This exercise was designed to explore further the link between an individual’s personality and the location the image is set in. I decided to take it a little further and explore the world of semiotics as an explanation of this link.
The goal is to test the link between personal, group and public semiospheres, and to investigate the affect they have on an individual’s ability to read an image.
When selecting my subjects, I considered how their individual characters could be woven into the idea of Private, group and public awareness.
The subject for private awareness was my good friend Graham King, who is a flower arranger and book writer. Over the last four or five years he has been making a book on flower arranging and I have been taking the photographs for it. This process involves going to many strange locations setting up a flower arrangement and photographing it for the book.
The image was shot at the Silk Mill in Whitchurch a location we have used on multiple occasions. I chose this location as it is so intrinsically woven into the book. The silk loom behind him link the image to the mill while the arrangement in his hand tells of the flower arranger. These elements combined draw my mind to the book and the work we have done to complete it. I see the man in the picture as an artistically driven man trying to produce a book that is a work of art. I see the man who would not make a move without the approval of my Mum who was his mentor and I am reminded of a man who showed so much kindness to my Mum in the last months of her life. None of this sits in any group or public domain therefore this image will always be very personal.
For my group image I chose to shoot Brian in his music shed, my logic was that there are many people who would understand what is happening in the image and there is not a complex under-plot that can’t be unraveled without prior knowledge. Not everyone will understand that musicians sit in their studio playing and instrument into a sound capture desk and mix it all together to make the final song. There are however a group of people who do.
I am not sure that the public image was successful, I think it conveys the sentiment that Neil is a man of God. My premise was that one of the most public signs is the cross, though this is debateable. The cross above the alter would not fin in the image so I made Neil stand in the form of a cross against the alter.
I do feel that there is merit in the semiosphere concept, and it warrants further study, I am happy with each of the images and think they succeeded in demonstrating each concept. I did learn that personal semiosphers become groups as you share them but I think thats obvious, anyone who reads and understands this exercise will be part of my personal semiosphere and it will become a group rather than personal.
It may be that in the end a semiosphere is not defined this way but rather just by the number of members it has. More work is needed to uncover the truth of this in the end I do think I conveyed something about each subject based on their surroundings.