This week we've been thinking about non human photography. This i don't really get. As humans have created the camera even if another being use it it's still at some point being connected to another human being. I understand the interest in the area of research and debate but i'm not interested in this area.
So concentrating on my project is foremost in my thinking at the moment as i've been behind due to my moving location and starting new jobs. I think i'm just about settling in and getting familiar with my surroundings. Thinking about this modules project about place and identity has got me thinking about why i move about and maybe it's coming to an end.
This current stage of my degree has moved on from the Peto garden at Iford Manor in Wiltshire to a project based on place and identity in Cumbria, they are both tourist destinations and it seems that my work is directed around this industry, and the choices i make within that sector with job and location choices. This gets me thinking about images that are associated with these industry. I choose places of work that i find interesting and want to explore and learn more about. When i first arrived here i was concerned about how the project would move forward and i'd planned on going for walks into the land and take image of that journey, but that doesn't seem to be the case, i have only ventured out towards the back of the farm so far, due to work commitment, energy levels and the fact we are going through a heat wave and it's really too hot to be walking at midday which is when i have my free time, the heat and work schedule has given me a case of heat exhaustion.
Working in hospitality within the tourist industry i've seen many images based around the tourist gaze, the images found around the area are all designed and marketed for the tourist. They want to take home a momentous of the place to validate and confirm that their experience was taken, whether to show others of their holiday or for their own pleasure of collecting souvenirs and momentous to gaze upon and reminisce of times gone by. I want to challenge the idea of the tourist picture postcard image.
"I am very wary of the picturesque picture, i get satiated with looking at postcards in local newsagents and at the picture books that are on sale, many of which don't bear any relation to my own experience off the place.....The problem for me about there picturesque pictures, which proliferate all over the place, is that they are a very soft warm blanket of sentiment, which covers everybody idea about the countryside....It idealises the country in a very unreal way." Fay Godwin. (Alexander, J. 2015) like Godwin my experience of this environment will not be of a picturesque picture, it will be experienced through hard work from working within the land and experiencing it everyday. Life here is not a picture postcard so i want to create images that are from this land but don't resemble this land. A landscape that is familiar yet unfamiliar, creating a land that doesn't exist which is made up from my imagination, interpretation and creative vision.
People travel from all over the world to visit Cumbria which has recently been given Unesco World Heritage status. Unesco describes the Lake District as:
The English Lake District
Located in northwest England, the English Lake District is a mountainous area, whose valleys have been modelled by glaciers in the Ice Age and subsequently shaped by an agro-pastoral land-use system characterized by fields enclosed by walls. The combined work of nature and human activity has produced a harmonious landscape in which the mountains are mirrored in the lakes. Grand houses, gardens and parks have been purposely created to enhance the landscape’s beauty. This landscape was greatly appreciated from the 18th century onwards by the Picturesque and later Romantic movements, which celebrated it in paintings, drawings and words. It also inspired an awareness of the importance of beautiful landscapes and triggered early efforts to preserve them.
The Lake District is renowned for its picturesque quality and beautify scenery. It is a very popular tourist destination.
The strategy for my current project is to learn more about this environment and how its changed over time and take photos of the people in their environment going about their work. I still want to experiment with multi images as i like the style it gives to the image, creating a layered story in one image. Showing the way of life here and how the land is used, historic land references from the past, geological formations and weather patterns. All these images will be merged together to create a narrative of place, showing its identity over a period of time.
I'm up early as the farmer woke me up, 5am. So thought i'd make most of the time whilst it cooler, we are in the middle of a heatwave to take some pictures. The mist was out this morning so i snapped a few shots but thought about what Gary said yesterday about what are you taking them for, what are you trying to say? I don't really know was the answer i just felt that i should be taking some images as i haven't taken many. Upon realising this i put down the camera and opened laptop to write, think and do some research. I research other artist in the area to see what kind of work is being produced.
Came across Ian Lawson a cumbrian photographer who has made a book called Herdwick.