“Be daring, be different, be impractical...

December 11, 2017

...be anything that will rally integrity, purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace and the slaves to the ordinary...” - Cecil Beaton *

 

Looking back over my body of work... Can I really call it that? ... I know I refer to 'my body of work' on the home page of this site, but am I truly in a position to reference my impertinently burgeoning heap of diverse snappery as a 'body'... of... 'work'?! The phrase has a ring of artistic propriety and gravity to it, I fancy... The preserve of an international Elder Statesman of Photography perhaps. But, not so long ago, it seems, my 'body of work' was teetering in a higglety-pigglety landslide of dog-eared archive boxes in a gloomy attic... Ahhh... The mystery and wonderment of the analogue age... Now it's teetering in a higglety-pigglety landslide of digital folders on swollen HDs in a gloomy back room. Ahhh... The mystery and wonderment of the digital age...

 

It's progress of sorts, I suppose.

 

Anyway, as I was saying, looking back, which I do periodically - typically when I'm spring-cleaning the hard drives and exterminating rampant colonies of raw files (anyone else have a problem with them breeding like rats in the bowels of their digital dominion?) - sometimes reveals toggery that I'd entirely forgotten about; occasional, experimental snappage concepts that I tinkered with once upon a time, then catalogued, archived and thought nothing more about as they steadily drifted into obscurity, deep within the long-term memory of my brain (what's left of it) and my PC...

 

Occasionally, whilst blitzing the hive, I am pleasantly surprised by the re-emergence of stuff that, once upon a time, I produced while faffing arty-fartily... Stuff that manifested in a brief burst of creativity for no reason other than for the satisfaction of experimentation itself. Art for art's sake would be one way of describing the  process, I guess... 

 

Whatever, the point is that...

 

In a folder, dated 18th July 2015, I found this lot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Initially and momentarily I couldn't recall how I'd acquired the source files or processed the emergent images.  It was as though I was viewing a stranger's work. I noted things as if I was critiquing the set for a fellow tog who'd asked for some constructive comments. And, at the risk of sounding shamelessly self-adulatory (apologies if I do), I was compelled by the method, the mystery and the mood of melancholy. I liked what I saw... The intervening years, it seemed, had removed the close association I had once had with the images and brought objectivity to my appreciation and assessment of them. 

 

At the time of their creation though, I had dismissed them to the digital dump. Something back then had made me file them under meh... I have no inkling as to why... Perhaps you have - after all, they're a bit... you know... "one person's visual art is another person's aesthetic pollution..." type of thing. Are they groovy boutique-hotel pieces or are they cheesy wallpaper samples? 

 

From the point of view of my current position though - with what I know, what I've experienced and what I've produced (and the greater part of it all may be an achingly long way from as refined or decently executed as I would like it to be) - seeing my images for the first time in two and a half years has rekindled a desire to get off that familiar pathway. For when we randomly experiment or produce material via deviation from the routine, we reveal elements of creativity that may well form parts of our personal vision and visual style - our unique photographic signature - that eventually becomes the most eloquent and significant component of our body of work.

 

Oh dear, I said it again...

 

 

* Post script - for Charles Whitaway

 

Before I hosted my Dawn and Dusk Liminal Light Course at West Dean College at the end of November this year, I was not familiar with the title quote from Cecil Beaton for this blog so, thank you Charles for bringing it to my attention... I said it wouldn't be long before I used it as a reference...

 

;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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