Work in Progress (SP)

Pitch

During a recent webinar my tutor asked me what my elevator pitch would be. Rather ignorantly, I had no idea – the premise is as follows: Imagine you are stuck in an elevator with a potential client. They promise to exhibit your work on the proviso that you can explain to them what your work is about – in one sentence.

Finding it difficult to even surmise to myself what my work encompasses, I could not do this! What an incredibly useful exercise – I went away and worked on it:

Using found photography as stimuli, my narrative work combines fact with fiction, bringing lost stories into the present day.

With a little tweaking, this has now become:

Rooted in found photography, my vernacular work combines fact with fiction; bringing lost stories into the present day.

This may yet still change, but for now this is a good working description of both my recent and current projects.

A few trials and tribulations mid-October…

In these two images I have used post-processing to start to imagine what it would be like to visit a Monte Carlo casino in the 1920s, adding in the first the name engraved on to an RAF medal assigned to W.S. Wood. Wood is a character in my appropriated album. Could it be the same person?

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Perfume bottle personalised with ‘Wood’ details
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Jimmy…casino…1927

Feedback received during the 1:1 with my tutor suggested that there is too much information in each image, and my week’s task is to start to unravel them. To start, here are a couple of original images of the medal purchased from an online auction. The Victory medal was awarded to WS Wood for his services during WW1. Paperwork was also included in the purchase, yet to be photographed / scanned.

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Unprocessed side inscription of Wood’s Victory medal

Feeling to be such a momentous occasion, I documented on my iPhone the various stages of my receiving of the medal. (See link below). To be in receipt of such a parcel seemed privileged; and I wondered how Wood (and his family) felt when it was awarded to him.

Documenting the appropriation of Wood’s medal

I plan to retake some of these photographs on my DSLR, and hope to use some of them in my project.

14th October 2018

Here, I made a blue stencil of a tear in the album where a photograph had been removed, and placed poker dice on a blue RAF uniform shirt below. A cloudy effect was achieved by pointing my macro lens through the stencil, which was then digitally enhanced to make the colour shout. Afterwards I layered it with the scan of one of the original photos, as well as part of text written in the album. Despite its vintage subject the result is a contemporary piece which is narrative in content. I don’t see this as being a stand alone picture, it will be part of a series of work yet to be completed.

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4th October 2018

Surprisingly and pleasingly, my ideas have undergone a slight transformation this week. Not in subject, but in content. I’m looking at smaller details within the album (which I will henceforth refer to as Jimmy’s). For example, the fact that they visited a Monte Carlo casino led me to consider what this would entail … dressing up, looking the part, gambling. The resulting images are a little abstract and were shot looking through a hole in one of the pages of Jimmy’s book with its black cover as the surface behind – as if we, the audience, are allowed a glimpse into the couple’s special evening.

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Perfume
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Perfume
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Perfume
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Playing cards
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Black Jack
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Playing cards

28th September 2018

As is normal practice for me at the start of a module, as yet I don’t know where my work will lead me over the next 11 weeks or so.  However I do have a starting point, and have spent time this week researching for it.

I purchased another family album during the break, this time via an online auction. It is a 1920s album, approximately A5 in size, black leather bound with gilded edges. It contains photographs of a group of friends spanning the period 1919 -1932. As time goes by the photos become less about the friends and more about emerging couples and finally a baby. There are few clues as to who these people were; so this was (and still is) a first step – finding out as much as possible about them.  This knowledge (and perhaps the gaps in the book where photos have been removed) will provide the starting point for my project this module.

The research started for me with a free two – week trial period with two genealogy  websites. This soon developed in my asking a semi-professional expert friend for help with the family history.  To date, we have discovered small pieces of information, (wedding date, a name) hopefully with more to follow – what was Macintosh House and who/ what was Wood at RAF Goole, 1919?

A selection of photographs from the album.