There are good times and there are bad times, this weekend was a good weekend, a very good weekend. I spent the best of Saturday at an exhibition in London with a couple of other students talking about the work on the walls, the work that we were all doing, inspirations, obstacles and hopes. It is difficult to describe how important these discussions are to me, how I find that being able to talk openly, freely without care or concern with other students I can trust to listen and comment critically. On Sunday I spent the most part reflecting on what had happened on Saturday, even though I was rehearsing for the next production and rigging lights for the stage. I’ve sent correspondence to an artist in the hope of finding a way to start a discussion with him, I’ve watched two videos of Laura Pannack describing her practice.
And I’ve thought a lot more about my next assignment, that at once seems firmly tangible and again seems as elusive as ever. I am drawn to the light, not really as moth to a flame, but the craft photographer in me enjoys the exploration of local contrast. I find beauty in the touch of light on objects, how they enable a sort of transcendence of the object, bringing a sense of alternate narrative to the highlighted thing. My walks around the village and the house – which is in a state of considerable transformation at the moment, the builders have been encamped for four months with at least two more to go – have led me to think about stories. I’m very careful not to veer towards another ‘Edgelands’ as I’ve seen so many over the last few years, most degree shows have had at least three or four variants on a similar theme, but rather I want to explore what it is that these places that light lands on, are being asked to reveal about their past.
About how this image of a wonderful aurora provides an invitation to stop and explore what was or could possibly be. I am though more than a little concerned about the lack of a physical human presence in these images. It might be said, by me many times, that the land and it’s scape can only be a portrait of mankind, much as all photographs are self portraits, then in this land that we inhabit we see a portrait of ourselves. The scarring that we witness is in every vista we view, so I think I need to find a way to place people into the frame. This placement is not about holding people responsible, whether it is the ‘bastard wasteland’ or the ‘perfect harmony’ of Blenheim; rather it is that people have stories that are embedded in the environment that they inhabit, even if only for a short while. I want to consider those stories, not what they are, not the secrets they haven’t shared, more that the people and the land or places visited by this evanescent light that flickers on and off in a place to demonstrate its relevance to someone’s life even for a moment.
These lightscapes are less than half the small stories that I want to depict. I shall now try and work the responsible into the frame, the owners of the fables to stand and be situated into the place that has a resonance to them, however large or small