You remember to write it down. You even look at the list in the morning because you remember writing it down last night. That look comes over your face, a sort of cringe, your brow furrows just a bit.
That has been my routine for quite a while. Intentions are just that, intentions.
There have been two things on my perpetual list: continue my work of documenting aging and dementia through art and blogging. The first began while I was a student at Rollins College. My digital photography course required a semester long project culminating with a peer review of our work. Throughout the semester, we were also required to blog about our ongoing work. Well, the end of the semester came, as did my time to graduate. Silence.
Through much encouragement from my own family, I am picking up the torch (a.k.a. camera) and getting back in to the driver’s seat or saddle (which ever applies to you) and moving forward with my art and this blog.
Until next time…
Photography can have a powerful impact on both the audience and the photographer. As the photographer, this series has been very cathartic due to the personal aspect of the project. After losing my mother recently, the quickly progressing dementia in my father-in-law had pushed me into a place where I needed to process the emotions. Shooting these images has enabled me to find a place of purpose and use the influence of art to share a story that at one time or another touches us all.
Artist Statement The inevitability of aging and the peripheral ailments that accompany this process is something I have witnessed first hand through the relationship with my father-in-law. I have watched him deteriorate over the years, first mentally and now physically. The memories in my mind of a vivacious and loving man are in contrast with what I see now, the slow unraveling of life. With mortality as the subject, my images are not of just anyone. They are images that provide an intimate and private perspective of a man’s difficulties as well as his perseverance and resolve.
My project challenges the viewer to look closely with their eyes, imagine what they might hear with their ears, and reflect on their own life and ponder their own mortality. My photographs capture the evidence of an ailing man’s life to communicate the soul that still exists within the universal inevitability of aging. Using a documentary style, I seek to explore the visualization of life through the consecutive moments that pass before our eyes, literally and figuratively.
Reading through chapter 7 of Liz Wells’ Photography: A Critical Introduction, the subject of electronic imaging is discussed by theorists and art critics. In the chapter, the “truthfulness” of photography is an important discussion when considering digital or analog photography. Does digital photography remove the truth? What is the truth? What is “normal”?
Sarah Kember, a writer on new media, photography and feminist culture, suggests that what is real “has already been lost in the act of representation.” If you create a representation of someone or something, are you truth? Or real? Photographs may be a true representation of the image that has been captured but some will argue that the photograph is not the “truth”.
Authentic is another label used to describe an image, whether analog or digital. Authentic: based on facts; accurate or reliable. I would have to say that a photographic image could be authentic, based on facts, something that resembles the original. Truth, on the other hand, means that which is in accordance (conforming) with fact or reality. Does an image conform to reality? Maybe…I will let you know when I figure it out.
London based photography students Luke Evans and Joshua Lake decided to take film processing to the next level. They swallowed the film. Put into a capsule in order to avoid the film scratching the intestines, the two graphic design and photography students swallowed the film, excreted it, cleaned it, and processed it.
The results are astonishing. The black and white, enlarged images look as if they could have been taken in outer space. Ironically, they were taken at an inner space where no man has gone before, without being cut wide open.
Would I be willing to swallow film to have an intimate look at my interior? Probably not, but I would certainly enjoy seeing the results of the brave student who did!
An explanation of my images:
The image I chose is zoomed in to focus on the face of the subject. Looking at the facial expression, especially the eyes, give a deeper look into the life and his journey. Focusing on the lines in his neck and face, as well as the sparsely grey hair, reveal the evidence of a long and fulfilling life. I feel that the face and all of its intricate features, including age spots and wrinkles, give insight to the man and his life stories.
As for the formal treatment of my images, my first image I chose to keep it in color as it was shot. The original image is a bit dark so I lightened it up and gave it a warmer hue. This allowed for more detail of the face to be seen. Zooming in on the face is important to the personal aspect of the subject. It presents an intimate look at life as it is presently being lived. The second image I also zeroed in on the facial features of the subject. With this image, I chose to desaturate the image to try and give an emotional twist. I hope to portray the life story that the subject is no longer able to share. The color represents the verbal communication that is now missing. The eyes have been painted blue; the subjects true color of his eyes. I hope this represents the vibrant life that still remains inside that can be seen through the portal of his eyes.
I must admit, the title of this blog caught my eye before the photographs. Village People. Need I say more? Well, if you were not at a teen in the 1970’s and saw them perform live at a Disney sponsored event, I guess the title would mean something a bit different. This blog is about the costal village of Ainsdale, England. More specifically, the bus station in Ainsdale.
Photographer Craig Atkinson captures the architectural genre of the 1970’s, evident in the Preston Town Bus Station. He began photographing the people and then the building. The simplicity of the photograph and the “raw materials” featured, such as the wood, metal, and glass show an authentic identity, as opposed to a staged or altered image.
As I read the blog post, the term “Brutalism” was mentioned and I had to look up the meaning. Repeated modular elements; concrete is used for its raw and unpretentious ability; and brick, glass, and steel are also used. Even though the artist mentions the modernity of the images, his referral to Brutalism now makes sense. Just as he remembers and enjoys the architecture and function of the 1970’s, I, too, remember the functionality of my own home and the simplicity of the wood coffee table and end tables.