Notes from 3rd Reading seminar

Ritchin F, (1999) ‘The pixelated press’, Our own image Aperture foundation Inc p7-25:

Ritchin used to be a picture editor before he wrote this text. This text, which was written in 1999, shows that the digital age is becoming more popular and has advanced even since it was written. The text was all about how digital manipulation is used. Ritchin thinks that retouching images is sometimes unethical, as there is lots of manipulation around that the viewer doesn’t know about. The text argues that the viewer should know the truth; if images are manipulated then we should be told. The text states that we have lost the decisive moment from production, like Cartier Bresson’s imagery was based on, and the decisive moment is now in post production instead.

 

 

Lister M, ‘Photography in the age of electronic imaging’, Photography a critical introduction, (Ed) Wells L Routledge London and New York 305-312:

Photography became popular over painting because it was seen as a true representation. The text was about how photography is losing its integrity. The text then covers the opinion of Martha Rosler, who questioned if photography was ever about the truth. She believes this because even in analog photography there was manipulation happening. Digital manipulation has just taken things a step further. There is the opinion that this is liberating as we can do so much now. Having read Lister’s text I wonder if his point is valid, will manipulation lead to an undermining look on photography?

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“Cameraless Photography

Our lecture on Friday (25th Jan) was about “Cameraless Photography”. At first everyone questioned what this meant, however it became clear.

The first question is how can photography be camera less?

Photograms:

-Have been around since the late 19th century

-created by placing the subject onto photographic light sensitive paper and exposing it

  • Man Ray:

-Man Ray came across this technique accidently

-he called them “Rayograms”

02_rayographs6

Click to see link

  • Joy Gregory:

-“The Language of flowers”

-Natural

joy gregory flowers_rosebud

Click to see link

  • Garry Fabian Miller:

-Colour

-Space

-Light

garry fabian miller media_1286269849280

Click to see link

  • Florius Neususs:

-A german artist who takes photograms of the whole body

-self portraiture

-plays with perception

-actually sits on the photographic paper

Florius Neususs cover_1735446c

Click to see link

  • Susan Derges:

-Some of her work was shown in the V&A “Shadow Catchers” exhibition

-Uses moonlight

-Nature within art

susan derges images

Click to see link

Collages:

  • John Stezaker:

-collages of found imagery

-I personally wouldn’t class this as photography as they aren’t his own images

-juxtaposition

-montages

john_stezaker_6

Click to see link

Digital Media:

  • Pavel Maria Smejkel:

-“Fatescapes”

-photographs places where historical iconic images were taken

-iconic war imagery, without the action

Pavel maria smejkel fatescapes-napalm-girl

Click to see link

  • Mishka Henner:

-Google earth

-Oil pumps

-“Pumped”

-Also did “Less Americans”

-Inspired by Robert Franks “The Americans”

-Taking the americans out of the image

-What information can you choose to miss out, and the image still make sense..?

Mishka Henner: Canal Street

Click to see link

  • Jon Rafman

-Google earth

-Humorous

-Unique and bizarre

-http://9-eyes.com

jon rafman tumblr_lteqndWkAM1qzun8oo1_1280

Click to see link

Task:

  • Collage using found imagery which shows the viewer what I like to do in my spare time
  • Using photoshop skills and google earth, make a poster/map of  my journey from home to college, highlighting 3 points on interest on route.
  • Photogram which illustrates me

My own camera less photography:

-Collage

Scan0038ZVDSAf

I was inspired by Jiri Kolar’s work

by Jiri Kolar

by Jiri Kolar (Click to see link)

“My Journey”

-Google earth

my journey

-Photogram

Scan0039wDasf

DSC_0672afsda

 

The lecture brought to the surface many ideas that I hadn’t thought about before. I could use these techniques in this module or in future modules, if I required camera-less photography techniques. I like the outcome of the task, using the three different techniques of collage, google maps, and photograms. I will keep these techniques in mind for future work and have thoroughly enjoyed practicing them for the task.

“The Woodsman and the Rain” Review

“The Woodsman and the Rain” is a Japanese film produced by Kadokawa Pictures.

It is clear what the film is about from the title and opening scene set in the woodland, the camera pans from right to left of the woods, eventually reaching the woodman. He is then interrupted by one of the filming crew from nearby, asking him to not use his chainsaw as it is interrupting their filming.

The following scene is of the woodsman listening to the weather forecast this links to the title “… … and the Rain”. The woodsman gradually gains an intuition for knowing when the rain is coming; this becomes useful at the end of the film when the Woodsman has been roped into help produce the ongoing filming. He was able to bring the community together and manage to finish the film in time, in between the bouts of bad weather.

The relationships that come from the woodsman helping out the film crew also helps the woodsman understand his son and leads him to allowing his son to lead his own life and make his own choices. The woodsman no longer thinks his son is a slacker; his mind was changed as he realizes the young director isn’t a slacker, and he sees similarities between the young director and his son. This back story shares similarities with the big hit film “Billy Elliot”; the father accepting his son for who he really is and what he wants to do in life.

There are also similarities between “The Man who went up a Hill and came down a Mountain” and this film, they both show that sometimes it take outsiders to bring the community together and for individuals to value the qualities of those close to them.

The film is slow moving, just like the film production is in the storyline. It ends with a similar scene to which it started, in the woods, the woodsman and his chainsaw. After all the excitement of filming and acting, the woodsman is back to his normal life. This is like real life; everything comes to an end, eventually. Thankfully the film did too.

Having seen the film and read this review (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1867566/), I disagree that the characters seemed real; I didn’t warm to their characters and didn’t feel part of it at all. The whole film had an awkward feel to it. It was described as a comedy however I wouldn’t even have realized unless I had read a review. There were very subtle comedic parts, however nowhere near enough to class it a comedy. The review described it as slow moving and I defiantly agree with that statement. Personally I would describe the film as painfully slow and awkward.

Even though the film was very nicely shot, and had beautiful scenery the storyline was limited and lead very slowly nowhere taking a long time to make a point about friendships and the community spirit. I felt the film was drawn out, and that the story was weak, and for this reason I was not impressed and found it hard to enjoy.

2nd reading seminar

Photography and evidence:

Levi Strauss D. (2003) The documentary debate: Aesthetic or anesthetic?  In Between the eyes Essays on photography and Politic Aperture USA 3-°©‐11:   Strauss has an interesting style of writing, he evidences everything which makes his texts hard to understand where he himself is coming from. He gives the reader example quotes from both sides of the argument; we are left confused to what he believes himself. The aesthetic or anesthetic… can a photograph do its job if its also beautiful? Or will there be an awkwardness between beauty and politics? If something is too beautiful do we still take it seriously? For example if we were to look at Salgado’s work there are two view people can have, firstly that he has good intentions but is too beautiful that you can’t take it seriously, however the second view is that his style of photography is more humanitarian and that he understands. The reader is still left wondering what Strauss’s view is. The whole text is about the push and pull of beauty. Eventually Strauss reveals that he thinks that we can do both, a photograph can be both beautiful and serious.

Tagg J (1988) A. means of Surveillance – The burden of representation Macmillan press  LTD 66-°©‐102: Photography has become an institutionalised power. Tagg believed that we have taken away the human aspect to photography. Tagg writes with so much context, he assumes the reader knows nothing about what he is talking about. This particular text is based around photography, its power and the state. There is a theory that we behave ourselves if we believe we think we are being watched, this is how our power structure keeps authority. Photography is used as a form of evidence. Photography is a truth, a fact. This is why photography is used for evidence and to keep files of criminals. However this theory doesn’t marry with a previous text of Barthes. August Sander this theory in his work when photographing “types”.

Photographys other histories:

Tsinhnahjinnie H J. When is a photograph worth a thousand words? In Photographys  Other histories (Ed) Pinney C & Peterson N duke University press London and Durham 40-°©‐52:   Tsinhnahjinnie writes about the visual Anthropology area. She also looks at Edward Said’s theory of orientalism, he believes we get wrapped up in the exotic of what we want things to be. We are on the outside, trying to make an exotic fiction of what the truth is. However Tsinhnahjinnie is actually part of the community, so she can actually talk about it. She belongs to the Native American culture, she believes she can say more than the photographs themselves. She believes that its the information within them, not just the photograph that is important. It is important to think about how you would begin to understand something you are not part of. After discussing this text I realise that you have to be careful not to put your prejudice onto something your not part of.

Levi Strauss D. (2003) The epiphany of the other in Between the eyes Essays on photography  and Politics Aperture USA 42-°©‐50:  Levi Strauss write lot about Salgado in this text, he believes he is less sensational and more observational. According to Levi Strauss, Salgado’s work is sacred. Salgado wasn’t trained as a photographer, he is more interested in the people, the images come after, he was bought up in similar situations,this makes his work less external than others. What I too from this text is that amazing photographers understand and absorb what they are photographing. They themselves become part of it. It is then that their images will show the importance that they want to demonstrate, and it is then that the viewer will feel truly engaged as well.

Assignment 1

Scan0040

I want to base my project about the awareness of self injury. I intend to show peoples experience, from there own personal experiences to knowing people and being friends with people who have suffered or are suffering. I want to raise awareness so that people understand, rather than thinking its EMO etc.

I realise this is a private issue, so I will assure people who share information with me that it will be kept confidential.

Self Injury Awareness day is the 1st of March (SIAD) , and is coming up, I would like to have a project for then. I feel this matter is world wide; people suffer alone, and I feel its important to show awareness and understanding of it. I feel that this website shows an insight to what my project is based around along with (SAID)
http://www.twloha.com/twloha-uk/
TWLOHA: To Write Love On her Arm

“To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.”

I feel that self injury is a very private matter, so my images will be kept confidential, any thoughts or discussion used will be anonymous. I understand that issues are hard to discuss, particularly if they are personal. Its because of the lack of understanding that I want to spread awareness with this project. People are scared to talk about it, because it is not talked about. If we were more open with sharing then maybe one day it wouldn’t be hidden, and then more would seek help and recovery.

Perhaps I could show this sense of privacy in my images, I do intend to hide peoples faces, not showing their identity, and keeping it hidden. Perhaps I could photograph peoples wrists with the orange ribbon that symbolises the awareness day. Or perhaps someones reflection, however never showing the front of them only the behind; similar to some of  René Magritte’s work. Perhaps I could photograph soft toys with their stuffing spilling out slightly, symbolising that society can tend to push people who suffer aside, like you would a damaged toy, avoiding it.  This is the case as people misunderstand why. This also illustrates that some issues stem from childhood. Perhaps I could photograph a flower tied with an orange ribbon, to demonstrate a sense of fragility, a fragility of life.

by Rene Magritte(click to see link)

by Rene Magritte
(click to see link)

Here is a link to a video that I feel explains how it can feel to be a self injury sufferer:

Source:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpG3Xubi1eE

Here is another link that a peer told me to research:

Its about depression, however I see a link to my project and how awareness can be brought to a subject. Here it is a story, to bring awareness to “depression”, my project is a book to bring awareness and understanding to self harm.

Scan0046

Levi Strauss D. :

(2003, The epiphany of the other in Between the eyes Essays,  Photography  and Politics Aperture USA 42-°©‐50)

I have chosen to use Levi Strauss’s “The epiphany of the other in Between the eyes Essays” text to guide me through this project. He writes about Sebastio Salgado’s work; a social documentary photographer. Salgado himself grew up in a similar situation to the people he photographs. He understands and empathises with his subject making him an inside himself. His work demonstrates an understanding to his viewers. His work is different, instead of photographing the drama like other documentary photographers, he is more interested in the people. For my project I want to raise awareness of self injury, and change peoples perceptions of people who do or have. As a teenager I grew up with friend around me, using it as a coping mechanism for troubles that come with adolescents. I feel I have an understanding, that this is used for coping with various situations, rather than it being “EMO” or attention seeking. I want to raise awareness and understanding in my images. That people aren’t doing it for attention, in fact they would rather stay anonymous, covering their scars.

Research:

Gunter Brus:

by Gunter Brus (click to see link)

by Gunter Brus (click to see link)

Gunter_Brus-viennois

by Gunter Brus (click to see link)

Gunter Brus , covered himself in white paste, and then carved into himself what appear like stitches, from the back of his head down over his face. the work was “intended to show a self-inflicted savagery aimed at taking the sins of the world on his own shoulders.” ( The Photo Book).  I was drawn to this work because of the power behind it, the viewer cant help but look and try to figure how. However I think if i was to produce similar work it would be too graphic for this project, and show the wrong message.

Karen Ingham:

Lost:

by Karen Ingham (click to see link)

by Karen Ingham (click to see link)

-Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Portfolio Gallery Edinburgh

“Karen Ingham makes both fine classic prints and, in a close collaboration with Cardiff’s Ffotogallery, has developed an installation of jewel-like light-boxes, housing small colour transparencies… photographs of intense reflection.
Ultimately, Karen Ingham’s photography has a severely moral purpose. It warns of and anticipates crisis, advises us to take care to heed the old stories of loss and abandonment that we might meet in a book of children’s fairy stories. Something is lurking beyond the frame of each photograph which, we need to guard against or eliminate.”
Extract from Lost, essay by Val Williams in Portfolio Journal of Contemporary Photography in Britain, No. 27, 1998, p. 72

I relise that Ingham’s work is exploring lose, and perhaps child abduction and other sinister options. However for my project i was contemplating looking at abandoned toys and how a broken abandoned toy being discarded to mirror how people who self harm (are broken) could be pushed to the side of society and ignored. I like the way that Ingham looks at the lonely bike above; it is the main subject in the image, it looks lonely and solemn, the viewer starts to wonder about its story.

Keith Arnatt:

Rubbish Tip

by Keith Arnatt

by Keith Arnatt (click to see link)

I looked at this image, for a similar reason to why I looked at Karen Ingham’s Lost series. I wanted to look at the idea of abandoned toys. This image was taken of a toy in a rubbish tip. The toy was discarded and thrown aside, no longer wanted.

by Keith Arnatt

by Keith Arnatt (click to see link)

When I came across this image, I saw a link with my project and the idea of anonymity. The shadow illustrates a person, and how they were once there, however the viewer is completely in the dark about the identity of this person. All that we can see is the shadow left behind. I want to take photographs of peoples shadows swell, as I feel that the images I take should show the viewer that self injury is not about attention seeking, and that these people would rather stay anonymous. I want my book to spread understanding, so that people feel that they can talk about their problems with others, without being judged. I want my book project to create a door for people to use to share their experiences and to feel that they can talk and people will understand.

I also look at imagery that wasn’t by a famous artist or photographer and was just on the internet as I felt this was important as these people are trying to spread awareness just like I am with my project.

Here is an image that is for the Awareness day:

by 27niky27

by 27niky27 (click to see link)

Here is a fact sheet about self injury and the stats:

facts sheet (click to see link)

facts sheet (click to see link)

A video that I think helps people understand what self injurers go through:

Whilst scrolling through the “self injury awareness day” Tumblr page:

I came across this image:

image sourced from tumblr (click to see link)

image sourced from tumblr (click to see link)

I wanted to start my shoots by taking inspiration from this image. I wanted to show homage to this image as I feel that it has inspired me the most. The image is solemn yet beautiful, however it also holds an important message (the awareness day). This is where my project will develop from and grow into my own.

This image below with the statistics of self harm reminds me a piece of Lucas Foglia’s work I saw whilst I was in Belfast Exposed. The pose of the young girl and the chalk board are so similar. They both have the same feeling of despiration and longing for help.

sourced from the internet (click to see link)

sourced from the internet (click to see link)

by Lucas Foglia

by Lucas Foglia (click to see link)

First Shoot:

Contact Sheet:

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

Selected images:

DSC_0514

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0535

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0549

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0552

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0560

by Jenny Stonely

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 18.59.20

I edited the bottom of the second image, using the clone tool. As you can see in the image here, I had fingers coming into the bottom of the shot. Using the clone tool I covered them with black.

I am pleased with how the shoot went, and I feel I have successful images. They have turned out how I imagined, as I wanted them to have dramatic lighting with a dark background so that the bright ribbon on the wrist would contrast with its backdrop. I also used a bandage on the wrist as this helped the ribbon stand out, as it had a bright white canvas to be displayed on. I feel the orange ribbon tied around the wrist illustrates my ideas, as the colour of the self injury awareness ribbon is orange. I didn’t want to show physical cuts or scars in my project as I felt this had all been done before, and has led people to the belief that its all for attention. I want to break this belief, and show the truth, that these people want to be anonymous, and don’t want to appear EMO. I like the ribbon as it isn’t a graphic image of the wrist, but a beautiful metaphor for self injury. I like the lighting I used from the side, as it creates a shadow onto the other wrist, perhaps this is to show the aftermath of self injury, and the guilt that comes with it.

Second Shoot:

Contact sheet:

contact sheet actual_Page_1

contact sheet actual_Page_2

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0571edit DSC_0575edit DSC_0579edit DSC_0582edit editCSC_0689 DSC_0585

This photo shoot worked really well, I am pleased with how it went and I have images I am happy with. I particularly like the images where the black background is very dark. As I was using a spot light the black in parts appears a dark grey and you can see the texture of the black surface. I prefer the images where the larger aperture has created a shallow depth of field so that the background doesn’t have texture; this works well in the first selected image.  However this wouldn’t work for the other angles I have shot from as the rose is laying on the background and is to close for the same technique to work. For future shoots I am considering purchasing a larger backdrop as the black didn’t fill all of the background. To fix this I used photoshop and the stamp tool to create more of the black background.  I also used the correcting with camera RAW and made slight alterations to shadow deepening and exposure; this was to make the image bold and make the colours stand out from the black backdrop. For my next shoot I plan to use different flowers and orange ribbon, as I would like to carry this idea on further. Self injury is a coping mechanism for when life gets too much, this is gives them a sense of relief. I wanted to use the flowers as they are a visual metaphor that humans are delicate just like flowers.

Third Shoot:

Contact Sheet:

contact sheet_Page_1

contact sheet_Page_2

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

Selected images:

DSC_0593 DSC_0598

DSC_0629 DSC_0622

DSC_0621edit DSC_0615edit DSC_0618edit

Having produced this shoot I have images that I like from the first flower, however I am not so sure about the second flower; I don’t think I got the shot I wanted. After having a think technically I realised that i wanted to work on the lighting a little more. I like the image from this shoot where the flower is lit from above and we view the ribbon and flower from below. However the ribbon is in the shadow of the flower. I have come up with the solution that I require a small light from below to light the ribbon slightly; perhaps a torch. I will try this in my next shoot.

Fourth Shoot:

Contact Sheet:

contact sheet

Selected images:

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0716 DSC_0722 DSC_0727

I am much happier with how these images turned out and I feel this has been a successful shoot. Using the new lighting system technique worked well, as the ribbon doesn’t look completely shadowed now. Whilst doing the shoot I realised that I needed to shield the spot light from above as it was hitting the background as well and making it a dark grey. As you can see in the image below I made a shield from card and attached it to the side of the light, this stopped light hitting the backdrop. You can see in the image below the set up to the shoot (flower, backdrop, spot light, shield and torch)

Setup

Setup

Fifth Shoot:

Contact Sheet:

contact sheet_Page_2

contact sheet_Page_3

contact sheet_Page_4

contact sheet_Page_5

Selected images:

DSC_0656 DSC_0662

DSC_0670 DSC_0666

DSC_0694 DSC_0686 DSC_0675edit

DSC_0698 DSC_0700 DSC_0708 DSC_0712

I like these images of abandoned toys as they symbolise that society can tend to push people who suffer aside, like you would a damaged toy, avoiding it.  This is the case as people misunderstand why people self injure. It also shows that these issues can also stem from childhood. I like the subtle orange ribbon on the toys wrists as well, I think this worked well. Using a torch I managed to light up the toys more than the backdrop, drawing attention to them. They look solum and sad in the darkness; as if they have been left by the child who doesn’t want their broken toy anymore.

Sixth Shoot

Shadow:

Contact sheet:

contact sheet_Page_1

Selected images:

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

Looking back over this shoot, having done it; i realise that there is a double shadow. I would like to re-shoot this, as I realise now having the main room light on as well as the spot light to create the shadow; created a double shadow.

Seventh Shoot

2nd Shadows:

Contact sheet:

contact sheet_Page_1

contact sheet_Page_2

Selected images:

DSC_0813edit

DSC_0800edit

This worked a lot better, I am pleased with these images and their lighting; as I just used the spot light on its own. I wanted to show the idea that people who self injure want to stay anonymous. I  think that with the book I want to produce may get people may get together, like a book club, to talk about the book. I believe that the topic of self injury should be spoken about more, so that people understand the truth about it; rather than thinking its attention seeking. I think that if people feel they can openly talk about these issues, more people will step forward openly who suffer; and more people will get help. In this shoot I wanted to illustrate the anonymity and the shadows people are hiding in. I want to show this, as I want to change how people feel, and maybe one day these people won’t feel they have to be anonymous anymore. I like the motif I have through my shoots, even though its more subtle in some shoots (like this one). In all my images I include the orange ribbon; here it is in there hair, which you can see the shadow of the ribbon shape.

Eighth shoot

Reflections:

Contact Sheet:

contact sheet_Page_2

contact sheet2_Page_1

Selected images:

DSC_0785editreflection DSC_0746edit reflection

DSC_0746edit reflection cropped

I like the idea and concept behind this shoot. However I don’t think the backdrop worked; its too distracting and isn’t very aesthetic. I would prefer it if the door want there and it was just the turquoise walls.  It stands out as being very different from the other shoots as it is quite bright. I’m not sure if it would go with the other shoots in a book, as the others work together, and this one stands out from the others as it hasn’t got a dark shadowy area. I produced the final images using photoshop. I wanted the reflection to appear like one of Rene Magritte’s images. I layered the two images on top of each other, and then used the masking tool and the paint brush to paint out the reflection and to reveal the other images reflection from underneath. I think this is successful, I can really see the comparison to Rene Magritte’s work.

Ninth Shoot:

Love on her arms:

Contact Sheet:

better contact sheet_Page_2

better contact sheet_Page_3

Selected images:

by Jenny Stonely

by Jenny Stonely

DSC_0862 DSC_0866 DSC_0874 DSC_0879 DSC_0887

I like how the shoot worked, and the concept behind it; tripping away the stigma and cover ups of self injury and mental health. I imagine using these images throughout my book, to split up the different shoots; it would work like a chapter number. I think the lighting is successful as the wrist, love and orange ribbons are coming out of the darkness into the light.

Tenth Shoot:

Third Shadow shoot:

DSC_0900

I realised that from my shadow shoots I only had two images that I wanted to use. For all the other shoots I ad at least three. I imagine that I would like to use them as chapters in clusters of three. This is why I produced a third shadow shot. I can now use each cluster of images in chapters with three images.

I came across this website at the beginning of my project and realised that collecting my own experiences from people may help others understand. I wanted to collect my peoples experiences myself, as I felt that if people starting taking part in my project themselves then the awareness had already started to spread.

Here is the link:

http://brokenandscarred.wordpress.com/category/why-self-injury/

A collection of real life experiences I collected from people:

“I first cut in year 8, and then stopped when my boyfriend and I started dating, it was because things were really hard-friendships, me changing and I didn’t know who I was. I started again recently because of the same reasons, but with more shit, like stuff going down with my boyfriend, feeling like shit because of my dad telling me I’m not worth anything and should just give up basically, so that’s what I felt like doing…I haven’t for a few weeks until the other night when my dad started up again, school suddenly hitting that I’m doing shit, and my mind goes a-rambling. It makes me feel I don’t know…, good, because it’s one thing I can control, and it’s a physical outlet of emotional pain…it’s something I can sort out myself and it’s my choice-after I hate myself for it, because it’s not good, it’s ugly and I have to cover them up, but at the time of doing it, it helps, it’s pretty addictive, and you don’t realise what you’ve done to yourself until after they’re cleaned, it’s easy to go too deep, and the scars aren’t pretty.”

“It’s just keeping going sometimes. It’s the way people react too, some of your closest friends threaten to kill you if you touch a knife again, when they just assume it’s the worst thing to do, rather than how it helps-they only see what they want to see, rather than trying to see how you see.”

“It was hard at first, dealing with all the shit in my life, and there was a lot of it. Problems from my past, the worry for the future and the day-to-day stuff that just brought me down. I was 16 years old, I had just done my GCSE exams, and broke up with my boyfriend, and everything at home was kicking off. I felt like I had nothing, counselling wasn’t helping and as for Antidepressants, they made me more suicidal so I couldn’t even have them. The first time I ever cut was a bit of a blur, it just kind of happened, and for the first time in weeks, I felt a sense of calm and peacefulness in my life, I was relaxed enough to sleep. I hid the cut, from as many people as I could, I confided in those closest to me at the time, and some understood, and some looked at me as though I was a completely different person. Then the cut got infected, I wasn’t looking after it, and that is the point that I had to tell my parents, I have never seen them be so disappointed in me. But it didn’t stop me; by this point I had a few more cuts to add to my collection. It had become and addiction. I didn’t cut the normal way that people think, with a razor. The pain from that is short and over in seconds. I scratched over and over in the same place until it cut the skin and it bled. Sometimes I would re-open old wounds, to make it look like I didn’t have any more scars. I told people I was fine, I told people I would stop; sometimes I lied and said I had stopped, but I couldn’t. It got to a point where I knew it had to stop, before it got serious, I was seeing counsellors, psychiatrists, therapist and none of them could get me to stop. One night I was sat in my room and I wanted to cut myself, on my windowsill was a bottle of vodka, that became my escape, nobody knew that I was drinking alone in my room at night, but it helped, and soon I didn’t even think about cutting. The vodka ran out eventually and with no chance of getting more I had no release, out of the cycle of cutting I did everything to not slip back…I found that after a short while I didn’t even feel the need. But now I live with the fear that I may slip back into it. Two years on and the scars on my arms are thick and horrid, I fear that everyone can see them and will judge me for it, I see them and I hate myself for it. Some nights when things are particularly bad I want to cut again, but then i remind myself of the constant reminder of the pain. The emotional pain, each scar on my arm tells a story, a story so deep and drowned in pain and anguish that i cant even bring myself to cut again and have yet another reminder of the pain. I know people will see the scars, and they will brand me ’emo’ and with the way I dress, the music I listen too and the way I act, it gives them more fuel for the fire, but I am me, and it took me 17 years to work out who I truly was, but I get judged everyday for it.”

“First started in 6th form, stopped last year. No knives or anything, jus punched walls and bust my fists up tones. Mainly blamed myself for things going wrong at the time a relationship went bad I guess and I didn’t take it well! I wouldn’t carry on anymore, but back then I carried on because I felt it was my fault. Turns out it wasn’t. I used it to cope with it and it didn’t work. My best friends knew but couldn’t really stop me. And yeah they did understand I thought it was the only way. Advice for a friend: errrm, think it through logically. Self harm is an irrational move..90% of the time its not your fault. I’m quite blunt really so id end up just talking them down and get them to see it from my eyes”

“I grew up with a girl from down my road and we used to be good friends. She was always really chirpy and fun but was pretty lonely at school – she spent breaks indoors with the teachers (I was at a different primary school to her). At secondary school we were put in the same tutor group and things started out fine; she made friends, fitted in with our group, etc, until year 8 when we realised she was being bullied again. The bullying got so bad she started missing school, and becoming ’emo’. I still got lifts with her family into school and saw her and she began to change drastically over secondary school. I remember going into the living room of her house and she had bands of thick scabs around her wrists – they went up like rings of crusty, red blood and it made me feel guilty that I use to be her childhood friend and now she was a whole other person and began self harming. At the same time, another friend in secondary school would cut but not to the same degree; she did small cut sup and down her arms but they weren’t thick ones. She was bullied by the same people, but missed less school. One day she attempted suicide by overdose and had her stomach pumped. She was taken to a care unit, or something along those lines.”

I was a lot closer to the first girl than the second, but both made me feel horrible, like I could have done this or should have done that, but they also made me think how selfish they were. I hated how they just tried to waste their lives and didn’t think about who worried about them, or (in the case of my childhood friend) who defended them and put up with everything she left her to deal with at school (people asked a lot of questions, the bullies would throw insults about her, make up rumours, teachers would ask if everything’s ok at home etc).

I understand that some just can’t cope, and some don’t see what their actions do to others, but I was a teenage girl and they were just going to kill themselves and that made me feel so helpless and guilty. I tried but couldn’t help, and all I could do was try and ignore the cuts and hope that the ‘proper’ help she was getting would work and she’d be ok.”

“Ok, here goes. I have known people that are close to me that have always self harmed, some how at the point when my girlfriend and I hit the point when everything was shit, it came into conversation, she told me she used to alot and she stopped, the next day she told me she had cut again, I told her I would equalise it, and that’s how it has gone on for a while, when she hits bottom and cuts I equal it………
Some times I think that other people do it these days for attention, rather than what ever, I know I don’t do it for me I do it to make her stop.”

“There was a girl in my school who, in Years 7&8 began to get into the ’emo’ scene; she would wear multiple wristbands up her arms, with band logos, offensive slogans and random pictures. A lot of people thought she was doing it because the ’emo’ look was seen as popular at the time and she was bullied pretty badly for it. It wasn’t until Year 9 when she took her wristbands off the week she was made to do swimming that we realised she’d been cutting her arms and the wristbands had hidden the deep cuts and scars. It wasn’t till year 11 that she told some of us that her dad had died in the summer before secondary school and one of her older friends had told her that cutting (and physical pain in general) makes the emotional pain better.”

“Basically since late puberty I’ve struggled with mental health issues, feeling down, constant low mood – that kind of thing. I had a massive spell in college of being really hyperactive one minute, and really withdrawn the next. This went on throughout most of college and pretty much affected my work in a really negative way. When my first serious girlfriend told me she used to cut herself as a way to cope with bad feelings, I started doing it. I did it fairly heavily for a period of a couple of years, and as a result my upper thighs are a mass of scars of various sizes, some surprisingly large.

Throughout my teenage years I always was moving from one thing to another and was always active as I got really bored, really fast and could not handle the boredom. When it came to the point of me running out of things to do, as I got older, I started experimenting with drugs, and definitely took them more often than I should. I put myself in dangerous situations often whilst being too naive to realise it. It wasn’t until I crashed my car whilst drunk and ended up in court, and on another occasion got stamped on and mugged by several people, and nearly stabbed, that I started to realise how much of a mess I’ve been getting myself into. Memories like that really haunt me nowadays. I’d change quite a lot if I could but all I can do now is learn from experience.

More recently, after a period of around a year with no major mental health issues I’ve been struggling with really heavy anxiety. Being male and 20-25 puts me in the highest risk age range for developing mental health issues. I see a doctor pretty regularly for checkups and treatments and the like, I just can’t wait till it’s all behind me.

With all that in mind, it’s not all doom and gloom and I do still value life. I love my family more than anything and I usually get massive enjoyment out of things like extreme sports and being in the outdoors. It sounds really depressing I suppose but its not been something condensed into an acute period, all that is dragged over a long space of time, and a large part of it just seemed like ordinary life at the time. So yeah now I’m just trying to fight my way out an anxiety disorder so I can get on with snowboarding, playing guitar, seeing my family, kayaking, climbing, and everything else that makes life worth dealing with.”

“I guess I didn’t really know anyone who self-harmed until I went to secondary school but soon after I got there I found out one of my friends was self-harming and I remember not really understanding at all what was going on. She didn’t really care, she had so many bigger things going on in her life, and she acted like it was fine if people noticed but it was just as fine if they didn’t.

After she left the school and moved away I became friends with a different group and for ages I didn’t notice how many of them self-harmed until one of my friends brought it up. I remember she was so casual about it and told me about all the times she’d lied about how she’d injured herself. She didn’t see it as a big deal and although she didn’t really seem to think it helped, it made her feel better for a few seconds. I guess I still didn’t know how to help her with that but by then I learned more about being there for my friends, even if all I could do was be there.

Then whenever I went through tough times I wondered if they knew something I didn’t, I kind of wondered if it would help but after talking to my friends who had self-harmed I didn’t really see that it had helped them much but I guess it’s still often there in the back of my mind. I still know some of my friends self-harm but I don’t really know how many, and although I can be more help to my friends than I could have been in year 7, I’m not a counsellor and people are trained to do that side of it… I kind of see it as friends’ jobs just to always be there and do their best.”

“Erm well my personal experience is that since growing up I’d always been the big kid, the fat one always trying to fit in and I would try anything just to be ‘normal’ within my friends so I wouldn’t get bullied. I got bullied for what I wore, especially if I wore something that I felt comfortable in. I got teased for it for years especially in high school. When I was 14 my family had basic problems, like any other family, but I always thought it was my fault that the problems persisted. They would fight everyday constantly. My dad punched me one time, he’d hit my sister and my sister had made my dad have to go to hospital for stitches because of their fights. I would stay out the way and blame myself. i started self harming when I was about 13, not only being bullied by the way i looked/wore clothes. I would be cutting with anything i could find until i was about 17. I went through counselling but that didn’t help so i drew to keep myself distracted. I looked for remedies in my hobbies and it worked. That’s basically all I can think of without rambling too much

And the other story is that of my old best friend. I met her online at 13/14 and met her a few times. She started with being Cyclothymia and went on to develop bipolar and various other mental illnesses. She was the only person I would rely on, basically back to my experiences we would talk everyday for about 3 years. As her symptoms got worse she would fall further away from me. Become more distant, not talk, and forget things. Eventually it got to the point when she wouldn’t even know who I was which obviously broke my heart. She would cut severely and have to have stitches and stay in hospital about 85% of her time. She overdosed too many times to count, tried to commit suicide too many times and eventually she got all the meds that she needed and now i don’t even know who she is and we no longer speak.

Believing in that one person gets you through it all but that person seems to be forgotten when you’re ‘cured’ as it were.”

“Ok my experiences with Self-harm. 
I started self-harming when I around 13 – 14. It was cuts on my wrists with a pencil sharpener blade I had unscrewed. 
It was mainly down to bullying at school, I felt quite helpless. It didn’t help that I was actually incredibly naive. I wanted to believe that everybody could get along and didn’t understand why I was being treated so horribly for no reason what so ever. 
When my sister first saw that I had been self-harming she flipped at me, saying that I should stop looking for attention and that I was faking. I found this confusing as I had actually cut my wrists and had been purposely hiding it and not telling anybody. 
I think my sister thought that being so aggressive and hateful of it would make me stop, but all it did was make me better at hiding it. I would focus on my legs and sometimes around the top of my feet. I would also cut the area under my belly button. 
I eventually started using blades from shavers. They’re so much sharper and are easy to hide. When I was 14 a traumatic thing happened, basically was raped and abused by a 24 year old man when I was 14. Got pregnant because of it and had an abortion. Spent most of the next 4 years hating myself because I couldn’t forgive myself for having the abortion. 
When I finally went to the counsellor I was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and an anxiety disorder. I got worse. It became such a necessary coping mechanism. I know how the chemicals in the body work, when you are hurt there is an endorphine rush, it makes you feel happy, in control. That’s why people can’t stop, it is literally an addiction, it makes them feel like they have control over something in their life when everything else feels lost to them. 
When I got with my boyfriend I self harmed twice, during the first and second year of our relationship, due to mini breakdowns, the second time he convinced me to go get help from a counsellor. 
After that I got a lot better and that was when I was 17 – 18. I had spent so many years relying on myself, terrified to talk to anyone except friends.
I have only self harmed once since going to a counsellor and that was about a month ago. My anxiety disorder is getting a lot worse again and during a panic attack I scratched my wrist to the point that it bled. 
It’s always there in the back of my mind. When I get really low I think about doing it, it’s just the difference between thinking and doing that matters for me. 
Want to say, I’m not suicidal, that’s a separate thing from self-harming all together. If anything self-harming made me feel like I cope better with life.”

“I have never really talked about this but think its great your trying to raise awareness. I started self harming when I was 14, it started with pouring hot was on myself then I moved to using a razor blade I cut the safety plastic off or if in public I would just pinch myself really hard or pick at my skin. I think it started because I just genuinely hated myself and felt out of control and by hurting and getting angry with myself I couldn’t hurt anyone else. I then used stanley knife blades I hide them in my jewelry box and when I felt like I wasn’t coping I would cut myself it used to be random most the time but I did it at tops of my legs and arms and my stomach and even carved words over and over so I could hide them at all times, I wasn’t stupid I used to wash the blade and wash cuts if started looking infected but never told anyone as felt pathetic. I stopped for awhile I don’t know why I think because was at a fairly happy point in life but now I find when I get stressed or in situations I cant control/handle I find myself just wanting to cut myself again though haven’t now I long time the urge is still there I don’t think it goes. I think people think it is a phase or attention seeking but that doesn’t help, I collapsed at work earlier this week which is probably what prompting this as I had to have an ECG done by one of my colleagues which revealed a fair amount of scars on my stomach including the words fat cow I have engraved now from going over so much, I was embarrassed as it obvious prompted a question to how/when did them which I answered honestly but could see the face of my friend and know it will stay between us but it does feel shameful, I guess I control my feelings in other ways now which include having control on certain things and unhealthy habits, this isn’t because I don’t want to cut myself but just hurt myself in a less evidential way, I would say definitely not a phase or a image thing it is quite a distressing and tormenting feeling of disgust and guilt every time and though that doesn’t go away from just cutting/harming yourself it does ease the pain for a while.”

“I know 3 people who have self-harmed, two of them are girls who I met at university and one is a guy I’ve known a while but don’t see very often. One of the girls studied textile design, which required her to look at fashion magazines and study the fashion industry, when I met her at the end of first year she was just getting over a long battle with anorexia yet despite this she was one of the loveliest people I knew. From what she told me (she was fairly open about it when she wasn’t feeling down) she would cut her wrists and purposely stab her self while sewing when she felt bad about herself as it distracted her and acted as a kind of release. People suggest that crushing ice gives you the same feeling but for her that simply wasn’t true, only medication and concentration on life’s positives was the only way to overcome it. Interestingly she said she could never understand anorexic people when she was younger and it was only until after she began contemplating what anorexia was that it began to effect her.
The second girl I only found out through a friend that she cut her wrists too, only enough to lacerate the surface of the skin, nothing too deep. This came as a surprise to me because she seemed very head strong and decisive in what she wanted out of life. I knew she had anger management issues and she could be an awkward character to a lot of people, I think the combination of self-righteous and unforgiving personality lead to her pushing a lot of friends away from her, the worst seeming to be after dropping out of university and getting a full time job (the longest she had ever stayed at one job) and falling out with her colleges so she had to go back home and stay at her parents. My understanding of her was that after being so good at pushing people away that she would suffer periods of self disdain and hurting herself would act as a release or self punishment, but that’s just a guess.
My final friend was the worst at causing himself pain, he is a devout catholic, verbal royalist and boasts about his ability to debate quite freely. When I first met him his sharp whit and intelligent personality made him an instant friend, while on a cadet camp a couple of male friends were messing about and wrestled each other into him who he cursed and told them to ‘go away you bloody gays’ or something to that effect. Because of this I had the preconception that he was a massive homophobe, as is the generalised perception of right wing royalist Catholics, but few years later I discovered that he was a homosexual and during a heart to heart he told me of how difficult he found it that God had made him gay yet his life was and still is centred around his strong beliefs, which made it fairly clear that it was wrong. He described to me that he would take a belt and push pins through it (I always imagined sewing pins but now I think of it drawing pins were probably a bit more practical) then to either punish himself for the way that he is or as a distraction he would tighten the belt around his upper leg and ware it as he went about his daily business. I’m not sure how often he would do that but he did realise how silly it was as a way to deal with the situation but that was the only way he felt he could. Over time he began to accept himself a bit more and I don’t think he still does it, he still holds on to his beliefs vehemently. 
In my opinion self harm is a form of release from suffering; by causing physical suffering on yourself you distract yourself from a perceived mental suffering and so even if you wish to help and ask them to stop who are you or anyone else to tell them otherwise? Only by showing the hurt individual that there are other ways of dealing with pain that are less destructive that you can help them.”

“I have always suffered with anxiety and depression issues sine I was young. I grew up living with just my mum, who herself had been emotionally abused by her mother so was always fighting between her experience of what a mother is and making sure I was never treated the way she was. My dad had left before I was born and despite trying to form a relationship, it never worked out. This always made me feel inadequate and like I wasn’t worth anyone’s time. 
My step dad came in the picture when I was 9 and I started to have my anxiety etc lessened however my grandmother then being to cause problems between all of us and make rifts in the family which are still there to this day. 
This all basically meant that anxiety had been silent stalked of mine since I was very young. I always thought that once I got away from home I would be better however when I went to Uni, I fell deeply into depression and anxiety. I withdrew from people and basically the world. It got to a point where I couldn’t sleep, could barely eat half a meal a day and I practically felt nothing at all. This meant I started to cut myself. I never thought I would ever harm myself due to the stigma around it but it was the only way I could feel anything, even though it was so fleeting. 
I finally managed to open up to my boyfriend about everything and he immediately told me to seek help which, thankfully, I did and led to me to leave that university, stop cutting and come to a University closer to home where, although I am still dealing with a lot of similar issues, I am in a better place.”

“I never honestly thought I’d fall into self harm. I’d seen family and friends hurt themselves and I always thought that it was an attention thing, I was so wrong. When I was 14 family life got difficult; I had no friends and my parents were always arguing. Then one day I just stopped crying, the pain was all inside and I had no way to let it out. So, I picked up a blade which I had broken from a sharpener. Within a few months I couldn’t see past the blood on one leg, yet no one knew. It took three years for me to fully stop self harming; picking up anything sharp I could find. I once even resorted to broken glass. That’s when I knew that it’s not always for attention; over the entire period of it happening only a few friends who had guessed ever found out about it. I’m not an “emo”, I never did it to fit in with a group. In fact, my scars make me feel sick, it took me until late 2012 to look at them properly, when my boyfriend finally convinced me that they are just a reminder of how life is better. Self harming is only for people who can’t find a way to cope any more, it doesn’t mean that I even wanted to die, it was my way of releasing some of the pain so that I could keep on living.”

“When I was thirteen years old, our family went through a very traumatic experience. My father had meningitis, and the doctors told us that they were almost positive he was going to die. I gradually developed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Adult Depression. While my father was in the hospital, I washed my hands so frequently, that they were purple and blue, and they were bleeding. I developed a taste for inhalants, (particularly gasoline), I shocked myself, and I peeled batteries and sucked on the acid. Everything was just a blur. I didn’t feel like I was making a conscious decision when I used the drugs. I mutilated myself by sticking pushpins into my hands, forearms, and fingers. I started cutting. I became a very angry and violent person. My father was released from the hospital. He sustained some minor brain damage and he lost seventy-five percent of the vision in his right eye. He became more unreasonable and short-tempered. He would frequently taunt me and mock me. I began acting out in school. When I was sixteen years old, I was transferred to a mental institution to treat depression and homicidal and suicidal tendencies. During my stay, I met a lot of teenagers who were worse off than I was. Everyone was assigned their own therapist, and everyone had to get blood work done every morning. I befriended a girl who was being treated for the abuse of Ecstacy. She told me that she preferred talking to me instead of her therapist. It didn’t take long for other kids to ask for my help. The mental hospital saved me. I was able to change my violent nature into something more positive and understanding. I stopped going to therapists when I turned 19, and I’ve been helping others with their problems ever since.”

Book Idea and notes:

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Looking back on my imagery I have taken, my project links to another text that we read at the beginning of term…

Levi Strauss D. (2003) The documentary debate: Aesthetic or anesthetic?  In Between the eyes Essays on photography and Politic Aperture USA 3-°©‐11:

The aesthetic or anesthetic… can a photograph do its job if its also beautiful? Or will there be an awkwardness between beauty and politics? If something is too beautiful do we still take it seriously? For example if we were to look at Salgado’s work there are two views people can have, firstly that he has good intentions but is too beautiful that you can’t take it seriously, however the second view is that his style of photography is more humanitarian and that he understands. The reader is still left wondering what Strauss’s view is. The whole text is about the push and pull of beauty. Eventually Strauss reveals that he thinks that we can do both, a photograph can be both beautiful and serious.

I believe my work is both beautiful and serious. The images are eye catching and have an aesthetic factor, however they also have a strong point and message to the viewer. I think my image are both beautiful and hold a strong serious message; this is why I have linked this text in as well.

Book research:

Joel Sternfeld “On this site”

-A book about places where crimes were committed

-At first they just look like interesting landscape shots

-However the text then tells the viewer the cold truth

-the text create an eerie feel

-The work has depth and power

by Joel Sternfeld

by Joel Sternfeld (click to see link)

Chattanooga, The Green Factory by Pierre Bessard:

-A tactile book

-A book within a box

-pages fold out and reveal more picture

-great aesthetics

Maybe I could include some of these qualities in my book…

Perhaps by creating an interesting front cover, the acetate window and orange ribbon, ribbon bound, and acetate text over the images.

Physical Book tests:

Concertina Book:

DSC_0912 DSC_0913 DSC_0914 DSC_0915 DSC_0916I don’t think I will be making a concertina book, as I don’t like how the edge of the book looks where all the folds are. I found  it difficult to make the folds the same and make it look professional.

Folded and bound with thread:

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This is a very simple style, folded and then stitched together. I think this worked well as it is so simple, however I don’t think it will work particularly well for this project. Perhaps a small leaflet would be a better project to use it on.

Japanese Stab bound:

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I liked how the japanese stab binding worked. It holds the book together firmly and efficiently. I wonder how difficult it will be with a thicker book, however I am up to the challenge, if it proves too difficult I may have to stab less holes.

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Here I was experimenting with acetate. I would like to print peoples experiences like a window through to the pictures. I want the viewer to be able to see through their eyes as they look at the image, However I also want to the viewer to be able to see the image alone without the writing. I wanted to see what colour to print onto the acetate. I tried black, orange, grey etc; I was expecting the black not to show up because the image background was black, however it seemed to work quite well. I will have to see if it still works with the print quality from the bureau.

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Here I tried writing with white onto the acetate, I wanted to see how white ink would work, but white ink doesn’t exist in printers, so I had to use a pen. I am not sure about the hand written writing so think I will choose a printed colour instead. DSC_0921 DSC_0922

Above are a few images where I used the acetate off to one side, however I prefer the acetate when it is covering the whole image; this makes it feel like the viewer is reading through other experiences, seeing through their eyes.
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I like how the stab binding looks, however i would like to try it next with ribbon.

Stab Bound with Ribbon

DSC_0907Here I tried stab binding with ribbon, this proved difficult as the holes were small and the ribbon was thick, the ribbon caused friction against the thick pages and it was difficult to produce such an intricate stab bind as before. Here I have produced just two holed stab bind. I like the aesthetics however it isn’t as durable as the original stab binding.

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DSC_0910I like the use of the heading for each chapter on the left, as this introduces my ideas and the concept. The acetate works well over the image, however when I produce my final book I will cover the whole page with less of a boarder.

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Photographs chosen for my final book:

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I really like how I have different chapters of images in clusters of three, these are then split with chapter markers (the images where the orange ribbon is coming off to reveal LOVE). I think the chapter breaks work well along with the chapter titles, to give the viewer time to think. The images work together well even though they are so different. I have used the orange ribbon throughout my shoots, the subtle appearance of the ribbon in all of the shots is my motif; it links the work together.

PDF to print from:

I created this pdf using Adobe InDesign

book FINAL FINAL edited writing intro

There is a strange format because I wanted my book to be printed on double sided paper ready for japanese stab binding. The only paper that the print bureau had for double sided printing was A4, I wanted my book to be A5 so therefore when I sent it to the bureau I put it into an order where two page fit onto one, and the order seems strange as to print what I wanted on the back of each page the format got a little complicated.

Why I chose to produce a physical book the way I did:

I produced a physical book as I want people to get together, and discuss the physical book, to share their experiences and for it to become more of a social interaction, a support network. I thought about the possibility of  interaction digitally, however I like the idea of actual face to face interaction and support, like a club.

Its black with an orange bind, to symbolise that awareness can bring light to the shadows and that this subject doesn’t have to be kept in the dark anymore, it can come into the light. To be spoken about freely, so that people feel they can get help without being judged. Originally wanted to bind with ribbon, however having tried using it in a dummy realised that it was too thick to bind with.

The window through to the orange awareness ribbon, symbolises that inside will be the viewers window through to awareness and understanding of the subject.

I wanted to create a portable sized book so that people can get together and discuss their issues, like a book club. I want my book to be portable so that people can carry it round easily and share their experiences and the book with others.

I collected people experiences, which adds importance to the work, as they are real people writing about real life experiences.

 

Final Book:

Scans:

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The book uses acetate through out, the viewer can choose to look through the writing or at the image alone

The book uses acetate through out, the viewer can choose to look through the writing or at the image alone

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Conclusion:

I based my project around awareness of self injury, linking it to two texts by Levi Strauss.Having completed the project I am able to look back on it, I am very pleased with how it has come together. The collection of experiences shown on the acetate pages adds importance to the work, as they are real people writing about real life experiences; as the viewer reads them it gives them an understanding, a window to why people self injure. I created a physical book so that people would get together, and discuss and share their experiences, so that it would become more of a social interaction, a support network. I thought about the possibility of  interaction digitally, however I like the idea of actual face to face interaction and support, like a club. I chose to make a small portable book so that people could carry it around easily; I can imagine people using it as an aid to open up discussion with others and perhaps leading to people feeling open enough to talk to someone for help. Perhaps in the future I will be able to produce more of these books to spread the awareness further, however at the moment due to money constraints I will only be able to share my book within my social network.

I started my shoots by taking inspiration from one image in particular ( which you can see earlier in my blog), I wanted to show homage to this image as I feel that it has inspired me the most. The image is solemn yet beautiful, however it also holds an important message (the awareness day). This is where my project developed from and grew into my own. The texts I read by Levi Strauss lead me through this project; I realised that using my personal experiences would lead my images towards showing the viewer an understanding of self injury. And that my images could be both beautiful and important at the same time. My images are aesthetically pleasing and also hold a strong message about the awareness of self injury.

At first the collections of images didn’t seem to work together in a book until I came up with the idea of splitting the shoots with chapter marker photographs. I really like how I have different chapters of images in clusters of three, I think the chapter markers (the images where the orange ribbon is coming off to reveal LOVE) work well along with the chapter titles, to give the viewer time to think. Using the orange ribbon throughout my shoots worked well as a subtle motif, linking the work together. I carried on this motif  in the display of the book e.g. the binding and front cover. The use of the orange to bind the book together symbolises that awareness can bring light to the shadows and that this subject doesn’t have to be kept in the dark anymore, it can come into the light. To be spoken about freely, so that people feel they can get help without being judged. The window through to the orange awareness ribbon, symbolises that inside will be the viewers window through to awareness and understanding of the subject.

If I was to come back to this project I would create a series of books, perhaps bringing awareness and understanding to other mental health issues. I feel that I have successfully completed what I set out to achieve with my book and hope that even if it is just between me and my friends at the moment, that the sharing of this book will help others to over come self injury.

Assignment 1: Bibliography

https://www.facebook.com/SHAwareness

http://www.twloha.com/vision/

-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpG3Xubi1eE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcdte7ieoI4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc

http://brokenandscarred.wordpress.com/category/why-self-injury/

http://27niky27.deviantart.com/art/13-52-Self-harm-awareness-day-March-1st-292203177

“The Photo Book” Phaidon press limited, 1997, page 70

Extract from Lost, essay by Val Williams in Portfolio Journal of Contemporary Photography in Britain, No. 27, 1998, p. 72

Levi Strauss D:(2003,The epiphany of the other in Between the eyes Essays,  Photography  and Politics Aperture USA 42-°©‐50)

Levi Strauss D. (2003) The documentary debate: Aesthetic or anesthetic?  In Between the eyes Essays on photography and Politic Aperture USA 3-°©‐11:

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/rene-magritte-1553

http://kareningham.org.uk/portfolio/unnatural-histories/lost

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/arnatt-portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-shadow-of-his-former-self-t07647

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/keith-arnatt-666

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/self%20injury%20awareness%20day?language=de_DE

http://www.avenue7.com/Product/–/—chalkboard-message—self-harm/e4403dc0-ce36-4dd6-b17e-e7ea74578a78

http://lucasfoglia.com

http://sleepingdeadgirl.deviantart.com/art/Self-Harm-Awareness-Poster-181950658

http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_understanding_self-harm

http://sormrod.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/research-joel-sternfeld-on-this-site.html

http://www.photobookstore.co.uk/photobook-chattanooga,-the-green-factory-_signed%5E.html

-https://vimeo.com/51442965

Classic Texts

Having heard feedback from others in my group, we each discussed our reading from that week.

 

Classic Texts:

 

I read Sontag. S (2002, Platos Cave in On photography Penguin England 3-24) and found that there were a few main points I picked up from her text that interested me. Reading the text gave me an insight to how she writes, I personally found it very hard work to read, however I feel that the points I have picked up may help others to understand what she writes about. She made an interesting point about her thought on the harder working countries, for example Germany, England and Japan; she feels these countries are constantly in work mode, so they take more photography. This makes sense as they get used to the constant rhythm, and never wanting to stop, just go, go, go all the time. This I feel is still true today; the busier people in this world take more photographs they want to show each other all the places that they have been. Another point she made was that “photography is almost as widely used amusement as sex and dancing”, She feels that photography is a social right, and that it is a tool against anxiety and an instrument of power. Her writing illustrates what we use photography for, and how these change from different societies and people.

 

Barthes. R (2000, Stadium and Punctum in Camera Lucida: Reflections on photography, Vintage Books London, 25-28

Having discussed this text I came to the conclusion that according to Barthes there are two main ways of looking at a photograph. These two ways are Stadium and Punctum. Stadium is a cultural way of looking at a photograph, and Punctum is how the photograph creates an emotion, you don’t really know why though. Caroline’s example was: when you look at a contact sheet, and you have shot a lot of the same imagery. But you absolutely certainly know which one is right and the rest aren’t, but you can’t explain…that’s Punctum. Punctum can change from person to person. It is a feeling about a photograph; a subjective, rather than an academic.  Barthes has a very poetic way of looking at photography.

 

Benjamin. W (2008, The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, Penguin books London, 1-50)

This text focused on the changing dynamic of Art as a whole; the split between painting and newer forms such as photography and film. There is a big split, do they have different purposes and values. There has been a big impact from the reproduction of art, does it loose its uniqueness and value. However in this commercial world that we live in we need to reproduce work, as everyone wants it in front of them. Benjamin wrote about this in the 1930’s however it is a very contemporary argument still, we continue to relate to this. Are we numbed to the world? This crosses over with Sontag’s feelings that we have become blind to pictures of death and war, as we have seen them to often. Does reproducing take away from the original? Caroline’s example was that we are told there is an aura about the Original Mona Lisa; however because we’ve seen it before so many times it takes away from the power of the painting when we see the original. By reproducing it the aura is lost. Does something become less important if it is reproduced? This is our contemporary debate.