The realization feels right; these last few years of wandering around with camera and an apparent lack of purpose seem now to be leading me in a direction that I becoming to feel at home with. I have lost the fascination with the glorious landscape, I am happy to view it and, without wanting to appear damming, see the decorative work of other photographers who want to beatify the great outdoors or the glamour of the studio advertisement portrait or still life.
Documentary is where I feel at home in myself currently. To be able to depict situations that need to be recorded, to bring awareness to subjects that are either overlooked, ignored or without voice is starting to compel me to record, to open a discussion, both visually and orally.
I have a nascent queasiness about wanting to appear to “do-good” , but I shall have to overcome those fears and be prepared to not allow my voice to colour the work that I think I need to do, but allow those ‘other’ voices to be heard free – as much as can happen through an interlocutor – or tainted by how I represent them.
These last couple of years seem to have pulled a number of threads together; I have always had high regard for reportage, the influence of image based magazines in the 1960’s and ‘70’s still rest in my memory. There is a strong liberal tendency in me that needs to bring awareness to social injustices, and whilst I don’t think the photographer can make very much, if any difference, I feel compelled to use whatever means I credibly have to highlight them.
I started on a piece of work last year that I thought I had worked out in my mind, it is an especially important subject to me and soon after I started I realized that I wasn’t equipped to handle the project very well. By nature I would set about any new venture without being fully prepared, most of the really valuable things I have created have been done from a basis of knowing where the end is but not sure about the navigational requirements. But this project needs to be done well, and whilst I don’t think that I will ever be fully ready to start the work, I do want to be better “tooled-up” for the job. In readiness for that work I am contacting a number of local charities and trying to get involved with their work and their needs – it is difficult to get traction and maybe the season of the year has held things back. But I feel it is vitally important to develop this burgeoning need that will I hope develop into the practice that I feel is as much a calling as anything else I have felt for a very long time.
As for the picture, a little like me at the moment – underdeveloped and without a clarity of vision.