Tutorial with Emma Critchley.

  • From Coventry.
  • Finished BA at Brighton in 2004.
  • MA in 2010.
  • Started working underwater.
  • Photography and moving image.
  • Finishing stages of first 30-minute film.
  • Really interested in diving.
  • Experience in working in an underwater space.
  • Everything changes underwater.
  • Thinking about what happens when we enter that space, light, sound, movement ect.
  • Look at the human condition.
  • ‘Renaissance portraiture’ for her final project.
  • A screen between two worlds – the photograph.
  • During MA, interested in breath.
  • Work with free divers who are able to hold their breath for a long time.
  • What happens in this suspended moment of breathing in and out of water?
  • Photography can stop and make you look.
  • Series of photographs over 2 minutes to show the progression/duration of a breath hold.
  • State of complete calm.
  • Link between breath and consciousness.
  • Gabriella Bisetto – sculptures with breath.
  • Single shared breath.
  • Interested in the kiss turning into resuscitation through trying to sustain sharing breath.
  • Idea of surface and internal/external worlds.
  • Human figure within the landscape.
  • Reflection.
  • All shot in camera, no retouching.
  • The surface acts as a boundary between the two worlds.
  • Exchange of gaze.
  • Reflection of mind state.
  • Installation of project means scale is very important – life size.
  • How we relate to the image.
  • Surface.
  • Photographed their reflection.
  • Water surface creates distortion.
  • Physicality.
  • Can never remain always in this state – transitory.
  • Always movement and change in the water, this can reflect our mental state.
  • The scale you show your images affects how people interpret them.
  • Heartbeat.
  • Translated sound into light from models heartbeat.
  • Visually experience what happens inside.
  • Work in Singapore.
  • Figures of speech.
  • Communication – how language today has lost some sensorial foundation.
  • Theories of the evolution of lanague.
  • Loves how there are so many theories, no one knows for definite because no one ‘wrote it down’.
  • Lose the ability to speak underwater and engage differently through communication.
  • 5 images – shots of isolated speech ‘bubbles’ underwater.
  • Photography making something permanent which only lasts for a moment.
  • Words lost initial meaning but representing them we automatically look for meaning.
  • Read different things into the image.

Following Emma’s talk, we met later for group tutorials where we shared our ideas for our final major projects. These are the notes I made from the feedback Emma gave me.

  • Don’t necessarily need to use text – should be able to tell from the images what the project is about.
  • Use a simple title.
  • Should be a collaboration rather than telling their story.
  • How do I know how they will feel?
  • This is their experience, not my own, they need to be in control.
  • Photograph them within an environment.
  • Anna Fox.
  • Steve Macleod.
  • Veronique Rolland.
  • Make it collaborative and work closely with them.
  • Start with 1 or 2 people to begin with, this will make it more valuable.

In all honesty, I felt a little deflated after my tutorial with Emma as it felt as if I was steered away from my initial idea. Emma expressed the importance of making this a collaborative project seeing as I do not suffer from seasonal affective disorder myself, how will I be able to understand how people suffering with it feel? I explained how my intention was to use various social media platforms such as Instagram (where people often share their journeys and struggles with mental illness) to contact different people and discuss their own stories of SAD. I was then hoping to be able use ‘quotes’ from these conversations to support and to link to my images which can reflect their emotions and feelings. However Emma also expressed she didn’t think the use of text was essential and we should be able to feel these emotions from just the photographs, which was understandable. Although I may not be able to fully understand how they feel, photography is about telling a story and sharing a message. Having suffered with mental illness myself, I would never want to misrepresent SAD, just help raise awareness of it and the stigma surrounding mental health. Despite this, a collaboration may be an interesting and unique way to explore my idea. I will also be exploring the works of the artists Emma suggested to enhance my research and development.


~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 28, 2015.

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