Final Major Project – Project Development Research – 15th February 2019

Susan Derges

There are several of Derges’ work that I have been able to connect with.

  • Shoreline – 1997-98
  • Waterfall – 1998
  • Ice – 1996-97
  • Atlantic Ocean – 1997
  • River Taw – 1996-98

In the period 1996 – 1998 much of the work appears to be focused on water in some form or another. Whereas Horn and Sugimoto focus on the top of the water Derges work is under the water looking up.

I think this is appealing to my work as sometime you can feel like you are drowning, that you cannot survive, like you won’t ever make it to the surface, and i think it might look like this to an individual under the water.

Whilst I don’t think that this is the intention of the work, to present itself in this way, it is certainly the way that I can link this into my thinking of my project.

Particularly the work with the ice, it looks to me like the light at the end of the tunnel and quite often this is the the hope that will eventuallly lead you our to the light to draw you out of the depths and show you the way to find your way back.

This is one of the reasons that I hope to be able to capture a moonlight image so that on the surface I have a metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel image.

Final Major Project – 1:2:1 Tutorial with Wendy McMurdo – 12th February 2019

Summary:

I need to consider a voice over and whether I feel his would be successful if I brought it into my work.

Have a look as some of the CRJ’s from North Utshire.

Confirmation that the black and white images are the ones to go with.

What I need to do:

Research Bobby Baker

Sophie Calle – Take Care of Yourself and The First Time – on websire FlashArt online

Links to my website – These can be linked into the FMP document.

CRoP – Research people who use the walk particularly in reference to photography. Look at the stigmatisation of mental health

Write 300 words of what my project is about and keep reviewing this.

Research:

  • Fay Godwin
  • Gem Southern
  • Jesse Alexander – Place and Perspective
  • Crystal le Bas
  • Nan Golding
  • Sophie Calle

Project Development: Editing of the Project, 12th February

When I brought together the images that I wanted to use my initial thought was that they couldn’t sit together and say to an audience that this was the story of a single person. Due to the constant light changes and weather changes there was nothing that really linked them together and said this is me!

Through the duration of the course I have always found myself drawn to black and white – I feel that it has more impact.

I decided to put colour and black and white side by side and see how I feel about them – I also took this to tutorial as in my head I knew I was going to go black and white but I think I was seeking confirmation that I was making the correct decision.

I felt that the black and white just had more impact and fitted with what I was trying to say.

Final Major Project: Development Photo shoot, 10th February 2019

Location: St Mary’s Island

Intent: I felt my project was missing some shots – it just didn’t feel like I had the right number nor did it feel complete. This shoot was to try and fill the gaps, make it complete and also to continue with the mindful techniques.

Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro

Methodology: As I didn’t take the tripod I had to be very focused on my breathing which assisted in the mindful techniques. I just wanted to get out with the camera and capture what I saw.

Images:

Reflection on the Shoot: I didn’t start this shoot with a definitive list of shots I wanted to complete – but I think this helped me to complete the mindful side more fully. I was more aware of my surroundings and I paid more attention because of this. This enabled me to notice water patterns so defined and also to capture then with amazing detail. It also made the surface of the sea glitter in a way that I have never seen before and I also got some shots which actually showed this. I did get a little distracted by the seals sunbathing on the rocks as this is something else that I hadn’t seen before. I can definitely feel that the techniques of mindful photography is showing me how to look again, and this is allowing me to make beautiful discoveries along this journey.

Final Major Project – Project Development Research – 5th February 2019

Hiroshi Sugimoro – Seascape series 1980 – 2002

To give the bigger picture of the enormity of mental health, showing large expanses of water was always going to be an important step to take.

It was at this point that Hiroshi Sugimoto was suggested to me, particularly his seascape series.

Sugimoto’s work reminds me in some ways of the artist Mark Rothko. Which I also fin interesting to me as Rothko was also an individual who is said to have suffered with mental health issues, and in 1970 he was found dead in his studio having committed suicide.

Kirsty Logan, 2019

Many of Sugimoto’s images seem to have a cloudless sky, and this was one of the elements that I knew was not going to work for my project. the clouds are important to my images as to me they express the feelings, stormy skies and water express the struggles an individual can feel when struggling with depression and other mental health illnesses, so this is a point where my work differs greatly from Sugimoto’s

One thing that I do take from Sugimoto’s work is a sense of calm.I’, not sure if this is due to all of the images being black and white. Through my studies it has become well known the impact that colour can have on mental health, which leaves me with the decision of whether I should keep my images with colour or convert to black and white for more impact.

Another are that really interested me was his use of the fog in his images, many people that I have spoken to describe depression as a fog that descends upon you, and is perhaps one of the images that I should consider trying to capture because of this metaphor.

Sugimoto travelled the world to capture the images of ancient seas. This is not something that I would look to replicate, I will be remaining on the North East Coast. I find that when depression and anxiety set in there is an urge to stay within the confines of the familiar, where there is a clear route back home to safety – or possibly the prison of a person’s emotions, it will not be a worldly view like Sugimoto’s but it will be an almost tunnelled approach aiming to survive and sometimes struggling to exist!

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2008/sep/14/art1

https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/ywdjkk/the-fraught-relationship-between-creativity-and-mental-health

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/rothko/rothko-room-guide/room-9-black-on-gray

https://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/seascapes-1

Final Major Project: Development Photo shoot, 3rd February 2019

Location: Blyth Beach

Intent: I wanted to achieve some better quality seascape images. I had tried out some better vantage points and hoped this would give me a more solid grounding for this part of the project.

Equipment: Nikon D3300, Tamron 70-300mm with Macro, Tripod and Gobe ND Filters.

Methodology: I set up my equipment on top of the Blyth Battery, built in 1916 which is a visitor attraction from World War I. The Battery has an artillery house, and this was the perfect place to provide shelter from the snowy conditions and give the perfect vantage point. I wanted to use some long exposure techniques for some of the calmer images of the project, as this was my first time using ND filters I wasn’t sure how it was going to go.

I used the same mindful techniques – on this occasion because I was introducing the filters I did check some of the images to make sure I managed to capture something.

Images:

Research: I researched Paul Sanders this week as his history is really quite interesting but can easily be linked to my own on an mental health basis.

Reflection on the Shoot: This was very much an exploration that in a lot of ways cannot be deemed that much of a success and I should have done more research into the technique of long exposure and how to make it a success.

References:

Paul Sanders on mindful photography https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/technique/interviews/photography-saved-my-life-photography-as-therapy-117567

Final Major Project – Project Development Research – 30th January 2019

Roni Horn – Another Water

This project was a very good insight into how art can represent troubles of the human existence. It raised thoughts that I hadn’t considered about water before but it also confirmed some of the thoughts that I had considered when working on my own work.

When using water in my own work, I think of the depth of water and how this can refer to the depth of emotion or the depth of my own anxieties and depression. When you look out to sea right out to the horizon, it seems never-ending, just like the feelings that come with low mood, it can also feel it is never going to end. The crashing of the waves or the bubbling of the tide coming in is how an anxiety attack can hit you and how it can bubble in your throat, with the feeling of suffocation or drowning.

As a person with mental health issues there are occasions where I have experience of this feeling of drowning. it feels like you aren’t going to make it back to the surface and be able to breathe again – but with the techniques that I have learnt, I now know that the water can help to get these feelings to go away, listening to the rhythm of the water actually assists me to breathe again.

However it is this feeling of drowning that is the link between my work and Horn’s

Horn focuses on the darkness of the water and the actions of dark forces that allow suicide to happen.

Horn’s images remain very dark and whilst this is the nature of many mental health issues and of course it is the dark thoughts that can lead an individual to suicide. I don’t want my work to go down this particular route, so whilst there are some dark images in my project, I want to also include the light as I want to ensure that there is a visible route to recovery and I want others to feel that there is hope.

An element that I did find very emotional with Horn’s work was each report of an individuals suicide, this put the images into context. Some individuals don’t find the light, some do succumb to the depths, to the darkness. Whilst not by drowning I personally have experience of losing people who have been taken into the darkness, also linked to struggling with their mental health, and perhaps this is also why this project is so important to me.

All of Horn’s imagery focused on the surface of the River Thames, however I am very keen to bring some seascapes to show scale, whilst I understand that Horn probable did this as it was this body of water that was her specific interest – with my work I felt it important to show the large scale of how big the problem is but also the more focused images to show how it feels for me.

Horn’s work has assisted me to see how I can use text alongside my imagery to achieve a successful outcome for my project.

References:

Horn, R. (2011). Another water. Göttingen: Steidl