Steve, Jack and myself had some WIPs to share for critique. Both Steve and Jack are on A1. Steve showed us two sets of images: one in B&W and another version in colour – all quite powerful. He had photographed two artists in his local community. When I initially viewed his images yesterday (without any backstory) I thought he had photographed various activities at his local recreational centre. There was painting, dancing, what looked like a keep-fit class and an image of two dress dummies with clothes hanging in the background – sewing classes perhaps? He explained that they were images he had taken at two different locations and involved two artists only – a painter and a dancer. What I initially thought was a keep fit class was probably a dance class warming up – oops my bad! We all liked his B&W version of the images more than the colour. Perhaps this emphasized the lines and form more. We all had a bit of a problem with the image of the dress dummies as that didn’t fit within the set and suggested that he try and find another detail type shot. Bob mentioned that the aspect of movement was tying the images together so it might just be a question of reordering to get the flow of the narrative right.
Poor Jack was having tough time getting his mike to work properly so popped in and out of the hangout trying out different browsers until he got one to work properly. His system was causing echoes from all of us while we were talking and had us in fits of laughter as we tried to talk to block out our own echoes.
My work was up next while Jack was dealing with his mike. I had presented some initial work (see this posting) and I know I didn’t really explain myself very well what with the echo distractions and also due to the fact that I’m not quite sure where I’m going with the work yet myself. Bob raised the question about the First Nations set photos – were they equal parts as they looked as if they were part of the scene. I explained that I did want the First Nations to look as if they were part of the scene as I thought it important to try and get the right proportions to the buildings. Jack suggested that he would like to see a figure in a window looking out maybe. On the whole the set with the people were more powerful. It was suggested that I try and find photos of the First Nations in Western clothing but I’m really not so sure about this as that might remove an aspect of their identity … something to think about anyway. Bob suggested trying an overlay of the people on the buildings and making them much bigger. I’m really not sure about this, but will give it a go and see what that looks like. Steven stated that the evidence of colonialism is coming through and I just need to fine tune the image a bit more. I really do want to concentrate the series on the fact relating to the historical (Western) buildings built on unceded First Nations territory. I just made a bit of a hash of it when I tried to explain it to the group. I’ll work on this a little more and then run it by the ROW hangout early next month. I did have a couple of thoughts that I could try as well – going B&W and also combining the symbols and First Nations images. Back to the drawing board!
Jack’s WIP was up next. He had photographed a Remembrance Day parade and he had some really beautiful images. My favourite was an image of a tree that was wrapped with crocheted poppies with bystanders in the background. He really captured the seriousness of the moment as well as the hope for the future on the faces of his subjects and he explained that he might have another project looming from this after speaking to an elderly lady who he had photographed. Jack was thinking about ordering the images as “poppy sellers” followed by “poppy wearers” but Bob suggested another order that integrated the parade with the people watching which might make more of a narrative.
I’ll set up another hangout in a month’s time. Hopefully we can squeeze something in before Christmas, otherwise we will stand over till January.