Reflections.

I feel that up until this point I my ideas have been too surface level; I wanted to visually represent the bright young things, but have found this very hard to so without either recreating images I have previously taken (see figure 1 and 2 below) or just grasping certain visual element from that era. While I know that I could go into more depth of the social conditions and behaviour of those that were part of this group, this doesn’t feel like a direction that I want to continue. I think the potential intentions within this theme, are quite fixed, even looking at specific concepts like escapism, this for me still feels restricting in some way.

Figure 1

 

Figure 2

 

I feel at this point, it is very important for me to find a focus that can direct strong and meaningful intention in my work. My favourite images so far into the project, and  of my work in general, are photos where the viewer is drawn in instantly without any thought at all . While strong emotive qualities can to some extent, be portrayed through colour and composition, For me the images that are most powerful, arrive through spontaneity,  and being more in touch with being immersed in the creative process. I love  images, whereby, there is a nameless quality about them, one which cannot quite be articulated through language alone.

Further Experimentation

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This is my favourite image from this particular shoot. It was definitively a photograph that came about with significantly less conscious thought.   A lot of the images that I took looked ‘pretty’ but lacked a meaning. I feel this is because I didn’t hone in on one specific element or issue that I wanted to portray, as well as this, my focus wasn’t refined, but was a little all over the place in terms what exactly it was that I wanted to get from the images.  I was considering concepts  of surrealism;  dreams and the subconscious mind, whilst also thinking about the subculture ‘The Bright Young Things’, This being what I was initially planning on basing my project on. This photoshoot over really helped me to identify that I don’t  want to continue exploring this subculture, or even this specific time period, instead I want to look more at the way images can speak languages words never quite can. This image I believe  transcendent quality . I feel as though voiced, is  a subtle kind of  language that can be felt equally as it is seen; rather than the image itself making an impression through colour palette or curated composition, it draws the viewer in on a level beyond what can be seen physically. There is a vulnerability to the emotion portrayed, and thus a  deep connection formed between the viewer and image.

Experimentation

Initial Experimenation

I used this glass, as a means to distort the image, I was hoping to emulate qualities of the surrealists style, by creating photos that seem far removed from physical reality, and instead capture what we cant see. Like Claud Cahun, I wanted to (without trying to), draw on aspects of my subconscious and capture the unseen.

Initial Experimentation

Experiment
Self Portrait
Experiment
Self Portrait

Overall, I am very happy with the result of these images, For me these images capture an ethereal and almost ghostly essence of the self. Specifically in the two close up shots, there is a sense of transcending the physical realm and moving into the space of the subconscious.

What really interest me in particular is how do we know how much the image is connected with our own subconscious, how do we identify what part is us? can it be felt and seen, to what extend are we able to perceive the depths of our own internal reality?

Bright Young Things; How photography of the time captured their world.

I have been looking at  photographs, from the 1920’s, and pictures of the subculture ‘The Bright Young Things’ The images are very purposely curated, thus presenting  an idealistic view of the lives of those featured in the imagery.  Elements of surrealism bring a fantastical, dream like quality, this  embodies the sense of escapism that their hedonistic lifestyle offered.

Research Image
Baba Beaton, 1927 This loose group of young British aristocrats were known for their decadent parties, bohemian adventures and wild treasure hunts

 

 

 

Research Image
Baba Beaton, the Hon. Mrs Charles Baillie-Hamilton and Lady Bridget Poulett, 1930

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Image I find interesting.

This was a photo that I took at work, I didn’t put any specific intention behind the photo, but just loved the way the light streamed in through the window.  I think the mannequins prove to be an interesting subject in this instance. For me they show what it can feel like to be a woman living in a mans world. I say this because, if you look closely the female figure in the centre of the photograph is sat on the floor, with body language the alludes to hiding, and feeling small. There is also a suggestion of loneliness, All the other mannequins stand tall, yet this particular mannequin stays low, separate from the rest. As well as this there is a woman’s figure pushed behind a male one on the left and side, almost looking defenceless and very much trapped behind.

Initial Ideas

As an initial starting point I opted to research into the Subculture ‘Bright Young Things’. While I have responded to this stimuli previously, I am interested to potentially to so in more depth, and am looking at drawing modern parallels between their hedonistic lifestyle, to subcultures/groups of individuals prominent today. I think this concept could be particularly poignant, as this sub culture came about following the devastation caused by world war I, potentially there are some similarities between the behaviour of the collective/specific groups then and now.