Recently I have been playing around with some observational drawings in order to see how another method of image collection effects how the place is captured and how they reflect better the idea of personal interpretation of our environments.
One of this things I quite like about this is how quick it is and even just the scan of the sketchbook itself, no editing or playing around, just the sketch. Sketching creates much more of a connection between you and the thing you are drawing than a photograph does. Don't get me wrong, photography is a passion of mine, but there is something in sketching, the studying of the details which you miss in a photograph.
One of the things I have been really interested in is how these different mediums I have been working in change the experience you have with the place and the final image. These sketches feel more representative of the place in many ways and you become more invested. With photography I tend to take many shots of the same thing but never really focus in this way. I have found that film photography, something else I am experimenting with, also allows me to capture a place in a very different way and makes me consider the shot a lot more and be a little more cautious.
Something else my work has been very focuses on recently is the details of a place and also individual interpretation. The thing with a drawing is that each one of us may choose to focus on or capture a particular detail in our own way and this represents how we see the places in a much more personal way. The outlining style which I use also tends to be about those details, little lines and textures and makes them the centre of attention within the image.
It also taps into the idea of the individual verses the mass experience and the connected ideas I have been playing around with in relation to consumerism and the hemogenised culture taking over our cities in place of history and expression. How urbexing or even just alternative routes and uses of the city relate to a personal journey, narrative and exploration of the city and not just the shopping trips or commute.
Another thing I quite like with these sketches is the link they have with explorers notebooks/ journals. How this brings together the idea of exploration and travel within my work and shows better the connection between discovering something new in your own city and venturing off around the world. To the explorers of old who set off in search of new worlds, that curiosity and bravery.
But also to connect to the themes of my contexts presentation and the idea of travel vs tourism, of having your hand held in compounds of English culture to "protect" you from the real world. Or just taking off in search of that reality and really experiencing a place, it's culture and people without the barrier of fear consumerist travel creates.
Also on my recent exploration of Failsworth Mill I came across some stamps and decided to play around with them on some passport pages (Old passport don't worry!) to look at the idea of travel, exploration and also connect to the idea of collecting stamps from places we have travelled to. The ephemera and items associated with both travel and the forgotten remnants of a once busy mill now fallen silent and again how such everyday things now become so loaded with interest and historical context.
I plan on experimenting further with both my sketches and these stamps, I feel both have potential to become part of some really interesting graphic statements and I look forward to playing around with them and developing my work and ideas.