Tuesday, February 15, 2011

John Mc, roo shooter.


  1. Hi,

    these photographs are absolutley stunning Dewi!

    I would have liked to see an introduction to your project somewhere, Dewi. A short statement that explains what you are trying to achieve, how you chose your subjects and the settings in which the photos were or will be taken. Is location important? Is your relationship with the subjects important? Do the subjects know each other? What is the glue in your project that ties it all together in the end?

    I found it quite interesting that the images of Dylan and Elaine had such intensity and John is so relaxed! Why? I also wonder what John would look like against a white background?

    Great work Dewi, look forward to seeing more.


  2. Monika, just spent two hours thinking about and answering your questions and they got lost in posting. Mentally exhausted and disappointed so will try again later.

  3. I’ll try again Monika to rewrite some of my responses to your questions this morning.

    You mention an intro to my project:
    it is regionally based portrait of people and place from a very personal perspective. This broadens my practice as I have in the past been mainly a landscape photographer although in early years of course I explored many ‘genres’ just excited by photography. Portraiture is a challenge I set myself a few years ago and it is the basis for the grant and project that followed. Within the parameters of a mentorship the project is intended to refine photography skills and broaden practice as well as develop digital skills, networks and profile,resulting in an exhibition and catalogue, website and general professional development as an artist.

    Choice of subjects, settings and locations is directed by opportunity, affinity and aesthetics.
    Subjects, both people and places, are chosen intuitively from those I know and empathise with in one way or another. Settings and locations incude place and compositional elements are chosen for aesthetic reasons and practicality. For example the studio style work is mostly done at Inner Space which is ‘available’ and where I like the natural light that is fairly consistent whatever the time of day or year. Opportunity plays a major role in this as I meet and get to know certain places and people throughout the project, those that I connect with become possible subjects. This all sits within a general theme and ideas I have about the work as a whole.

    The ex’n concluding this project is to be titled Southern Gothic. Partly because I am using a few Grant Woods’ paintings as models for portraits but more importantly because I have been thinking a lot about the landscape, people and historical and social contexts of this region.This has lead me to sense a subtle melancholy blanketing these contexts and a timeless transcendant intensity in the landscape, both of which show in people who live here, the glue you refer to.

    It's a notion developing from my work, the weather, landscape, histories and people here that, for me, produces a melancholic, subtly threatening and solitary psyche that is as much a part of the region as personal experience. Coupled with this is a soaring transcendental sense of vast isolation and endless time that shapes country and inhabitants.

    Not explaining it well and there is a tongue in cheek tone running through this idea mocking the folly of privileging human influence and perceptions above the rest of creation. This of course has tragic consequences for all concerned.

    However this theme informs the work and will be developed pairing the studio portraits with photographs of the same subjects in wider contexts/settings,as well as landscapes and a small group of images based on some of Grant Wood’s portaits/paintings. Intuition and opportunity will determine the work made.

  4. Hi Dewi, thanks for the outline. It's great!

    Just one thing that bugs me a bit: Personally, I wonder about the "American Gothic" and Grant Wood. I have to confess though that I am not overly fond of him. Apart from that I think the comment Roger made in regards to your work "Elaine" is important:
    ' I'm finding it a little difficult to comment and am probably trapped in our discussion of 'American Gothic'". What did you make of his comment?

    Also - I find the roo shots distressing! The impact just about knocked me out! The gentle portrait and the roo shots certainly challenge my perception tools :-)

  5. Monika, I think he just meant he was he was seeing it through the lens of notions of the gothic and American Gothic.

    I share reservations about Woods but have been researching him and his work a little and am fascinated by it/him. I had been feeling and seeing a subtle melancholy as mentioned above and was working with this before I began looking at Woods. Just a happy coincidence - which is probably not a gothic concept.

  6. Yes, I think we are talking about the human condition and that is a universially shared experience, not a gothic conecpt as you say. I would find it sad if the audience would look through an imposed lense. It's also about how we are often wrong in interpreting facial expressions (or a lack of it) which can change constantly anyway. I had a talk to Kate about this the other day: How seriousness can be seen as grumpy, anxiety as agression etc...it's interesting and also means that the meaning making of the image takes place in the viewer's head and I guess that is also what you meant when you said that the life of the image is a different thing alltogether ...