Framing The World Through My Photographs

#Phonar Transformative story telling -Ireland, empty houses.

When first given this task I shied away from it as like usual I struggled to think of what I want to put across, although this task was from a few weeks ago I didn’t want to give up on it completely as I feel its a chance for me to get better at putting my thoughts onto paper.

After sitting in class and seeing the work produced by Ell Parkinson & Holly Constantine, I felt I wanted to use my own personal childhood photos.

I have been sorting though photos from my recent holiday to Ireland when I remembered of a certain photo that would be perfect, the photos was probably taken over 18 years ago, so I asked my mum if she could send me the photo.

This is my response to the task set this week:

Ireland, empty houses.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 19.40.56

His house sits at the bottom of a hill, just as it always has, as if everything were normal. A house filled with generations of childhood memories and with the completely unique and intriguing smell of whisky, fried food and farmyard. A home, old and scruffy, with a once open door, comforting and welcoming, now a house, untouched and without the life.

Stuck in a time lapse, where I repeat the games my mum invented as a child: Uncle Dan would collect up the hay bales for us to jump to and fro, hunting for mushrooms with Nana Neal for Uncle Dan’s dinner, the laugh I got from Uncle Dan when I coloured my wellies in with sparkly nail varnish, I hated green.

He was a man of few words, but many songs in the pub, but I never needed the conversations, or the whiskey he offered me since I was a babe, always happy sat in his company.

Now he lives in the pictures and jokes, framed on the mantle sat atop his tractor, me by his side merrily searching for missing cows in a vast field, while my parent follow on foot, exiled by Uncle Dan who deemed this a job for my eyes only.

I can still see Uncle Dan sat in his chair, always with his hat on, with a crackling fire, rustling the papers, his walking stick close by, passing the time till the cows needed his attention.

It’s been seven years since I could walk into that house to a warm smile and a hot toddy.


This task has been a massive turning point for me in my academic life. I feel incredibly proud of this piece of writing, as I have never been able to write like this without giving my notes to somebody to form them into sentences. I still needed advice the on grammar and structure of the piece. This is the first time I feel I can say I have done a piece of writing on my own, where as the script I wrote for the spoken narrative which had a heavy input from a friend who studies english and although I was my words my story it almost felt like the piece was on loan to me to use.I have since shown the piece to my mother and relatives in Ireland, they have said that they were really moved by the piece and have been sharing it around to the rest of the family.

I have found that some of the points made in the talk by David Campbell interesting. He talks about what you choose to leave out of an image as it is impossible to frame everything within on image. Choosing what to leave out of the image is just as important as what you choose to to depict. The image I choose is more suggestive, a house suggests the presence of human kind but doesn’t depict it. The text that I have wrote bellow the image is more literal, it tells us about who lived there and the memories created as well as the effect he had on the writer (me).


2 comments on “#Phonar Transformative story telling -Ireland, empty houses.

  1. Bernadette Oakes
    November 12, 2014

    That’s lovely Jess. That has captured it perfectly. Well done

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2014 by in #Phonar and tagged , .
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