Sitting here, with all the work that I produced laid out in front of me, I can’t help but feel accomplished and relieved. What I planned to produce as an outcome, was a slightly unreasonable target to reach, given the time scale. I prioritised elements on my plan of action, and did it step by step, to see where each part would take me next. My idea changed rapidly through this project, this was because I was trying to please so many other people rather than my self, and then when I thought I had finally decided, it changed again because the feedback I received was that it was too similar to Fontcuberta’s and I went into panic mode, coming up with other ideas, but none supplemented my first explorer/ family member idea. So I stuck with it, and it wasn’t until I did some research, that I worked out a way of ‘making it my own’ as it were.
Witches were the answer, and it was strange that I didn’t think of it sooner, because I am interested in magic and wizards and witches. When I came to this answer of using a witch in my story, I was extremely happy, and knew it was the right route to take. My plan was to create a fake archive, about a make believe family member and her strange Victorian life. What I planned to physically present was a collection of woodland photographs that ‘Elizabeth’ took, and they would show her search for the witches and her missing baby. I wanted to collect items that could be used in the story and presented in the exhibition.
Coming up with my own original story to write as a diary, proved to be a challenge, and took hours of jotting down ideas, planning, and finally writing the diary, but I really enjoyed how independent I could be and that it is entirely from my imagination. I always get frustrated when we have to have been inspired from an artist before taking any photos or coming up with an idea, but writing the story enabled me to be entirely independent.
Originally the thought of doing archive was far from my mind, but when I discovered fake archives my eyes lit up. I thoroughly enjoyed the content of my project, it was fun experimenting with different techniques throughout the workshops and at home. What made this project so interesting for me was all the chances to be hands on.
The liquid light workshop and the cyanotype workshop were definitely my favourites, as I had never tried these techniques out before and I feel that I came away from each session with more knowledge. I also enjoyed silk screen printing, and even though it hasn’t influenced this unit, now that I know that this is a process that I can use, I will keep it in mind for future projects.
Throughout this project I have looked at the work of Fontcuberta, Jamie Shovlin, Zoe Leonard & Cheryl Dunye, Christina De Middel, Joseph Cornell, Vivian Maier and Tristan Campbell. The most influential out of these was Joan Fontcuberta, his work was the first I’d ever seen like this, and it was so care free, it didn’t have any pretentious meaning behind it, it was just fun. The least helpful to look at was Tristan Campbell, they were nice images but they didn’t have much context or similarity to my work, this being said though, I do think they are visually pleasing.
It is extremely difficult to evaluate my project without it being in the exhibition because it relies heavily on the display of it. But the outcome I have now, I am extremely happy with, and I felt overwhelmed with the positive feedback I have received from peers. I feel as if my artist research hasn’t been as strong this time round, but my influences have come more from pop culture. American Horror Story was always subliminally in the back of my mind, influencing my work. It has been great to use my imagination in this way.
If I was to continue with this project what I would like to do is build a huge portfolio of work, over the span of a few years, so you can see the seasons changing in the photographs, and I could spend more time on making it look official. I also would have liked her search to have been longer, and for her to travel all over looking for her daughter.
I am concerned about the approach to my blog this time round, as after a lot of thought, and reading other online blogs, they tend to be quite personal and casual, so I tried this with my blog, I personally prefer this informal way of working, as it is more like a scrapbook. That is another point to mention, this is the first time I didn’t make a scrapbook alongside my blog, and I chose not to, to give myself more time on my project, and on more important things, that were being submitted for marking. This being said without a scrapbook I lost track of what I was doing a lot, and it was difficult keeping my blog up to date and in order. As in my scrapbook, I know what to start with, and I find it helpful to be able to check what I have done, and it keeps me on track. It is difficult to find a balance between this though, as I wouldn’t have had time to do a scrapbook.