After feeling a little lost this week I had a breakthrough after a 1:1 tutorial with Steph. I had gotten myself into a roller coaster of highs and lows of my MA project work.
The feedback from the webinar at the end of last week had me in a creativity dead-end. I understood my project is not always the easiest to comprehend, but something isn’t clicking with viewers.
My tutorial with Steph helped to show me the way out of my dead-end. I watched La Jetée by Chris Marker and this showed me how a series of still images could fit together within a short to tell a story. I think the voice and sound effects really added to ramping up the emotion from the images. This is not something I have considered myself before but was very effective.
I also explored Sam Taylor-Johnson’s moving image sequences of Still Life (2001) and A Little Death (2002), and they captured what I would like to be able to in stills. Having items in place showing the degeneration – the transformation from one to another – passing – it is the cycle.
The difference in the feeling from the two sequences was quite unbelievable to me at first and then it clicked! With the fruit in Still Life, the mould slowly creeps over, becoming an new organism, this appears quite gentle and almost a beautiful process. To then go straight into A Little Death is quite a different experience. The dead rabbit doesn’t have the dignity curtain of the mould encapsulating it. It is instead eaten from the inside out with the creeping blackness of death moving around it. It is possible to see the maggots coming and going and transforming into flies, in the next stage of their lives. whilst you are watching you are witnessing a whole new life-cycle which is the whole point to my project, but this sequence comes over a brutal, almost a violent horror story. It is this emotion, these feelings that I want to be able to put into my images. It was another turning point for me to see these moving image sequences. It gave me some motivation back.
Steph and I talked about the possibilities of a diptych series. This couldn’t have been a better suggestion. Whilst I am continuing to shoot my life-cycle, it gives me the freedom to curate the strongest images of the cycle and work them together. Skills of mine that I would have perceived as week earlier in the course are really starting to work as a strength.
I started with some images that I had already taken:
I then carried on to experiment with other materials:
Whilst I like this image I am not getting any emotion from synthetic materials. I was thinking about talking about Identity with the fingerprint but then it didn’t really fit to being crushed and useless in the next.
From this I moved to an object I have worked with in previous modules:
I took another candle images as the dancing smoke gives me joy as if it has its own energy, but I also wanted to feel the bleeding candles pain as the wax slips away.
I feel as if I am on a path now and I am looking forward to continuing with the experimentation.
I want to see these images in an Exhibition, I feel like I now have a goal for the images.