Week 1 | Independent Reflection

The first week of the Sustainable Prospects module was one of acclimatising to the mindset of academia having had some time off. Over the break I didn’t create much work as I needed time to contemplate my project while considering the potential avenues I could explore further. The last module once again represented significant growth in both the creation of work in addition to the philosophical approach to my project.

As a result, I am currently moving away from the football theme as the patriarchal narrative emerges. The idea of exploring the relationship I had with my father being the initial concern with my work in the last module. I am now exploring methodologies appropriate to opening up my ideas which could have a broader appeal than my personal emotions. Therefore the next stage of my project will be to explore ways of disseminating my concerns and encompassing a universal theme that would be identifiable with multiple audiences. 

Read (2017) cites Clarke who makes some useful comments about developing projects, ‘Looking back at the concerns that form the backbone of the work and the interests which fuel it, with or without input from others, will serve to provide evidence of where they have been and point the direction for the future.’ 

At this stage of my project  I agree with Clarke and take confidence from assertions as from the outset of the MA, the backbone of my thought process usually traces back to something about my father. Whether shared experiences, or advice he gave whilst in my formative years. I am now attempting to understand and identify with my experiences beyond the surface. As opposed to visualising football culture. I am now beginning to consider themes such as loneliness, insecurity and self reliance. All of which I feel are motivated in some capacity from my Fathers difficult experiences of being adopted as a child. 

The sense of being an outsider looking in, is another theme currently relevant and fuelled by an understanding that my Dad left his home in Scotland, joined the army, coming to live his life in Manchester. These ideas may translate into visual ideas which I could represent. Photographs of transit happening, moving objects or stations for busses and trains. Visualisations of what one might see when they leave such a place in addition to portraits of people engaging with travel. Asking why they are leaving or arriving at a place. 

In going with this approach I hope to achieve a sense of journey as Paul Graham did in his book the Great North Road. Interior photographs where possible, documentary images of environments encompassing multiple entries such as doors, windows and openings in roads. I do anticipate being knocked back multiple times in asking people for street portraits however I am hoping that my approach does yield some results. Laurent (2017) in the Time website writes about photographers as ‘the ones who sort all of the chaos of the world into images that bring clarity to the free for all of life.’ And at this stage of my learning I take heart and understanding from such a comment.

At present I feel that my task as an author of a project is to sort through my thoughts and feelings in order to bring clarity to my own voice. I have spent the last three modules pontificating, exploring and building my photographic literacy but now is the time to deliver my voice with a clarity and confidence which represents my development. I further feel that clarity is important in my photographic process. Going back to the idea of sorting through the chaos of the world (Laurent 2017), making photographs that have a clear direction is important in a personal sense for the new work I will create. In ordering the goings on in day to day life I understand that I will be required to make quick decisions when working with strangers in addition to working in a considered fashion when working on shoots with more planning. The objective throughout this module is to produce work which adheres to Szarkowski’s idea that ’The photographer hopes, in brief. To discover a tension so exact that it is peace’. I interpret this opinion to mean producing work that encompasses a visual language that satisfies my considered intention. Using the metropolis to my advantage, deforming  and manipulating it to bring clarity to my voice, and work which adheres to my concerns as a photographer.

Eggleston, W. (2002) William Eggleston’s Guide. New York, The Museum of Modern Art.

Laurent (2017) Why We Do It: Photographers and Photo Editors on the Passion That Drives Their Work [Online] Available at: https://time.com/4839246/photographers-passion/ 

Read and Simmons (2017)  Photographers and Research, The Role of Research in Contemporary Photographic Practice. Taylor and Francis, New York.

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