251 MC – How To Display

I now have a name for my project it is From The Flames.

I have had multiple ideas about how to display my final work. One of these is to individually frame each image for each person and to display their name, age and what their object is next to it. The downside of this idea is that it will cost a lot to buy frames for every photograph. My second idea is to do the same as above but by just mount the images on white foam board or mount board. My third idea is to use Oriented strand board (OSB) and put the photographs directly on to then board. I will then put numbers next to each photograph which will correspond to a list of the peoples names, age and what the object is. This is the idea that I am leaning towards most, this is because when a house has been burnt down or fire damaged they will secure that building using OSB to cover the windows, doors and any other openings that may be there. As my project is all about saving objects from a fire displaying it in this way would further show that.

I will make a frame like an easel to stand the sheet of OSB against ready for the final exhibition. I have decided on an order for my photographs to go in which is 4 of my friends at the top, the 5 members of my family on the middle row and then a family of 4 who have young children on the bottom row.

Once the images are linked to the information about each person the audience will begin to see similarities and differences in what people will take based on age and gender.

Here is a photograph of the sheet of OSB with the photographs on it and the letters to link to the information sheet (also below).




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For the submission I will bring in just the board because I can’t get the stand and the board in to uni at the same time. I am also now thinking about outlining the photographs in white which I would do if I did it again and I will do it for the final exhibition.


251 MC – New Photographs

I have done my shoots with 13 different people all of different ages. This is so I get some variation in answers and so I can see if this has anything to do with what people have chosen for their one most important item that they would save from the flames. This is an interesting idea to me because I think of what I would want to save and then think is that what I would actually grab with me at that exact time. There is a struggle in people when you ask them what they would take because they have to decide whether they will save something that is sentimental or something that is particle. I found there was a mix of these in the people that I asked.

Here is my contact sheet of all the photographs from these shoots.

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Here are my chosen final photographs one for each person.

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I have now just got to decide how I want to display them in the Gallery.

251 MC – Change In Idea

So I have decided to change my idea after hitting some dead ends with the last one. Matt gave me the challenge to try and find some other people that are moving out or in soon so I could shoot with them but I haven’t been able to do this. I have emailed a few estate agents and they replied saying I could not be given access to the lists of people that are moving house through them so I have had to give up on this idea. During another feedback session when I raised this to the group I was discussing what I should do next and multiple ideas were put forward which all linked back to my research and were focused in a similar ares to my last idea. One of these was to let my subjects choose what they wanted me to be photograph so they would be put across in a way that they were happy with. I had some time to think about this and I like the idea of the subjects choosing the objects that I focused on but I fret like the objects needed a bit more of a story and that there should be a reason why they could choose only one object for me to focus on. I then had the idea of people showing me the first things that they would move in to their new house if they were to move but most people that I spoke to said similar things like their bed or kitchen stuff etc.

I then had the thought of being able to ask people to think about what they one thing they would grab and save if there was a fire at their house. I have looked in to this idea further and thought about my research and it still fits in with it and my original idea I have just progressed it and made it more defined. I have found a blog site called The Burning House. This is an ongoing page that people can post on to and its all about what objects are most precious to people and what things they would save if there was a fire in their home. This is an interesting page as anyone can post on to it so their is a wide variety of people that have been involved in this project.  This project has been going on since 2011 and is an open forum. Here are some examples from this project.

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For my project I am still certain that I want to photograph the objects in the environments that they are in and I know that I want to focus on just one object for each person. This links to the other research that I have done and many of the decisions that I made than still stand now.

251 MC – Feedback Session

In the latest feed back session I showed my first sets of photographs and explained my ideas to the group. This went okay but there is something missing from my photographs. I photographed my friends house. They have both just moved in together a week ago and have unpacked everything. I photographed the whole house and when looking back on the photographs the contrast between their bedrooms was the most interesting. As one of the girls, Beth is very neat and tidy and the other, Ellen is not as tidy. This interested me as they can both live in the same house and be very different from each other. This is a interesting but myself and the group didn’t think that from my photographs you can see an obvious judge of character of the two girls without knowing them. For me this was difficult as I have know them both all my life so I know all about them and when I see the images I think of certain character traits that they have but people that don’t know them can’t see this as easily.

Here is my contact sheet.

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Here are my final choices from this shoot.

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Now I need to decide whether I’m going to carry on with this idea or decide to focus on something else.

251 MC – Research

I began my research by looking in to the idea of nesting and decorating and why we do it. I found multiple articles about home decorating and why people do it. One article that I looked at from the Globe and Mail website was titled ‘Obsessed with home decor? You may have self-image problems’ Throughout this article we are introduced to a woman called Brandon who says she is a decor addict. One quote in this article stuck out to me, ‘For women like Brandon, the home is an extension of the self. Like body image, it has become a measuring stick for their successes and failings – and a full-blown obsession for North American women.’ This interested me because it links in with what I want to show in my work that the rooms we inhabit and the way we decorate them is personal to us but is for show so other people see what we want them to see. This continues on with the ideas that people will inject parts of their personality in to the rooms they live in and will alter the environment to make it a space they want to spend time in and are proud to be in and show off to other people.

I then found the website of Toby Yull, she works in interior design and in one of her google articles says ‘I’ve come to feel that decorating our homes is first of all an act of creation, and an important one. It’s our attempt to bring a sense of order to our lives in the midst of the obvious chaos of the world; our little effort to tame at least that part of the picture over which we do have control.’ This again links in to my ideas about decorating and filling our homes with what we want to show to other people and with things that mean things to us and that are an extension of our personalities.

There are many books, websites and articles that teach people to decorate in certain ways whether this is cost effective and family friendly or entirely to show off. One example of this is ‘A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home.‘ By Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. This book has ideas, price lists and step by step instructions to make things for your home and to give hints and tips of what to do in the home to make it cosy and presentable to others. This book is very much showing the perfect ideals of life and what everyone wishes their home could be like, but this is not the case in a busy family home. One book that does talk about decorating in a busy home is The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be perfect To Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith. In this book she talks about how to decorate for real people who have busy lives but still want to make their home presentable and accepted.

Another book I looked at is To Each His Home: Inspired Interiors As Unique As Their Owners by photographer Bilyana Dimitrova. When writing about this book she says that ‘Most of us would agree that, for better or worse, our houses speak for us. They are like a second face we present to the world. But when does a house become your home? It is the moment your house begins speaking to you–in an ongoing conversation propelled by the acquiring, arranging, and rearranging of objects to express your personality in the spaces that you inhabit’ This book shows photographs of the peoples houses and environments and the way they have altered them and made them their own. These are accompanied by an interview that she does with the home owner about the way they have decorated. This is something that I am thinking of doing to accompany my work as I feel then the audience can make their own decisions but also have the actual reasons why accompanying the image as well.

Another photographer that I looked at was Rebecca Gallagher and the project Personal Objects. She explains this project as follows ‘Personal Objects is a photo series, produced as a book, showing young adults with their most important objects. Next to each photograph is a handwritten note by them, giving some more detail about the object. The handwriting is not always legible which just adds to the personal touch of the project.’ Here are some examples of her work.

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This is one way that I could view my project by getting people to decide what they want me to photograph and then say why, but I think it will be more interesting to take photographs of a variety of things in the home and then let the audience judge the people and what they are including in their homes. Therefor linking back to the articles that I have read and showing the way that people are now judged by the appearance of their homes as well as their personal appearance.

The next photographer I looked at was  and the project Mother 2010-2012. This is a project based around memory and loss and nostalgia. These photos are all taken after her mothers death and show her personal objects. These are only some of her objects so Ruibal has decided what to include and what not to include. This project is in a way a therapy and is the process of letting go and moving on without someone you love. I would like to replicate the cleanness of these photographs and the way that they are focusing on one or two main objects in the frame and everything else blurs out and is unimportant.  Here are some examples of the work.

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The next work I looked at was by Camilla Catrambone the project is called Family Portraits. These again are focused around the objects not the people. This body of work aims to show the people, what they are like and what they own through the use of their objects, this gives us hints at their personality. From viewing this work I know I want to keep the objects in their environments and take hotogrpahs of them where they have been placed rather than rearrange them like in this work. Here are some examples of her work.

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From this research I have informed my decisions further and I know know what I want to do in more detail and that I want to choose what I photograph and I want to leave it in the setting that it has been placed in.

251 MC – Photograph Ideas

I had two initial ideas for this module which were influenced by different lectures and the material that we had looked at. The first was to do a project based on my Grandad an how he is degenerating and is becoming visible older, also to see if there was a different side to him that I hadn’t seen before because he is a very jolly and uplifting man and I wanted to know if there was another side that we don’t see of him. This mainly has links to the relationships lecture and partly to the conversations lecture.

My second idea was to photograph peoples environments mainly focusing on their bedrooms. I would explore the little details of how they had made it an individual and comforting environment for them. This would show different peoples personalities that are displayed through their spaces/bedrooms with out showing the actual person. 

I am leaning more towards the second idea because I feel that it is more achievable in the amount of time that I have for this project. I also think that it is really interesting the ways in which people will decorate their homes and their own personal spaces differently and how a bedroom is a safe and private place that not many people will see other than the people that live in the house. For this I am thinking of going to someones house where they have just moved in and exploring what they put in the house first and last and what things they have chosen to bring with them or leave at the parents house or in storage somewhere else. I have two friends who have just moved out of home so I will photograph their new house and the smaller details showing the things that they have chosen to bring with them.

251 MC – Body; Forms, Functions & Interactions & Task 4

Photography wasn’t considered art and was only used by artist where they would have a photograph to paint from because it would be too expensive and time consuming to have a model sitting for them. Then photography became art and people like Bill Brandt photographed nudes and this helped to make it become more acceptable. An example of this is the below photograph by Bill Brandt.
Naked is described by Jonathan Jones as ‘someone with no clothes on’. But naked can also be linked to being vulnerable and exposed. Where as nude is more of an arty term and is more flattering and not really vulgar like naked can seem to be.
We looked at the work of Thomas Ruff who uses stills from porn and puts motion blur on them so some are hard to tell what they are of. This makes us ask if it is still porn or if it is artistic and if it would be classed as naked or nude. Then we think of shows like embarrassing bodies which make it more scientific. But can they still be seen as pornographic. Here are some examples.
We also looked at the work of Sally Mann in particular the project Proud Flesh. For this project she works with her husband who has muscular dystrophy and shows the deterioration of his body by using wet plate photography. Here are some examples.
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Hannah Wilke was the next artist we looked at she worked with her mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer and then she was diagnosed as well. This work is created in diptychs one photograph of each of them. Here are some examples.
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We then looked in to John Coplans. He poses nude and gets his interns to photograph him. He poses in a way that is similar to how women are posed and is trying to make it more normal for people to see men in the same way as women are displayed. He says that the male body is slightly taboo but the old male body is very taboo and is not shown often. Here are some examples of his work.
Self-Portrait (Hands Spread on Knees) 1985 by John Coplans 1920-2003 Self-Portrait (Frieze No. 2, Four Panels) 1994 by John Coplans 1920-2003
We also looked at Katherine Wolkoff and her work deer beds. These photographs show the beds that deers make to sleep in and protect their young. This interested me in particular because it was about the relationship the deer had with the environment and how they used the body to create somewhere safe for themselves and their young. Here are some of the photographs from this body of work.
This weeks task is as follows:
In this workshop task you are asked to photographically consider how you are corporeally connected and/or disconnected with the spaces you conduct your life in. You may wish to examine the structure of the body and how it is distorted to serve certain roles or you may think about the time and locations in which the body shapes the environments it has found itself occupying.
For this task I wanted to focus on the change that had taken place in my room and how I have moulded and shaped that environment to be able to make it cosy and my own. For this task I did a comparison of then and now but if I was to explore this again then I might look more in to the finer details of how I have changed my room to reflect parts of myself. Here are my photographs.