For the first module of my MA I’m attempting to venture out of my comfort zone in terms of image making. Initially I’m developing two ideas, one of which I will eventually resolve as a bookwork.
The first idea that I have been working on over the last couple of weeks has come from a couple of places.
When I was living in Japan I became really interested in the language, and the way that the individual characters that make up words can have different meanings depending on how they relate to each other. In Japanese, the word for landscape, ふうけい/fuukei is made of two characters. When separated they mean “flow” or “wind” (風) and “view” or “-scape” (景). When placed together, the two characters mean landscape, suggesting that landscape is not considered as static but as a ‘flowing view’ (see: Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers by Ivan Vartanian. Published by Aperture Foundation, 2006).
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between walking (and moving through place), and thinking within the creative process and how this links with perception. Walking is an important process in the development of my work, however I had a thought that when it comes down to making images, I stop, compose, and suddenly it becomes very still and static. So I thought, what would happen if I didn’t stop moving?
So to bring these ideas together, I decided to do a bit of an experiment and create photographs using extended exposure times whilst continuing to walk.
Here are a few images from my first walk, between Gunnislake and Calstock stations.
(Apologies for the quick, dusty scans - I’ll put up some clean ones soon!)
For these journals I used pre-cut A4 off-white paper. I used 6 sheets which makes each journal 24 pages, with a slightly heavier weight coloured paper stock for the cover. I hand stitched the journals using a very simple single section binding, with the knot tied in the centre of the journal.
Binding supplies. Getting ready to make some journals.
I’ve always found journalling a bit intimidating, largely because notebooks tend to have so many pages and I find it hard to keep them organised. So I got out my bookbinding box to make some up.
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction".
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1928)
The first ‘Research as Practice’ session yesterday began with a look at workspaces, and the importance of having somewhere, however large or small, dedicated to work. Normally I like to expand my thoughts onto walls but my rented flat has a strict no blue-tac, tape or slightly tacky substance on the walls rule. Looking at a photograph of Will Self’s writing room with papers and maps covering the walls, I thought of my own space and felt quite restricted. I thought about how I work in my own space and realised that I move around a lot in an unproductive fashion. I tend to work in one area until the surface is too cluttered with books and sheets of notes and then move to a clearer area. I end up cluttering that up with books and sheets of notes too and the process continues until I end up on the sofa using a board on my lap as a desk, which is great when I want to sketch but not so good for other tasks. Saying that I move around a lot may sound like I have a lot of space but I actually just have one room that measures about 18ft x 10ft. In this room I live, work, relax, eat & sleep, so it’s important that I can create a place solely for working within this environment. As soon as I returned home in the early evening, I set about making my ‘work place’. I picked the corner of the room by the window. To the side of the desk is a large window that looks onto my balcony. I can see my plants out of the corner of my eye whilst I’m looking at my screen. I work well with a little green in view. Apart from a couple of trinkets and a kalanchoe on the windowsill, I will only allow relevant items to enter this area - a strict rule but I think it’s required as I know how I can get carried away with things when I get an idea in my head.
So now I’ve created my work place and
spring autumn-cleaned my blog it must be time to get some work done.