Time flies so quickly and I can’t believe it is so long since I have posted my progress here. My main focus for the year has been the Brisbane Camera Group Print Project Challenge. The images were submitted early in September and were judged last Sunday. There were 16 entries submitted by club members which were a very good response. While I did not place in the competition, I am still proud of my final images and the story they told.
The club is holding an exhibition of the images entered at Maud Gallery here in Brisbane. The opening night is Friday 17 November starting at 6pm. The exhibition will be open on Saturday and Sunday for anyone to view the images.
Earlier in the year I published my Artist Statement. The images I submitted and the fine-tuned Artist Statement follow:
“Each of us, as Whitman writes, does ‘..contain multitudes’. Contacting the jostling crowd of inner selves, giving them a chance to speak and to act, can greatly enrich our lives.” (Julia Cameron, “The Vein of Gold” page 87)
In Inner Selves I have created five characters – Performer Pete, Judgmental Jack, Nervous Ned, Furious Frank and Rebel Ray – to explore the “jostling crowd of inner selves” we all possess. I have used the genre of self-portraiture and deliberately chose characters I know are part of my personality but rarely seen by others. In the work I show each character in front of a crowd, a literal and metaphoric representation of the judgment we fear when we let these inner selves out.
I begin the series with an image that represents the jostling crowd of inner selves and my five characters are hiding within the crowd. The final image portrays a growing acceptance of these characters without the fear of judgement as their existence has been acknowledged. I want Inner Selves to invite the viewer to reflect on their own inner selves and to encourage the acknowledgement and acceptance of them.
Each image began as a photograph before being manipulated in Photoshop to produce prints reflecting the vision I held for each of the inner selves. The artistic challenge was in self-portrait making and using Photoshop to tell the story through combining multiple images. I used obvious layers and rough selections to indicate that inner selves can be poorly defined unless they are examined. I also wanted to reflect that as humans we all have imperfections.
An outcome of this project was further development of my artistic and storytelling skills in photography. Also, there was fun in creating the characters suggesting more work on this theme may be possible in the future.
I was fortunate enough to attend the judging and to hear first-hand the feedback they provided. Their comments were very helpful and highlighted the need to be attentive to detail at all levels of the image making. A key area highlighted was the harsh lighting used in the self-portraits. This is an area I have little experience in even though I did attend a couple of lighting workshops prior to finalising my images. They indicated that their eyes were drawn to my shoes in a couple of images which was a distraction to the story being told. I had noted the same thing myself but ran out of time to try to fix.
Overall the Print Project Challenge was a valuable learning experience I know will hold me in good stead on my photographic journey. The ability to put together a number of images that link to each other and tell a story is not as easy as it may seem. This project has opened my eyes to some of the techniques needed to achieve this.
Also, from mid-September to mid-October, Marie and I travelled to Italy for 3 weeks on a photography tour and to the French Riviera for a week to relax and prepare to return home. This was my first time to Europe and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The historical areas were an eye opener. I came back with over five thousand images that I need to work through. Below are some images I took with my phone. I will display more images later as I process them.
Brisbane Camera Group has an annual competition for members and the closing date for image submissions is 23 October. I am aiming to submit some images again this year.
Hopefully my next update will not be so long after the last one. Thanks for reading and happy snapping!