder camera which tested my "focusing".
The other camera was a Halina Speedy automatic camera. The images produced by this camera ended up having a glow on the model which I was quite pleased with.
This week I have been returning to Lady Drurys panels from Hawstead which are now located in Christchurch park, the location of Johns bench and tree.
I have always been drawn to the panels ever since I was young. The Latin headings along with the paintings are intriguing. It is not known if Lady Drury painted the panels herself but it is believed she did as they belonged in her closet. The panels represent varying emotions and are linked to meditation and spiritual reflection.
This week I have been exploring one particular panel which has the "title" 'Spem Fronte - pinning ones hopes on appearances'. The images shown here are just a starting point. These particular images are an in camera double exposure using 35mm film. The digital and other film versions I want to print in the darkroom using SE1 an light sensitive emulsion on watercolour paper and paint back into them to create a Pre-Raphaelite feel. I linked this panel to the Greek Goddess Amphitrite. Amphitrite herself is sometimes depicted as a mermaid or young woman and is the goddess of the sea.
Alongside these images I took some portraits of my friend. I had asked her to be very natural in the way she looked for the photo shoot and she has beautiful features which include freckles! I have included this because as soon as I showed the model the black and white image, she spoke about how ugly she felt. I just found this interesting due to the heading of the original panel. It links with getting to know the subject in the image, building a relationship and showing their vulnerabilities.
During this week I have been experimenting with my shoot based on the mermaid Hawstead Panel. I made black and white film from the digital images and printed them in the darkroom using SE1 which is a liquid light emulsion. I painted the SE1 onto watercolour paper as I wanted to have a more textured effect. I began to hand tint the images similarly to Ellen Rogers trying to create a more Pre-Raphaelite painting effect. However I don't feel these came out as successful as I would have liked. I am going to try again using just the original images in black and white using a stronger pigment or ink.
As well as tinting the SE1's I wanted to add more texture so I pressed some flowers and created some scanography images. I didn't want the images to be completely black and white as I was happy with the warmer tone creating a more vintage effect so I just altered the vibrancy and saturation to reduce the colour in the flowers.
During this week I feel my project has started to become systematic in the way I am creating the images. My project based on John called 'Whats left behind?' is being finalised. I have started to create a video and also produce a book although these are both taking some time alongside my other work. I do feel my previous project and my current project link as they are all based on emotions, reactions and the human existence.
I was struggling with the combination of the Hawstead Panels linked with Greek Mythology. However now I am trying to create images which link to the text of the Hawstead Panel rather than the image, although still taking into account the objects, people, layout of the of the original panel. I am linking it with Greek mythology by looking into the words, such as purity, thinking about what I feel purity is and symbols, places to signify purity itself. More importantly I am looking at the Greek Gods who link to these.
The Hawstead Panel I focused on this week was 'Ut Moreris Vives' - You will die in the way you live. I looked into various ways to produce an image linking to these, most of which were quite negative. The original panel is a skull with roses growing out of it which I felt was symbolic in terms of how we are linked to nature which is a running theme within my work. I chose to look at the Greeks again and found Nymphs, or more specifically Dryads. Dryads live as part of the trees, some are entwined with the tree and will pass on when the tree dies. Other live among the trees. Combining the wording of the panel with Dryads seemed like the perfect combination. I imagined quite mythical images in the style of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings in terms of colours and textures.
I shoot the images digitally but also in black and white on my Kodak Retinette as well as an in camera double exposure on my Olympus OM10. I am yet to get the films the developed, however I have edited some of the digital images. I chose to make them ethereal by layering and blurring the background more.
The digital images are what I had imagined, but I am looking forward to developing the film and seeing how they look. I prefer film in terms of having less control and not manipulating them too much. I would like to do some further experiments with the images, possibly some Lith prints which I then hand tint similar to the previous mermaid panel.
Painting below - The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan.
This week I have been working on the book and video dedicated to John. Both of these are taking a lot longer than anticipated with work, the MA and photographing and editing shoots.
I did want to finalise this project during this module but I also don't want to rush the process. The video is coming along but I am not happy with the transitions at the moment so I am looking into ways I can make these smoother and less obvious.
I found a platform to create my book but again I'm not entirely happy with the restrictions of how to lay out the book so I need to do some more research. I do feel John's project is going to be ongoing and may never come to an end, but I hope to have the book and video complete within the next couple of months, especially as I would like them to be ready for when I hopefully put on an exhibition.
During this week I developed my first black and white film this module. I had trialed my Kodak Retitnette with my Pan photo shoot and decided to use it with the Dryad. I developed the film myself and printed them in the darkroom.
I was really pleased with the results, they have a natural vignette and are more ethereal than the digital images. I am yet to get my colour film developed but hope to at the end of this week.
Once I had printed each of the images, I decided to merge a photogram with the print creating an alternative double exposure. I did a similar technique when I created some scanography images in a previous shoot on my SE1 prints. I prefer the photogram merged with the negative because it really frames the image and adds to the Dryad concept.
During this last week I have been editing and refining my images ready for my work in progress portfolio. I have also been finalising my Oral Presentation and checking over my blog.
I decided to separate my work in progress into galleries so it was easier to navigate and understand.
The project relating to John will be ongoing. It is almost a year since his passing and I still feel there is work to do with that part of my project. Especially finalising the moving image and book.
I then sectioned each of the panels now relating to greek mythology. Although these projects are separate the link is there in terms of 'What is left behind?'. John's project was the beginning of that.
I feel I am beginning to find a rhythm and visual language with this project. I have started to interview others on how they feel stories, myths, or people have impacted their lives.