Having formed an outline idea for Assignment 3, and having done some initial research, I thought it wise to clarify my intent and to do some thinking about how I might actually go about creating this series of images in line with the Intent. Rather than create a rather inflexible Research Proposal as I have in the past, I want to leave more room for manoeuvre and allow some creative ebb and flow. In essence, I kind of want this series to develop itself, and to see where making these images takes me.
To create a series of Self-Portraits that document/narrate my current body image in order to help drive a change in my approach to health & fitness. This will be achieved by creating a series of confrontational, honest photographs that will act as a visual and psychological stimulus.
The how and why:
My previous posts explaining the development of this idea will answer the ‘Why’. In order to develop the ‘How’, or at least provide a starting point from which to creatively develop the idea, I have done some brainstorming (click for larger image):
Whenever I start to get an idea and look at the work of other artists, I end up with a plethora of secondary and tertiary thoughts about What, Where, When, Who, How etc. Many of these thoughts are soon forgotten, so I like to dump as much as I can on paper/computer to help me out later. Like short-hand writing, the mind-map above provides enough of a reminder for me to recall the original thought that prompted it. I won’t try and cover each and every one of these points for you, but there are a few key areas that should be explained, and this may prompt me to expand on them further.
Although I will be the subject of the series, the sub-subject is my Body Image and desire to change it. How I go about achieving this is yet to be decided. I am not keen to be recongnisable in the photographs, largely because I featured in each photo for Assignment 2. I also want to remove any form of Ego from the photo’s. I have noted some thoughts on the actual content of the photographs, which may help me decide how I’m going to achieve my intent. Do I use my whole self to communicate the issue or focus in on isolated body parts. To me, the mirror is associated with a lot of negative body image, and could therefore feature quite heavily. Do I concentrate on physicality or do I explore some of the psychology behind my body image? Should I also look outwardly at factors which affect my Body Image such as Foods, Stigma, Lifestyle or My proffession?
Early consideration should be made to how I want the Individual Photo’s and the series as a whole to look. Not only do I need the series to hold together, and be narrative/documentary in nature, I want each image to be capable of standing alone, aesthetically and narratively. Some of the style will be dictated by the Intent and composition, which will in-part dictate the lighting setup’s to be used. Decisions on the use of B&W or colour must be made and the format of the photographs should assist in the reading of the image.
The setting of the Photographs is a highly important factor and requires careful consideration. Care must be taken to be mindful of the background and composition of each photograph in order to either retain simplicity and lack of distractions or to correctly place signifiers that will develop interest and understanding. The setting is also one of my greatest limitations. I do not have a studio, and live in a small home. The setting will largely be dictated by the Sub-Subject and limitation and will in turn influence the Style.
There is some great contemporary work out there already in this genre, but what can I take from it? What have I learnt from it? and how can I apply that to my own work?
This is linked directly to the intent: What do I want to communicate?
What are the circumstances surrounding the creation of this work? How will it be interpreted? Where does it belong? Much of the context is found in the research and development of the series, but a lot of thought still needs to go in to how it will look, how it will be presented and where it will belong when it is finished.