Feeling good, I submitted A4 quicker than anticipated and I can start A5 ahead of schedule, things are looking good for the deadline of 30th August. I am now getting on with A5 while I wait for a response from Keith’s tutor feedback. My biggest concern is that although Keith is aware of the deadlines, I have a feeling he will be going on holiday which may delay feedback, he has assured me that it will all be ok and I should press on.
This has been an emotional roller coaster, I found 10 more places to photograph and I printed them out ready for the redaction by fire, this time I was going to think about my health:
Using a mask I burned holes in the other ten images, I lost control on a couple of occasions and ended up with more hole than image so I had to redo them but eventually I had Eleven images redacted by fire.
I took them back into my man cave and scanned them back in giving me the final set:
The act of scanning them gave them a really nice white void with a very obviously burned edge I loved the effect and feel really good about these images:
It struck me that I had lost sight of the fact that the assignment should be about image and text, plainly there is a sub text to these images but certainly not one for each image, although I have yet to work out the rest of them.
In thinking this through I remembered the work Sharon Boothroyd was doing when she was my TAOP tutor, she made a series of work which all sat under the title of “If you get Married again will you still love me”, each shot was a powerful image that echoed those words, which made me realize that the work needed a text but not necessarily a different text for each image.
I cast around doing hundreds of internet searches for texts by named individuals, I just kept drawing blanks for something that worked with the images I was planning, then I had one of those head slapping moments, Sharon did not find a famous quote either, she wrote her own words, and for me this all fell into place, it was an extension of the work within me to create my own words and in some way it was stronger because they would be part of that hollow pain I had felt inside, in some ways someone else’s words would depersonalise my experience, they needed to be my own too.
I sat down in in one fairly swift sitting wrote:
There are places that remind me of them, somehow there seems to be a void or vacuum in that place where their existence has ceased to be. It leaves a hollow place somewhere inside of me.
– Stephen Barney
This worked for me and I have decided to use it as an overall text for the assignment rather than making a text for every image.
The experience in the shed made me realise that there were all sorts of places and objects that generated a similar reaction, having lost both Mum and Dad the problem was multiplied, and I assume that the Nocturne project and my personal revelation, had bought it to the forefront of my mind. I kept thinking of this void or space and it made me think about redaction of letters during the war, I did some research and found that redaction also often left a void for the families as they would get letters and have no idea what was said as it had been redacted, this was worse when the soldier was the killed and the gaps never filled in. I saw one letter that had everything blacked out bar about two words. It would have made no sense at all and I wondered why anyone would send it after that, then reading another article I discovered the answer, even that heavily redacted letter was proof that the loved one was still alive, or had been when it was written.
Casting my thoughts back to the workshop I had an idea to create an image of the drill with my Dad redacted out:
I shared this with my colleagues at the TV Group and there was a consensus that the redaction was to square which led to this:
It seemed better but I still wanted something else, it was then that the idea hit me, I had a burning void a painful place and nothing represents that better than a burning hole, so I took the image down the shed and burned a hole where the redaction should be:
I felt better doing that, its almost like an anger that is purged by the fire, very therapeutic, however if I am to do a whole series I need to take some precautions the smoke and noxious vapors made me really ill all of the next week.
Today I was doing some work in my work shed, I should elaborate, its my Dads workshop, he originally built it back in the early 80’s to run a small engineering business which he did very successfully for many years until he retired. Originally it was full of metalworking machinery, most of which he sold when he retired. After retiring he bought some woodwork machinery so that he could make stuff as a hobby, he was a very competent model maker having done it professionally for films as a younger man. This shed is now mine since he died and I do all sorts of things in there from woodwork to photography.
I was clearing out some of the rubbish to make room for a product photography table, this meant re arranging some of the machines. I was standing looking at my handy work when my gaze fell on his pillar drill, this had been in the shed since the original days of the engineering. I was suddenly taken down one of those memory trips remembering everything connected to the drill and Dads work in the workshop, me helping him set it up and working for him at weekends the things he had mad for me and my family of the creation of a set of bunk beds for my kids as they needed to be a specific size to fin in the house. everything flooded back and there was a hole in the shed where he no longer stoo, I sat there weeping and crying my eyes out thinking about it. Its making me cry again just writing this
If you have ever lost someone dear to you and it has driven you to tears, you will know what I mean when I say that once you stop crying you hurt physically inside, its an odd hollow pain, it gave me the image of a void, that there was a space that had something missing, and I feel like its going to be the basis for my next assignment.
I own a first edition copy of Wonderland and have been somewhat obsessed with her work, I was looking at her previous work Nocturne, which is a darker work that really expresses her pain and anger at her Mothers illness and then the utter grief of her loss:
I took a screen shot of the words they moved me so much:
The motivation for this project was pain and loss, it seemed to me to be very powerful and it resonates with my own life at the moment, having lost both my Mum and Dad so recently, I confess to spending a fair amount of time brooding over Nocturne and doing some of my own grieving, it was a rather physically painful process.
This has me thinking about using loss within Assignment 4 though at the moment I am not sure how.
My first thoughts were looking for a bit of text with which to base the assignment on, my daughter gave me a poem that My Mum had given her which it seems was the first poem Dad gave mum when they started dating:
She had written it in my daughters autograph book that she bought when moving up to senior school. I tried hard to find the author but I think it was some words in a greeting card, as Mum had always said how good Dad was at finding greetings cards with meaningful words. I am struggling to match this with a body of work for A5 and I am also aware that its only one bit of text, I feel like i need different aligned quotes for each picture. Though that may be wrong.