I finally feel that I have a narrative and a story for my WIP and a feeling of finally having a direction for my practice.
I now know that to evolve my work I need to focus on not just the metaphoric, but also the detail of place and its impact in the broader scene. I can see that documenting the light and how it changes the scene over any given day is one that I can work with.
I also feel that doing this in the context of under and above the waterline gives a more ethereal feel to the work, and brings the observer into my gaze. The memory the observer chooses to make from my work only limited to their emotional understanding of such a context.
As seen in Week 8 Reflections, there are six spaces on the river that I am most fond of being within. These spaces are a mix of calm still waters and more vibrantly flowing rapids. Each space has its personality, its own story to tell. Each also helps me feel better depending on how I am.
My choice on what space to focus on for my WIP was a challenging one. There are so many options and possible ways of presenting my work. In the end, I chose a place that offered a mix of possibilities between calm waters, open space for lots of light to enter the scene and rapid waters. From the map in Week 8 Reflections, this is point five.
I have chosen this space as it brings with it several scenes that can be changed by light and different times of the day. It also brings me to a space that I find most connected to the river.
Its combination of still water, rapids and pools give me a myriad of gazes that I enjoy on a regular base. The wind blowing through the trees brings a motion to the leaves that then reflect down onto the water, further changing the scene.
The river path passes through a tunnel of trees, which in the summer create a dark and cool space within which you can take refuge from the hot sun.
In winter this same scene changes to be a more menacing space, where the branches of the tree fold into the path like a giant unearthly hand.
The area is also host to a range of wildlife, including the Otter, Kingfisher and Beaver. Observing them going about their daily routine makes me realise what is important in my own life and what is just a product of our own cultural 9 – 5 disdain.
It is this space, this natural place and the importance it has to me that I choose to capture for my WIP.
As discussed in Week 8 – Environment and Eye, I do not choose to include people within this WIP as I feel very strongly that this particular piece is about my interaction with nature and its impact on my self. I choose to show the river for what it is – a wild place.
I am deliberately ignoring the cultural and social impact humanity has on the river as I choose to ignore this element when I am in the space. Indeed it is a naivety that reaches out to Salgado’s Genesis. However, one I choose to embrace at this point in my practice.
The audience for this work is just me, my friends and my family. I choose to make this work as it allows me to reproduce scenes that I then take away with me. A little part of the river that can travel to where ever I go. One that I can offer to those close to me in times of need or reflection.
The observer to my work does indeed take a different view to my own. Here the observer sees what they wish to see, their memory formed of the work through their own ‘ways of seeing’. Their mind creating a memory of a place that they have never actually visited.
My choice to use video as well as stills to tell this story is partially an experimental pice to see how the living image – that being a still photograph frame but a moving scene, can enhance my gaze and bolster my narrative on the river. The hope is that through the use of video I can relate a study of motion and light, where a stills image may not convey such observations as well.
This ability for my work to reach out and give to others what the river has given me is very important, and I will explore this further in my FMP.
For now, I shall be content to sit, gaze and drift along with the rivers slow beat.
- BARTHES, Roland. and HOWARD, Richard. 2006. Camera lucida. 1st ed. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, pp.26 27.
- BERGER, John. 2012. John Berger / Ways of Seeing, Episode 1 (1972). [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk[Accessed 13 March. 2019].
- Figure 1 – JONES, Rob. 2019. The space chosen for my WIP. [Photograph]
- Figure 2 – JONES, Rob. 2019. The space chosen for my WIP. [Photograph]
- Figure 3 – JONES, Rob. 2019. The space chosen for my WIP. [Photograph]