Project Proposal 1 -Photographic Narratives of Marjal de Pego

There is never ‘the’ photographic narrative for any place but always an abundance. Narratives can be attributed by a viewer to an image when no words or context are given. They can be guided by the presenter of the image. Presenters can be many. They could be a photographer, a curator, a journalist or someone showing an album over a family dinner. They can change over time as new understanding and perspective is created. They are infinite.

Photographs can contribute to an understanding of what a place is. They can highlight the many tensions existing in the possible explanations of the place. They can draw attention to issues that need addressing such as injustice, inequality, damage to the environment or crime. Photographs can form a narrative of their own when presented in a sequence. Weight can sometimes be added by combining with words.

‘A narrative is a report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images, or both. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, “to tell”, which is derived from the adjective gnarus, “knowing” or “skilled”.’ source

So with the skilled use of a camera and some words I propose to create some ‘knowing’ about Pego Marshes. I like the question ‘what does my photography add to a subject?’ I want it to say something new and get an audience to see something special they did not see before.

Here is a draft narrative in a sequence of images with just one word to guide my audience.

Beauty
Beast
Flight
Light
Join
Walk
Turn
Cycle
Churn

From these images it is clear Marjal de Pego has many uses and many stories to be told. Even one word added to a sequence of pictures can create a narrative. I have stated there is no one narrative. In the first two images above if I put a question mark after the word ‘Beast?’ I immediately change the narrative.

Work to do is to explore photographers who have put together narratives of places and understand what their photography has added to that place. By doing this I intend to create an intent for my body of work that will answer the question ‘what am I adding?’

Categories: Positions and Practice, Project Proposal

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.