Week 17 – Abstraction

Over the last few days, there has been a real change in the project, with several new contributors and story ideas emerging. I have been very much taken back by how fast the pace of my FMP has changed.

The website has played a part, so has the new name for the project. However, I have also been much more proactive in asking people to take part in. It has taken much longer than hoped to get going, but things do now seem to be moving.

Liz approached me directly after seeing my appeal for contributors on Facebook. Liz is a retired teacher and has a passion for abstract art.

I agreed to meet Liz this week, and we sat and chatted for just over an hour. The recording method I use has been based on commercial film work that I have conducted over the last few years.

I send each contributor an overview of the project and some ideas as to what I am hoping to get in terms of an audio story. This usually is an encouragement to speak freely about any links or stories they have regarding the Lower River Otter. The recording is then carried out as an informal chat, rather than a structured interview.

This gives a much more fluid and a natural sound that any observers can connect with more effectively.

The audience interaction with my work is always in the front of my mind. As such, I am looking for emotive and informative stories that I feel would have the most impact.

Our meeting was a very productive one, and Liz went into much detail about her artistic practice.

In short, she explained how she had been a landscape artist and, after experimenting with different styles, eventually found abstract art much more enjoyable and creative.

Liz moved to the local area and soon became fascinated by the River Otter and the abstract potential that it offers.

Liz’s story, therefore, covers this inspiration and looks at how she has developed her practice through the use of the local landscape.

In many ways visualising Liz’s work was, for me, relatively straight forward to consider, but harder to produce.

Liz’s piece works well with abstract images as the visuals. I decided whilst conducting the interview that this could offer the most relevant solution.

Some of the images I have developed for her piece are shown below:


Figure 1



Figure 2



Figure 3

In the sequence above we can see three different captures of the same scene. This is a section of the river near to where Liz finds most of her inspiration.

The image in figure 1 is an image style I usually would attempt, that being capturing the light reflection on the water. I used this method, camera on a tripod, and capturing images of the river at sunset, to develop such approaches during the Informing Contexts Module.

However, I now find that these are not good enough.

I want to explore the passage of time and use the journey to create more abstracted images of the river. Taking inspiration from Kander’s work on the Thames.

I chose to explore this process further and took two additional images and reducing shutter speeds – as shown in Figure 2 and 3.

Both have produced excellent results, with my more favoured image in Figure 3.

I found that by using the natural sunlight during the last hour of daylight, I could create images of the river water that removed all familiar scenes, leaving the observer with a reflective study of the river in flow.

Such pieces to me represent the river in its abstract form, and hence Liz’s visuals for her Story are made up of such abstractive works.

Liz’s Story can be seen below.



  • Figure 1: Jones, Rob. 2019. Liz’s Story. [Photograph]
  • Figure 2: Jones, Rob. 2019. Liz’s Story. [Photograph]
  • Figure 3: Jones, Rob. 2019. Liz’s Story. [Photograph]