This exercise is timely in that my previous assignment was based on memory (post memory) and I have therefore read and researched a great deal on the subject. I have also found myself reflecting back to my childhood of late – an age thing! I am someone who likes to recall happy family times, because it is summer I am mostly recalling beach and caravan holidays. However, I think that will probably be a popular choice for students so I have considered a number of alternative ideas for this exercise.
- School days – not my favourite subject.
- Playing with my dolls – great memories!
- Family gatherings and special occasions
- Roller skating
- Beach and rock pools
- Caravan holidays
- Playing with friends – garden, parks, playing fields
Whilst shooting my last assignment I visited an area where my Mum lived for a couple of years as a refugee from Czechoslovakia. Because this location is fairly local and a popular beauty spot, we often go there. Next to the hall and grounds is a huge playing field, now used for cricket matches mainly. Lurking to one side of the field is an original playground roundabout – still in good working order! This always gives me flash backs to my childhood, I loved the local park and playground. So my subject is chosen.
Thinking about the projects I have just completed, I pondered over whether to be present or absent in the photograph. I decided not to use a metaphor in this instance – difficult to portray, so I settled on including my adult self in the shot. I set up the tripod and with the use of a remote shutter release clicked away merrily.
For a few shots I set up the tripod and camera on the roundabout – asking my poor husband to run around with the roundabout to hold on to the tripod! This was to create the effect of me being in focus and the background blurred to represent spinning.
This prompted me to present a series in sequence – following the way I would have approached it as a child. I always observed first to check for safety and courage… then go for it. It was always a mixture of comfort and dread when others joined the ride – it would either be safety in numbers or dare devils spinning it too fast so I couldn’t jump off!
I showed these images to friends and to my brother and sister, they all related back to their younger days of playing in the park. The images conjured up the feeling of carefree days, adventure, freedom and worry-free times. Which is exactly what they were for me too.