A recent Critical Research Journal (CRJ) post Looking back on what I have achieved and moving forward (Week 16) summarises progress on the Final Major Project to date:
I have been working over the past few weeks, since my last ‘meeting’ with my tutor in August, on various book layouts. I have simplified the layout to a plain white background and reduced the size of the text. I have produced two draft versions:
Draft 2: in this version I have tried combining images of the reeds and seascapes. I have removed the words apart from an introductory piece at the beginning of each chapter:
Draft 3: in this version I have experimented with combining black and white images and words from my portfolio from Sustainable Prospects with my latest work:
I have also been refining my Statement of Intent/Artists Statement as follows:
The Ephemeral Hiddenness of Skye
“The soul never thinks without a picture.” (Aristotle)
Focusing on detailed aspects of nature and spending time in the landscape allows me to reflect on my own inner life: the hurt and fracture – confronting the chaos of death and destruction during my time as a police photographer; the remnants and vulnerability of my youth and the solitude of adulthood when parents are gone. I use aspects of the natural world as metaphors for my feelings and emotions and use light and shade, luminosity and depth, shape and structure as a means of revealing the Skye that most visitors and locals fail to notice.
I am driven by a search for the ephemeral hiddenness of the Isle of Skye, and my photography seeks to capture its essence, rather than a simple visual and literal representation. I am not looking for the sublime and romantic depictions of the Island that so many photographers produce but a reflection of my personal experience of this beautiful part of north-west Scotland.
My work is informed by philosophers such as Jose Ortega y Gasset, Harman, Meillassoux and Heidegger and influenced by painters including J M W Turner and Claude Monet. Photographic influencers include Fay Godwin, Ori Gersht, Iain Serjeant and Awioska van der Molen.
Looking through the lens of my experience I see the sea, lochs, mountains and moors – these are Skye’s sensible properties. It is not these I am seeking but those that transcend individual experience – the ‘otherness’ of its geography, the vulnerability of its ecology and its ephemeral hiddenness. I am searching for those passing moments, glimpses, transitory states when Skye reveals itself to me: its mystery, fragility and resilience – its essence. However, notwithstanding the various influences upon me, I seek to exploit the aesthetic voice of the camera by realising its fullest potential to capture what I would describe as the ‘eternal moment. In my view, unlike any other art form, the camera has the ability to translate, recognise and record the eternal moment. That is why I make my images in camera and do not subsequently seek to transform or idealise the reality of that moment through post-processing.