The brief calls for eight images that, individually, have a narrative and convey a specific idea.
I have continued to work with the found images from the Thai’ orphanages and texts that accompany their representation as ‘sponsorable’ orphans.
The initial work I did on this assignment seemed to produce some very clean images that spoke of advertising/marketing images. And whilst I am slightly concerned at the commodification of these children, that they are advertised to western, ‘otherness’, I didn’t want these images to confuse the viewer and so I have moved to less obvious, less commercially clean imagery. At least that is the intent.
I am interested in challenging the viewer to confront these images and feel that they would be best served large on an exhibition wall. The typeface text (which are from the detail sheets that describe the orphan to prospective sponsors and as updates to existing sponsors) is deliberately made either small, in relation to the size of the print, or slightly obtuse in order that the viewer needs to examine closely the image and text to complete the engagement. The required assignment presentation won’t allow for that so I’ll tailor the submission to try and fit the brief.
I also felt that using the marks that the children created is crucially important, whether they be by crayon, or by pen or pencil they bring a sense of collaborative venture to the pieces as well as, perhaps authenticity. Likely to be largely undecipherable to most Western eyes, any ambiguity is left to the faith in the translation provided – a thought that could be explored at a later date….
As I have vicariously witnessed the lives of these children I have become emotionally involved with some of their stories and the editing was a difficult part of the process. Some of the most disturbing stories I haven’t included in this set, not for reasons of concern for the viewer, but rather I wanted to have a certain set of criteria for the image series, and because I didn’t have a full set for some they have had to fall by the wayside.
I had intended to depict the sense of two-way traffic in this series; in as much as I wanted to consistently feature some of the cuddly toys and woollen baby clothes that are made by knitters in the UK to donate to these orphans in various Thai’ orphanages, however I didn’t find a way to do that throughout and so have stuck with the images as shown.