I have recently come to a mile stone in my Masters where I am beginning to look at what I could exhibit in the final MA show in October. Ok, it is a little soon you might say but what we have done here is called "Testing time" which is where we try to bring our ideas together to see how we might show them and see how well our practice is working and how it communicates our ideas. Well, here is my offering and I feel it relates quite a lot to the idea of alternative lifestyles and breaking out from that mold of normality.
I have also been writing a lot about my work recently and it has really helped me to get a grasp of where I am at with my ideas both in relation to what I am doing within my MA practice work and also outside of that and looking at what I will do after I graduate and how that relates to travel and escaping this conveyor belt of normality.
So seeing as I am writing about what my work is about I feel I should maybe just write a summary on here for those who are unfamiliar with what I am doing or just unsure as it does very much relate to the reasons behind this blog and my desire to travel long term too and in fact is one of the places in which that came from.
My work is about questioning normalities and breaking the status quo. Encouraging the individual narrative and breaking out of the control the city exerts over us, limiting us through distraction and fear. It is about promoting discovery and exploration of our cities, our worlds and our potentials. Uncovering the details and fragments of repressed memories hidden down the backstreets and boarded up windows.
The homogenised high streets and corporate non-places distract and guide us into spaces made to stop us thinking and encourage us to buy into this system of entrapment and dumbing down. My work speaks about taking the side street instead of the high street and seeing the richness of textures, faded memories and lost messages which the modern metropolis censors. In Getting lost on purpose and creating your own path by rejecting the hand holding and restrictions of normality
Norms are created and re-enforced to breed a culture of fear and settling. Following the modern slavery of the 9-5 which monopolises your life for the profit of others in which you are undervalued, under paid and trapped via complicity and conditioning. It is also about the safety net we are encouraged to invest our time and lives into. Exposing the fragility of that safety net and it’s fraudulent nature.
I explore derelict factories, once the epitome of everyday entrapment they become our escape. These modern ruins existing behind the façade of the modern city, the unconscious ghosts of the city’s past. Transformed from the banal grind of existence into spaces of uncanny serenity within the flux of the city. Rushed past in the haze of distraction, or investigated as the entrance to a lost world of possibilities outside of normality and the start of a journey of escape.
So, What is my testing time work about?
I have been recently working in expired film to express the potential of uncertainty and express a sense of history and nostalgia. To use a medium which itself has fallen from everyday normality and into a forgotten existence. To use film when you are so used to the safety net of digital relates to the idea of risk taking and moving out of the restriction of our modern comfort zones.
I have left my prints inside the spaces of their subject matter, later harvesting them once the conditions have decayed and obscured the image. They create an uncanny atmosphere and display the fragility of the normality which once existed in these spaces, the faded memory of the everyday. They display the intrigue and mystery of these spaces by not give up the whole image, the details and fragments which drawing you in to explore further.
I have displayed my photos in clusters around the room like patches of damp or peeling paint in a derelict building to then be discovered for yourself using a torch and experience that moment of discovery.
I have also displayed negatives to strengthen the cultural and social interpretation of film and its relation to memory and the passage of time. The uncertainty that film creates by stepping into the unknown better captures the experience I as an explorer had in these spaces.
The old lift shaft space which I used links to that idea of the modern façade to search past, encouraging us to look beyond the normality of the designated spaces and discover the history and details the building hides.
This re-enforces the idea of questioning the normal way of viewing and experiencing the world around us. I wanted to create something which felt like an intervention within the exhibition and forced the viewer to take action and in doing so begin to interact with the space and building in a new way. I have used a dark space and torch to connect to the idea of the individual experience, to make the viewer interact and create an atmosphere within the space.