Graduate project proposal [in progress].
[start with exactly what I plan to make]
I define myself as a photomedia1 artist; employing media and processes defined primarily by their use of light, as opposed to the exclusive use of the photographic apparatus. Guided by my fascination with the physical properties and ethereal qualities of light I explore concepts of journey, place and ecologies of time.
For my graduation project I propose to make an exhibition of large scale (or mixed scale) photographic prints accompanied by a moving image and/or immersive installation component, creating a unified body of work in which individual artworks enter into a dialogue with each other, facilitating potential new meanings and associations in the mind of the viewer.
The creation of photographic prints is the culmination of two methods of working within my practice; two distinct journeys merged into a final work in which the exposure time of the finished print is extended beyond the opening and closing of the shutter (should a shutter be used at all). This durational aspect is important and speaks to the passage of time, as well as a passage from, to and through spaces. Through the use of abstraction and interventions at the printing stage I seek to disrupt notions of what constitutes a "photograph".
My wanderlust is not something I chose, probably a combination of nature and nurture. In my teenage years I was so eager to travel and explore the world, to experience and take in that which falls outside of my own limited horizons. I sensed even then that travel could offer me an outside perspective on my own life, a truer education that would also satisfy my curiosity of this world, this universe, this life. My interest in journey is informed by my own experiences of travel but also an awareness of how my own identity is forged through the journeys of migration undertaken by members of my immediate family, as well as my own migration to a place from which "I am not from". When situated “elsewhere” I am reminded that I am a foreigner, an “other”. However, when I travel, this otherness tends to lead to a sense of wonder (as opposed to ostracisation) and directs my attention inward. This contemplative state of being creates the conditions in which I often feel compelled to take photographs. There are moments of wonder, contemplation, loneliness that come from independent travel, independent migration; and I seek to capture those feelings through the work I create. There is a kind of magic or oneiric quality to such moments that I want to translate into my work. The art that moves me most is also work that speaks to such magic; that which lies beyond or in between. I believe this is the deep-seated core of my motivation to make art.
1. I refer to Jai McKenzie’s definition of photomedia as described in her book Light and Photomedia: “The photographic devices that fall under the term photomedia are as broad as the etymological scope of the words photographic and media. Essentially I consider all devices that use light and media as photomedia including photography, cinema, video, television, mobile phones, computers and photocopiers” (McKenzie, 2014, p.1). By this definition the camera obscura and cyanotype also fall under the umbrella of photomedia.