Framing The World Through My Photographs
Jessica Oakes – Reflective report
After symposium I had planned to base my FMP on family genetics after coming across a quote in Julia Hirschs, family photographs: content meaning and effects saying “ A family photographs contains a least two people: Physical features are an essential clue to kinship: Nose, eyes and foreheads, tell us what ties these faces to each other”. I had originally planned to explore the ways in which a family are connected by their physical features through a series of portraits. However, I found that I would not be possible to achieve the results I wanted, as I would have been expected to photograph each family member more than once which wouldn’t be achievable as they are spread across the UK, Ireland and France. This is a project that I would still like to further, however I would be best spreading this across a few years, which would be more financially viable, as I hope to have earnt enough money to progress.
As working with genetics was no longer possible financially, I decided to further a project in which I had started in a previous module, Phonar, in which I created a sound piece, which set out to start to give an understanding to people that don’t have dyslexia of what it may be like it have it. This piece stemmed from the frustration I feel when I hear “I’m having a dyslexic day”, when there is no real understanding of what it can feel like. As this would be my final piece I wanted to create which would display an understanding of dyslexia visually instead of working with sound. Although I had found methods by using my research, that had started to do this, I felt however that the imagery would not be strong enough for final pieces. One method in which I created was to use a kaleidoscope to create a fractured view; this had potential however connecting the use of the kaleidoscope to dyslexia was where I experienced a setback. Furthermore, once again my ideas had shifted somewhat. Due to set backs that I experienced within the early stages of this module, relying on other people with dyslexia a route that I had hoped to pursue could have further jeopardised my project, deciding this I shifted my idea to use my own experiences with dyslexia. By using strengths in creative topics I set out interpret the struggles I have faced.
Through the creative process of this work, I have experienced successes and many a fail. Although, facing set backs were disheartening at times, I have achieved outcomes that I am happy with. The images I have created through this module I have found to be surprising as it is far from my usual style within photography. Although, surprising I have found finding a new style within photography to be refreshing. By studying visual artist such Jeff Walls ‘a sudden gust of wind’ and Sam Taylor wood to inform my work. When setting out with this new direction I found it important that I understood more about my dyslexia, I used my own report in which I had in my first year at Coventry. As David Campbell had stated in an interview with Jonathan Worth ‘ a good piece of work is one that knows its context. In creating the images I used key words, which came up in conversation when asked about my dyslexia, I then used these to form the bases of each image. My intentions for this work were to use my strengths to display the barriers in which many others and I face. I do not dyslexia define who I am, however, I found that creating this work has helped me understand and work around the barriers that I let stop me in the past.
Although I have final outcomes that I am happy with, I have felt this module to be frustrating, as I don’t feel that I progressed through it to the best of my ability at times, due to set backs, allowing them sometimes to defeat me. In my ideal circumstance I would have like more that three final outcomes that I was happy with however I felt the other images create were not as strong to be put forward. Although I have three final outcomes the images visually were quite different, therefore, I have only exhibited one image, when asking other people that were not as involved in the creative process they felt that the image I have chosen to present in the degree show had the strongest impact.
If I were to further this body of work past this module I would plan to work with other peoples experiences of dyslexia to create further images. As no one case is the same with dyslexia the responses could potentially be vastly different.