For the final exhibition, I decided to put my cyanotype creations from ‘The Shadow’ shoot onto silk. The materiality of silk is similar to that of the shadow, both sharing transparent qualities and a lightness to them. Printing the cyanotypes onto a light silk, I wanted to capture them moving in the wind to show the thin veil so that it is able to pick up light and shadow surrounding it. Below are my samples of the cyanotypes I made on silk, then some video experiments that will be shown for my virtual exhibition show. They definitely look better in person, when you can see the texture and movement, as well as seeing what lies behind the silk, whereas I feel like it doesn’t quite pick up so well when I have taken photographs of them.
With the creation of video, I have added a frequency soundtrack (by Varma Ijud) to create ambience within an exhibition space. The low tones from the soundtrack ties in with the dark side of the shadow and wanting it to be slightly eerie as we embark on the journey of the four archetypes. Taking the exposure down and adding more black to the video edits, I wanted the black backdrop to almost blend in with the silk cyanotype so that there is a ghostly feel to the final outcome, making it hard to tell where the cyanotype starts and where it ends. I am pleased with how the videos have turned out as they communicate the feeling of unease, and how the fragility of the silk fabric complements the delicacy of the shadow. I do however think if I had more time, I would have liked to perhaps shot the final footage in the woods or on a different backdrop so that the transparency of the fabric was clearer. With that being said, I do think the black backdrop works, however when shown virtually, it doesn’t quite do the final result any justice. I did plan to have these silk cyanotypes on my FMP website, but I definitely think the paper tests I did are much better suited for the virtual space, as these pictures of the silk cyanotypes almost look like an unprofessional and unfinished outcome.
Now that I have researched and experimented with photographic processes throughout the research project and for this current module, I feel confident going forward that these shoots are going to run smoothly. The most important steps for me right now is to carry on planning and preparing for each of these editorial shoots that will form my larger body of work, then exhibited through an exhibition space that will incorporate the sensory experience of moving image and sound within it. But as for now, the main focus is refining each archetype and concept so that when it comes to shooting I will know exactly what I am doing.
In addition, I have been focusing on the logistical side of planning each shoot. I have been getting in touch with stylists, HMUA’S and models and have a shoot planned for the 17th March (for the Anima/Animus) archetype. After speaking to Eloise, she provided some feedback and suggested using a wider range of models for the shoot. Also, she has advised me to really refine what the shoot is communicating and to make sure to effectively showcase this. For example, am I trying to capture the synergy between the anima/animus? or is it more about tension? I am interested in combining these two factors within the shoot and how the male/female characteristics come into play within this. Therefore, I think the best way to communicate this is to use different sets of models- female+female, female+male, male+male, which will portray the similarities or polar opposites of their characteristics. Using Jungian theory as the inspiration for how I aim to direct the models, I am focused on capturing the anima within male gesture and movement, and the animus within female gesture and movement.
Among the most important archetypes are what he termed the “animus” and the “anima”. Jung theorised that each man has an unconscious female side (anima) and each woman an unconscious male side (animus). For Jung the anima personifies traditionally “feminine” traits, such as the capacity for sensitivity, greater depth of feeling and the ability to relate emotionally to others, while to the animus is assigned what he described as “masculine” attributes, such as initiative, bravery and independence.
Jung, Carl.G, M.-L. von Franz, ‘The Process of Individuation’, Man and His Symbols’, (1964)
After developing key concepts and conducting theoretical and visual research for my final major project, I think it’s time to take action and start conceptualising and finalising shoot ideas for my final outcomes. Although I feel like I haven’t produced enough research or test shoots this module due to the lockdown taking place which definitely caused a lack of motivation and anxiety of where I could be headed for this module, I do feel confident now that I am able to produce a good body of work for my final shoots going forward. I think sometimes its easy to get lost in trying to produce too much research which could go on forever and ever given the intensity and magnitude of the topic that I could look into, so I am pleased that I was able to refine and take parts from each of these concepts so that I can put my personal interpretation on it. Moving forward, I think it would be important to sit down and look at the time I have left until the deadline so that I am able to set a series of mini deadlines for tasks that need to be completed on time. Producing these shoots on time is definitely the number one priority starting from now as I will then need to consider how I want to exhibit/display this, whilst also working on my portfolio. From having tutorials with Eloise, I think we have established the direction I would like to take for my shoots and the visual identity that goes alongside this (where there is a focus on photography and using digital and analogue processes) so now the next step is to thoroughly plan out and get in touch with any contacts such as make up artists, stylists, photographic studios etc. to see who is available for work during this pandemic. I think at the start of this module, I felt extremely stressed about the logistics of how these shoots were going to take place, however now that I have explored other mediums such as incorporating animation and 3D scanning during this time where I had limited resources, it feels like I now have additional skills which I may have not even thought about as I wouldn’t be trying to adapt to stressful situations. I am now confident that these shoots can go ahead after speaking to some photographic studios that are open for use- so the plan is to combine all of my experimentations and knowledge from the last couple of months to produce these exciting shoots!
Moving on from AD394, I am aim to continue researching key concepts which relate to the idea of distorting our perception of reality. In order to input my own interpretation onto these themes, I think it would be important to find a concept to behind it so that there is a solid foundation that I can build my work around. As the topic of distortion and perception is so broad, I need to figure out how I am able to narrow it down so it will make it easier when it comes to creating my final pieces of work to exhibit and for my portfolio. From the last project, I explored various analogue processes within photography such as using the darkroom, creating cyanotypes and digital manipulation techniques which has allowed me to be open to experimentation moving forward. I think originally I wanted to continue using the darkroom to experiment however due to the situation of being in another national lockdown, I think areas within my statement of intent need to be re-evaluated so I am able to work around the limitations.
For instance, I originally planned to have a series of photographic images which were primarily fashion editorial based where I could base a narrative upon the images which were styled and shot collaboratively within a team. Whilst this may still be possible in the future when lockdown eases, I think the challenges facing the start of this project is to try and be as realistic as possible, as well as adapting my project so that I don’t face as many hardships further down the line. I think one of the most important factors within my work that I still want to push forward with is working with analogue techniques in combination with digital mediums to bridge the gap between the physical elements of analogue, with the digital sphere that we so heavily rely on- this is especially relevant during this pandemic.
How can elements of touch, emotion and our perception of reality be interpreted through a series of processes and imagery? I think the first step within this project is to establish the key themes I will be exploring throughout, which I can then use to develop and experiment visual outputs. It will also be important to consider how this work will be exhibited for the final result.