I am very struck by how easy it is to become confused within your own practice!.
I have started to set out the possible order for the films ready for the public exhibition. I am also experimenting with images that could then be submitted as part of my FMP. These images need to relate to all the films and the work that has gone into making them – through a visual narrative. Not something that is proving easy to do!
My main current confusion is that the films themselves do not link together clearly and distinctly. I am looking for the commonalities of the work and trying to visualise how they would then collaborate creatively with the film either side of them.
I still feel that these works would be better viewed independently, as part of a large exhibition, but that is now not possible. I am also stressed as I feel I have a duty of care to the stories and the local community that will observe them.
To find a way forward, I have become very taken by the work of Daniel Meadows
Here Meadows develops a series of works that capture the art of storytelling within his photographic practice. (Meadows, n.d.)
In Talking Pictures, Meadows takes a still image of the contributor or subject and overlays that on the audio of the individual story.
Each is notably short, around a minute or less in length and represents the signifier. The signified rising eloquently from the audio. Meadows work is, in my view, all about what is not shown, the final render generated by the observer.
My Photography, however, is different in its approach, yet similar in outcome. A set of films made between Meadows and his contributors discussing Meadows own photography practice. These films are frequently very emotive and carry with them an honest conversation of the work Meadows does and how that has come to affect the people involved.
In both, I was very struck by the empathy of Meadows works. The observer left, wanting to view more, often with no clear understanding as to why — a fundamental signified approach.
The essential element for me is that as individual works exhibited as they are on Vimeo, they work well. Similarly, I am looking to achieve this through Riparians website and social media pages.
However, Meadows has created works that naturally collaborate, one film encouraging the observer to look again at the next. I am not currently sure I have achieved this with Riparian.
I am now of the belief that, for a public exhibition, this project very much becomes a commentary on local community life along the riverbank. It explores the history, ecology, geology and cultural impacts the river space has, but it is not currently at a level where there are natural connections.
I feel that, like Meadows, this project could be more effective split up into themes, which themselves become short – say 15 – 30minute long works in their own right. The linkage between each theme is then focusing more on a natural handover – so History and Geology would link into Modern Farming Practices and Ecology etc. Education and Wellbeing in Nature being the fundamental connection.
For my FMP however, I feel that the renders for my project submission will be more focused on a selection of the films (not all) and that selection is connected through stills images and the use of relatable themes that link one story to another.
Individually, an element of the Signified will hopefully exist, which will then translate across the complete work.
It has also shown me that Riparian as an idea has great potential and could very well become an ongoing piece of work for the future.
- MEADOWS, Daniel . (n.d.). Photobus ~ Daniel Meadows. [online] Photobus.co.uk. Available at: https://www.photobus.co.uk/daniel-meadows [Accessed 21 Nov. 2019].
- Figure 1: Meadows, Daniel. Date various. Taking Pictures series. [Photograph of video still] (source media)
- Figure 2: Meadows, Daniel. My Photography. [Photograph of video still] (source media)