My photography posts have been absent recently, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not making hundreds of photos. One of my projects is massive, and will take several months to complete. The daily commute can be both monotonous and exciting, depending on what you notice as you go from place to place. I’m producing a photographic map of the London underground system, recording points of interest in the vacinity of the tube stations.
Tottenham Hale Station (Victoria Line)
Embankment Station (Northern Line)
Snippets is a project in which I record a short piece of a conversation which I hear, that’s placed with a photo that I take at the same time. These snippets will be presented in a photobook.
I use vaseline on my face now. Do ya?Yeah, at night, not during the day though. Yeah yeah.
If you’re a hundred and you do not die the queen will give you a letter. Nanny Rita is nearly a hundred. She’ll get a letter if she’s not dead.
The third project, and I can’t tell you why on earth I’m making it is photographing bikes I see around London. How bizzare.
One of the beneficial aspects is that I don’t have an emotional connection to the subject matter. Much of my photography is an explanation and an expression of who I am. These projects are giving me a break, something joyful to work on. It’s also a relief, as much of my creative writing is emotionally charged and auto-biographical.
With signing my new tenancy today meaning that I’m in London, I planned a gentle day at the British Museum.
My project for assignment 5 is using self portrait and embroidery to explore the emotional States of anorexia. I visited the British Museum as a means of having a gentle day after signing my tenancy. I travel back tomorrow and then move here on Friday. Yay.
It quickly became apparent that the museum has a collection of masks in most of the cultural zones. Masks being an important element of many traditional and indigenous cultures, religions and traditions. As I will be embroidering onto my self portraits for this assignment, then I see that I am creating masks.
I felt particularly drawn to shamanic cultures that use icons depicting animal spirits. Some cultures use masks to reveal hidden aspects of personality, rather than to hide them. This feels particularly pertinent to me in my process of recovering from my eating disorder.
Hidden or suppressed aspects of my character being revealed to aid me in my recovery, now that makes sense to me. Animals are important to me as spirit guides, and I’ve previously blogged about my connection with pigs, and their spiritual representation of abundance. I feel drawn to kingfishers, which to me represent both protection and rage. These are helpful and unhelpful aspects of personality. Kingfishers will fight other kingfishers to death to protect their territory. That fits in with my portrait depicting rage. Some native American cultures consider the rattlesnake (utsonati) to be a potent medicine spirit, which fits in with recover. This would work well with pride, my sixth self-portrait.
Today I’ve also considered that I could make a plaster cast of my face, and then use the decoupage technique to blend my portraits with Letinsky’s photography to add a different dimension to the work I am producing.
My tutor recently gave me some feedback, suggesting that I be open-minded to the organic evolution of my ideas. Today’s trip to the British Museum has done just that. Is anyone up for making plaster casts of my face? I can’t remember when I last got plastered!