This weeks work was a mix of experimental and research into light and how it compounds the river scene and the possible effects on the observer.
I have been drawn to many practitioners that have explored this concept including some on this MA. All have achieved excellent results and also fascinating concepts.
When I am down by the river, it is often the reflections of sunlight and shadow and the way that they interact with the scene that appeals most to me. It brings me a sense of calm and relaxation that I long for.
The light dances through the trees and long grass and forms patterns and shapes, not just on the surface, but underwater too. It is possible to watch a point of light stream its way along with the riverbed like some ethereal fish.
When the water is clear and still, which is often the case in some river locations, the refection of light through and onto the trees can cause a perfect mirror image to appear on the surface of the water.
This mirror acts as a bridge, leading the observer from one dimensional plain to another. Very much Alice Through the Looking Glass.
I enjoy capturing such images as they can give the scene a much larger added dimension. This refection changes throughout the day and can become very dim or very pronounced depending on the time and conditions.
This concept appeals to me, and I am very much drawn to look at such reflective properties as part of my WIP.
The aim would be to set up in one location and observe the reflective effects on the water at different times of the day. This, along with a similar study of the light reflection underwater at the same time could form a metaphoric above and below. Only for this WIP, these images would be shown as two separate scenes and probably not the half and half as produced in past modules.
The reason I choose this is that I feel it gives me more scope to explore the scene in smaller detail – a portion of the location rather than the whole site could provide the observer with more narrative as to what is happening at any given time.
It could also act to demonstrate what I observe when I am sitting on the river bank and what that observation means to me.
As part of my research, I have been drawn to Nadav Kander who’s productions of Yangtze, The Long River and The Thames Estuary also steered some of my practice into looking at water movement and the use of light to capture its form.
In the above, part of Dark Line – The Thames Estuary, Kander spent some years re-visiting locations and observed the ever-changing scene as directed by the estuary waters of the River Thames.
Each of the images captures the cultural and very spiritual notion of a place that has come to lose so much over the years, Be it from war or collapse of industry, the people and traditions around the estuary are very much affected by the rivers very present and the associated cultural connotations.
Kander works at a slow pace, emulating that of the river. This has a great deal of relevance to my practice as I tend to sit in the same place for some hours observing and drifting along with the flow of the water.
I feel that at this stage of my practice and for my WIP I will look at developing a body of work that explores light and the flow of the water as a symbiotic system, where one has a significant impact on the other.
Each work together to form gazes that help relax and slow the pace of my life down — these interactions between dark, light and water form many interesting patterns and shapes that mesmerise and captivate.
I aim to take the observer on a journey with me to one of my favourite locations. We shall visit this location at different times of the day and then sit and gaze upon the scene in front of us.
Such a gaze will be a focused one. It will look at the small and significant views, the little effects the light has on the water, or the how the river current plays with the light, bending and changing its pattern, one that it has kept since being set free by the sun some millions of miles away.
Only to land at my feet in the waters of the River Otter.
- KANDER, Nadav. 2019. Dark Line – The Thames Estuary – Nadav Kander. [online] Nadav Kander. Available at: https://www.nadavkander.com/works-in-series/dark-line-the-thames-estuary/single [Accessed 23 Mar. 2019].
- Figure 1 – JONES, Rob. 2019. Reflections on the river [Photograph]
- Figure 2 –KANDER, Nadav. 2005. Water III Part 1, 2 & 3, (Shoeburyness towards The Isle Of Grain), England. [Photograph] (source media)