Surfaces and Strategies
I have recently come across work by Elana Damiani, and have been very inspired by her project Fading Feilds which reflects on the past and present.
The viewer struggles to grasp at once to totality of the image, which keeps fusing with the space in the background. As a result, the works function as constant reminders that it is only through the eyes of the present that we can catch a glimpse of the past, and that both realms -virtual and physical- merge constantly in the act of remembrance.
- Elena Damiani
The images from this project of hers are printed on to silk chiffon, which is translucent and causes the image to fade in and out of site depending on the position of the viewer.
I find my self drawn to her way of layering and manipulation of the images without making to many changes to the actual photo its self and allowing each image to be its self, and this has inspired me to start thinking that rephotography could play a role in my work, to help make the past of certain area's like Twentynine palms more apparent and shows it’s evolution to the present.
I am also very inspired by the way this work is presented. Having it displayed at a large scale helps to really capture the viewer's attention and wonder, allowing them to "play" with images.
"I think of my life’s work as a celebration of all of nature, an orchestra that plays not the sounds of one musician, the music of one species, but rather an expression of all of nature’s songs."
- Gregory Colbert
Gregory Colbert's’ Ashes to Snow exhibitions, has long been an inspiration, mostly because they are so immersive.
The work that he creates is very intimate, bold and moving, and I think that allowing people to really feel the full expression of his work an immersive experience is the only way to really do so. I also feel that when you create such an experience, it opens up the work to more people and a wider audience, as there is a draw not just to the work, but to the event its self.
When I come to producing my own work and creating an experience, realistically I will not be producing a show on such a scale as Ashes to Snow, but I want to take elements from it. I want to be able to create spaces that are intriguing, intimate and open to a verity of people.
Creating small structures that could be placed almost anywhere, at this stage would be very doable.
Have something small with minimal materials will be easy enough to construct and place in a public space, where it would be accessible to a number of different people.
I have been thinking about producing a small exhibit with 3-4 images printed and presenting them in some sort of fashion such as the examples below.
My last two trips I have been keeping a visual travel journal, (That I post to my instagram highlights) with photos mostly taken with my phone. I find that it helps me think about how I want to approach the space and the people within it and when using a phone, especially when I first get to a new location I find that it is less intrusive and a little more discrete.
Full WIP gallery can be found here.
Title of work: High Desert.
Keywords: Land, Community, Interdisciplinary, Collaboration.
Methods and methodologies: With this project, I will be exploring high desert areas in the American west (California, Arizona, and Colorado ) I wish to do so with of mix of techniques, such as digital, 120/35mm as well as cyanotypes.
These images will range from environmental portraits to landscape within the communities I will be visiting.
I feel that this approach will offer a wider perspective of the subject and hopefully and alternative approach to straightforward documentary photography.
I have also considered producing a few short videos that will help document the people and surroundings, as well as show my process. I hope to do this with my creative partner Mae Frances, so I can focus on producing images for my project.
Number of shoots: I intend to travel to my chosen locations and spend a few days shooting at each.
I plan to produce a number of images with my chosen mediums that will be made into a publication and exhibit.
All the work produced relates to my final project and is allowing me to explore, and connect with people within certain communities I am visiting as well as the approach and techniques I want to use during this project. I feel that is helping refine and explore new ways of using digital and alternative process alongside each other.
After my first trip to Twentynine Palms, I came across Kim Stringfellow. Her work explores the Mojave desert. The Jackrabbit Homestead, in particular, caught my eye. They are a collection of mostly abandoned shacks left from their former residents, who received the land from the US government as part of the Small Trace Act of 1938.
Stringfellow spent time documenting some of the abandoned houses as well as interviewing local residents, historians, and artist, which reside in reclaimed structures and use them as inspiration for their work.
This led Stringfellow to produce a photobook, photographic exhibit, and web-based multimedia presentation featuring a downloadable car audio tour exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act.
This work and other projects that she has worked on, has greatly inspired how I want to approach my own work and allowed me to truly think about the presentation and methods that I could use to present my work and make it accessible to multiple audiences.
This week was one of the more refreshing and inspiring weeks so far.
I am always drawn to the work of Mike and Doug Starn, two twin brothers that have been together since their teenage years. They have a very conceptual approach to photography. Over the years they have worked with silver gelatin papers and a number of toning and bleaching methods, they tape together fragments of torn and distressed prints together and use other materials such as wood and metal to create beautifully crafted images that go beyond a simple print.
I very much admire their approach and the way they challenge the idea of photography.
More recently I have come across Peter Calderwood & Lena Gustafson of Night Dier Press a small print press in California. They create and publish prints, books, zines, and monotypes using a number of different processes and alternative printing techniques.
The cyanotype prints caught my eye especially and I was considering trying cyanotype for this weeks activity as I have never done it before.
Not having a lot of time to create more in-depth images and layering for the cyanotypes, I used found objects, mostly from the garden, and overall, I like the results, but more so I enjoyed the precesses, and it has made me consider possibly adding cyanotype prints to my work.