To begin my new project I must first reflect on what I have done so far, and how it will influence my projects to come.
Influence from my last project came mainly from Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes. A deeply personal book, where he writes about his mother and his attempt at finding her true self, or as he describes ‘the truth of the face I had loved’ in the countless number of photographs he found in the apartment in which she died.
Barthes discovers the photograph he had been searching for, his mother at the age of 5, and beautifully articulates the connection that he felt, its meaning and the emotions that followed. In a way, Barthes book is no longer a personal affair, but instead becomes a lesson to us all about how we relate to photographs, how they covey a shared human experience and how they provide a gateway to the existence of ourselves and others.
Barthes explained how the photographs he found in the apartment were mere representations of his mother, a record of her appearance in passing years, and how that photograph of his mother at 5 years old, held elements of her personality and character. This is something we can all relate to, how we cherish our personal photographs, keeping them safe for many years, creating our own personal history and identity.
An honest photograph can create a memory. A memory that can be rediscovered when glanced upon again and again. This, however is not foolproof. Memories can often be created, distorted or completely replaced by a photograph.
For my upcoming project ‘In Sickness and in Health’ I am going to look deeper into the issues related to memory and mental health. I will explore my own memories and experiences and try to reflect that in my photography. I hope to use a pinhole camera to depict the memory of light on negatives and paper. I have lots of slide film of myself when I was younger, courtesy of my parents, which I hope to use with a projector in the studio testing multiple exposures and using both pinhole and digital formats.