Summer Project – An analysis

I was pretty daunted when I first found out that I was to complete a task over the summer. So , when the letter dropped through the letter box I was pretty relieved to see that it was no where near as bad as I expected.

We were set 3 tasks, firstly to read the book The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton. I found this book to be a great introduction to my studies at University. Reading this book introduced me to the work and styles of Photographers such as Nan Goldin , Nicolas Nixon and Elinor Carucci to name a few. This has helped no end with my understanding of Photography as an art form and has meant that when we are being taught about these artists I feel that I at least have some grass roots knowledge of contemporary photographic practices. This book also came in useful when working on Assignment 2 and my presentation on the work of Sally Mann and Larry Clarke, both of whom are referenced in the book.

The second part of the task was a practical assignment for which we were given the following direction : “Imagine the person closest to you.Imagine that this morning the woke up. Got out of bed, without making it. Then walked out of the room and your life, never to come back.Now go into that room in your mind and see the evidence of their presence.” For me, it was an easy decision to choose my Husband as the subject of my images. We have been together for 16 years, married for 11 and been fortunate enough to bring 4 wonderful, beautiful boys into the world.  We moved in with each other after knowing each other for less than a week and have spent very little time apart ever since. Carrying out this task made me realise just how much I take his presence for granted. Until I looked for them, I didn’t notice the little things lying about the place that without his presence would not be there.

I used my Fujifilm Finepix HS30 exr digital camera to capture the images and used a free program called smart photo editor to edit them. Overall I am very happy with images that I produced and feel that they create an intimate and honest portrayal of Simon and his impact on my life and the home in general. I tried to capture the the smaller things that tend to go unnoticed. for example, the image that I shot if the stuffing of the insides of his desk chair , all torn and tatty, looking like some desolate forest landscape. Not immediately obvious to the viewer yet, to me , and those who know and love Simon, it is a representation of who he is and his love for his favourite comfy chair. You could argue that it could be a metaphor for our relationship, that although we have become aged and more tatty round the edges since first meeting, we are comfy with each other to the extent that we can show our true inner self, without self consciousness or embarrassment.  (images can be found here)

The last of the set tasks was to write a letter from myself to myself. In it I outlined my hopes and aspirations upon embarking my Degree studies. At first I found this to be quite difficult, just how to write a letter to oneself? but once I got started I found that the words really flowed and I hope that I will look back upon it at the end of this academic year and see just how I have fulfilled the aspirations that I set myself.

Overall I really enjoyed completing this project and I felt that it offered me a great introduction to studying Photography at degree level. I look forward to what comes next!


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