Week 6 Independant Reflection – Exhibition

After a week loading up on material from Arles and trying to assimilate that the week felt really heavy at first. An exhibition, a workshop and a book whilst keeping the project work in progress moving along. All falling in to place. The three surfaces will work with material from the project or around it. The exhibition ‘States of Mine’ will explore metaphor pictures for my own state. The workshop ‘Truth and Beauty’ will explore these ideas in photography. The book or zine will be ‘I have thoughts’ and will use words with the images I have so far to tell a story.

I have worked through Susan Bright’s Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography. See separate post. This work along with a book called Reality Hunger by David Shields has immersed me deeply in to what is the ‘self’. So much so that I had the wonderful experience of questioning if I exist this week! The photographs I am taking are entering me in to a real dialogue about me. There is therapeutic benefit from looking at images of myself and beginning to see how my own thoughts are not real and solid like a surface but just something I construct. It is not easy to construct more helpful thoughts but the photography is helping the process.

Great session with Laura Hynd today and James Bellorini. I explained how my project is forming in three parts at the moment. Images of me that show my surface state or share it with a metaphor to represent internal state. Close up and personal…see below. The playful exploratory third bit is to photograph things that appeal to me in the moment as an extension of me. The image in the bottom right of the below is an example.

Making the bottom left image was a massive experience to overcome personal resistance. Laura had shared her ‘Letting Go’ work and it took a while to build up to taking the image here. I noticed all my own personal constraints. In Figueres seeing the Dali Museum I was in my hotel room and noticed the light hitting the curtain and thought this would be worth a go. It was almost like a fight to allow myself to have a go at this.

I now see this image as a beautiful representation of a human body. Mine. I like the light and the composition and I am very comfortable with this image now. I was tentative about bringing this in to a webinar but Laura and James were the right support for that.

For the playful bottom right image James pointed out the similarity of tonal quality of it with top left eye. Also we picked out the crease and its linkage to the middle right. So already some possible connections as connectors or separators are forming.

I have a place for my exhibition and go to talk with printers on Monday about printing the work. The big consideration I have at the moment is how much of a briefing to give viewers versus letting them make up their own minds.

Great week….but feels like time is passing quickly.

Categories: Coursework, Surfaces and Strategies

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.