New work for an old album

This post in full, with the new images can be seen here.

I uploaded some of my latest images ready for some feedback during the presentation this week. With the exception of the Post Office pictures, all photos have been taken this week; and all have a connection to photos in Jimmy‘s album.

After seeing my photos one of my peers suggested that I use layer stacking to highlight the macro points of focus in some of these photographs – particularly the Victory medal with ribbons.  Long term this is advice that I will most definitely practice, I see the advantages in having a sharp focus photo which is still macro. Having considered the impact of this technique on this work though I’ve decided against it. It was deliberate to have a small part of the wording around the medal in focus. The image is intentionally provocative, bringing the viewer’s gaze to the word ‘Wood’ . The focal point of this one word links to an image in Jimmy’s album, with the text “Wood R.A.F. Goole, Yorks 1919” written underneath.  I want the viewer to question this image – who was Wood, and what is this medal doing here? If I layer stacked this image bringing all the text into sharp focus, the punctum (Wood) becomes lost, replaced instead by the studium (the medal).

Collecting Wood’s Victory medal from the Post Office and opening the envelope, I was excited yet nervous, and couldn’t help wondering what Wood and his family felt when he received the medal almost a century ago.

Also called the Allied Victory Medal, it was awarded to everyone who received the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and most who were awarded the British War Medal. These three medals were nicknamed Pip, Squeak, and Wilfred, after three comic strip characters popular during this era. Wilfred refers to the Victory medal.

I purchased two inches of silk victory ribbon, and then bought individual ribbons in the same colours and photographed them with the medal. Some images shown in my work have original RAF WW1 jacket buttons too. All of these items were purchased as part of my research and are integral to my project.

There are references in Jimmy‘s album to a wedding in 1927 between Fred and Dolly (Doris) in 1927. I took macro photos of decoration parts from my grandparents’ wedding cake. The wedding was in 1936.

Images of Jimmy’s album (black leather bound with gold edged pages) may serve as dividers between the various sections of my completed work.

Torn pages from Jimmy‘s album are integral to my work – will the viewer wish to know why, in such a beautiful album, photographs have been so violently removed? And in some cases, why remove the images rather than the entire page? It’s as if it was important to preserve the book, even without some of the photographs and holes in the pages.