There is still a day to go before my first webinar and the official start of the MA and already I am igniting in exactly the way I was hoping I would. I’ve been exploring the resources available to us, online students, and have so far watched a number of previous guest lectures. Whilst four of the six failed to resonate with me, (and that’s cool) there was one on pin-hole photography that reminded me how much I like “degraded/ dirty” images, whatever their subject matter, it has me thinking about why I make such “pristine” images and if I should look to manufacturer a more “grungy” feel to my finished photographs. However that wasn’t the most stimulating lecture I have witnessed, last night I watched one by Gareth Phillips, who shared his art practice of making photo “books” which are deconstructed, blown up, sliced and diced and encapsulated in other materials so that the term “book” is not really appropriate. He also talked about how his commercial work (for 4 months of the year), funds his artistic endeavors.
Since the start of my photographic journey, (in 1996) I have been drawn to the notion of turning images into art objects, the closest I have come was in my 2001 exhibition in Plymouth Museum where in addition to 100 traditionally framed photographs I displayed three large images of people sat in the same chair with the actual chair in front of the images and also a collection of jam jars of various shapes and sizes each with a photograph within it.
A year ago I discovered the early work of Helen Chadwick and her almost life sized prints made on shaped wood and remembered how much I want to experiment with this and then last night’s viewing of Gareth’s lecture confirmed this.
The conflict I have is, unlike Gareth, I have no additional income to subsidize my creative work, I’m funding my journey through my savings and they’ll be exhausted, (at current spending) within a couple of years, I have to think very carefully about how much of my money goes on experimenting and how much towards producing a body of work that I can use to get funding to make more. Perhaps, to quote the artist Robert Lenkiewicz, given the choice between two things, I should do both. Time will tell.