Throughout the year I understood a lot more about my work and the ways I tend to approach new projects. I started this year not knowing what my project is, but kept researching and working inductively. I photographed my friends in order to see my ‘blurry’ project idea in images. I started off photographing my close friends in odd body positions on the ground, within the fields or laying on the staircase. I would then analyse the images, research the artists working within the same themes and try to understand what it is that I am trying to portray. Non intentionally, I kept coming back to the same location, which always felt welcoming and personal to me. As the time went by, the project gained more contextual research and I understood the concept better which switched my working approach deductively. I started photographing myself, because I understood that the location I kept coming back to felt personal, therefore I had to be there alone. Looking at Gregory Crewdson, Valie Export, Polly Penrose and Erwin Wurm work helped me to contextualise my idea and further develop the concept.
I started using my body as a performer and photographed myself in odd positions, which felt natural at the time. I kept thinking of the fig tree and its memories from my childhood. I would go to ‘the secret’ location and use that area as my own place to recharge my thoughts and feelings which were related to home. Having the access to the darkroom also meant that I had a creative freedom to experiment with the printing of images myself. I wanted to make the full creating process of the project to become part of my work. Accidentally, my darkroom prints came out pink which I didn’t intend at the beginning. After few tutorials with my tutors and external visitors I understood that the colour pink works well in my project, because pink represents the memories, childhood, femininity and it is also the same colour as the inside of a fig fruit. I understood that artists use natural or artificial colour in their work as a representation of certain mood, like Steve Macleod, for example. This darkroom ‘mistake’ lead me to thinking of the nature of my work and the meaning and value of traditional photographic techniques.
After developing the concept of my project, I learned to talk about my work to external visitors as well as peers. I also understood the importance of appropriate use of approach for relative competitions and galleries. I applied for many free and paid competitions including British Journal of Photography, Palm Prize, Another Graduate Show etc. with my current project and planning to carry on after I graduate. I learned that it is very important to keep on trying to get my work seen by industry professionals even if I don’t get selected for competitions, because some of the jury might remember my name or the work by glancing at it many times.
Recently, I have been involved in a traumatic personal experience which delayed my work and its development. I learned that it is very important to back up digital work twice and to store physical work in protective boxes or portfolios, in case of an unexpected accident at home. This event made me realise the fragility aspects of my project and its uniqueness. Once I loose my original portfolio prints, there is no other copy like such. This also encouraged me to invest in good frames and treat my body of work as an unique edition. I think it is important to print an image more than once in the darkroom if possible, in order to have a backup for of every print.
Overall, I have developed my creative style and approach, I learned to develop a project using both deductive and inductive research methods. I learned to overcome my personal difficulties in order to succeed without failing. I call myself visual artist, instead of photographer, because of the different approaches in my practise and the methods that I use.