When starting this project, I had first intended to use it for assignment 2, Photographing the Unseen. When I discovered that the idea and execution were exactly the same as what is asked in assignment 2, together with my tutor I decided to submit this work for part 3.
Rationale and Approach
A few months ago I found a pile of diaries and letters from secondary school of which I thought I had lost. I was very relieved to be able to read them again, especially because I am a mother of teenagers and twins and I thought reading my own thoughts when I was their age would be a way to be more emphatic towards them. I thought I still knew what I had written and how I used to think, but was quite surprised to read my entries again 25 years later.
First I made a list of lines that spoke out to me most. Some because I realised how much my way of thinking was formed by my religious views and upbringing, others because it showed the struggles I had to find my own individuality, purpose in life and self worth. It think it was good that I hadn't read my diaries in about 20 years, because now I could really reflect on myself from a more distant stance. About 5 years ago I stopped going to church and since then have started to let go of many 'truths' and dogmas I used to believe in. Reading my thoughts on God, sin and the future was quite confrontational and I realised even more how liberated I feel now compared to then.
I decided to take multiple approaches in visually reflecting on the images. Some photographs are a literal translation of what is written, others symbolic. My daughters have posed for a few images, I have used a photo from when I was 16 years old and have made one self portrait.
Mostly inspired by Duane Michals and Sophie Calle, I wanted my images to be as open as possible for different interpretations. The idea is that viewers reflect on their own responses to what I have written down instead of just making up their mind of what they think of me. In order to do that, I have kept the selection of entries quite universal, even though they still give enough information to be personally related to me.
In the selection of images and also the order in which I have placed them in the document I have tried to show my struggles, but also the first signs of wanting freedom and really find myself. I hope this is the main idea that stays after looking at my work.
Reflection on assessment criteria points
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills
When it comes to the visual and technical skills I think my images meet the criteria. I'm happy with the diversity in the images, but that they still seem to form a coherent set. I have a variety of portraits, symbolic images that show different photographic and compositional techniques. I had difficulties putting everything together and making decisions on the final layout. Going from typed text to handwritten and back to typed texts. To be honest, I'm still not sure what is best. I have difficulties convincing myself that I have a valid point when I believe something works or doesn't.
Quality of Outcome
I feel that the quality of outcome meets the criteria because I have noticed while doing research how my ideas on how to portray myself and translate feelings and writings into visual work developed and were founded in how I want to work and who I want to be as an artist. I think this shows throughout the final work in a consistent way. However, I'm not sure if the ideas I have on how I want the viewers to look at my work are actually executed in such a way that it will work. Maybe some images more than others.
Demonstration of Creativity
I notice that after having done the research of part 2 and 3, my creative juices have started to flow a bit more. As I noticed in other blog posts, because I live in a country that is pure candy for the eye, it is fairly easy to come up with visually nice images without having to be creative myself. I just go outside and wait for the wonders to take place before my camera. However, I do want to practice to conceptualise my work and photographs, to be able to produce work that shows meaning and triggers a reflection instead of only a reaction. I like how this course is showing and guiding me in ways on how to do that and I feel very inspired by it. I believe the outcome of this will meet the criteria. Besides that, I feel that this process is taking time and I can't force myself into producing differently than what I have been doing. I'm already trying very hard! When it comes to this assignment, I feel that the end result is adequate, but when I looked at other student's work I realised that I could have been more creative with the final product, like make prints and used different materials to bring extra dimensions to the work. Something to consider for the next assignment.
First of all, there is always more research to be done. I feel that I have only touched on a slight area of photography and art and need to do a lot of catching up. I do think that I have implemented a lot of what I researched in my work and way of thinking, so in that sense I guess that I'm on the right track. I do have to become much more disciplined in reading and writing down my thoughts.