This assignment concerns putting myself in the picture one way or another in its widest sense. The brief states that I can approach my self-portraits however I see fit. I can choose to include myself or be absent, use empty spaces, objects, models and metaphors. The brief also suggests keeping a diary for a couple of weeks. I do keep a diary, but only really for reminders and to earmark events – of which there are few these days (apart from holidays!). I would not want to write two or three pages a day, it takes me all my time to jot down thoughts and ideas for my blog!
Initial thoughts and ideas
I have been giving this assignment a lot of thought during the past few weeks while completing the projects and exercises in Part Three. This is an open brief designed to give me freedom to create something personal by including myself in the picture, in one way or another – both literally and metaphorically.
It’s early days but, some thoughts so far…..
Looking back though my diaries and thinking about how I am in general these days, I started to scribble down words and the ones that came into my head all begin with D. “D Days”. Daydreaming, dithering, delaying, doubting. I am thinking about using framed windows as a prop – either with or without me in the shots. Examples are misty window/blurry shot, reflections (reflecting back), viewing myself through window. Incorporating some creative camera work too. I looked at other photographers work and saw that windows are a popular theme. Below: Sharon Boothroyd “The glass between us” 2010.
I ran this idea by my tutor, she commented “I like the very internalised nature of the verbs you’re using… the challenge is how to depict these visually when they’re outwardly inactive?” It is a challenge indeed. Here are some preliminary shots of me delaying, doubting, dithering….
Then I took some window shots with a more creative slant. I trialed my idea first by using my husband as a model.
I set up the tripod outside the window with the camera pointing in. These portrayed more of a daydreaming effect by blending interior and exterior – of the surroundings and of my thoughts. The setting is ideal because there are two windows opposite each other, just a pity about the kitchen sink tap!!
Another idea is reading – I read all the time, from all sources – newspapers, online, fiction, fact, research, magazines…
I have this lovely portrait hung on our bedroom wall, it was given to me by a friend who said it reminded him of me.
Tutor says “There’s a very nice book of Photographs by Andre Kertesz, called On Reading, where his subjects are all very actively engaged in reading, and so there’ a very painterly kind of stillness and absorption in the photographs.” I have looked at these images and really like them. The Hungarian photographer André Kertész (1894-1985) gained inspiration for many of the images though his preoccupation with reading and the written word.
This series of work gave me an idea to work on something similar using just me as the subject. However I decided the resulting images would be a little too literal, ordinary. I am very fond of black and white photography, I find it atmospheric and honest, it attaches itself to a period in time. But I want this piece of work to speak about now, my present state. I want to portray my current inner world (thoughts and emotions) visually. See Light bulb moment! for the next stage.