Monday, 30 November 2009

Out And About

Following on from a trip to Saltaire, to see the Hockney material there, I spent a couple days hosting an old friend on a visit to our home at the weekend. It was good to take a few steps back from the immediacy of taking and processing images from the woods. Although that said, the Hockney material gave an opportunity to think about my subject matter from a much more direct visual perspective that will be helpful as I move forward with the final construction of the 12 to 15 images that the course demands of us for January. It is frightening how swiftly the time slips away in this second year of the programme - if anyone who comes after me and wants to take any pointers ever reads this - be very aware that you need to hit the ground running in the September if you are to progress effectively!

Today I took more time away from the development of the project and as I drove north up the Derwent Valley I reflected ruefully that it seems at present that every time I do so the light that day seems especially beneficial. Today was no exception and the clarity of light as I drove towards the Peak was truly marvellous, but no matter I was off to the East Midlands Arts in Rural Areas Network Conference at the Level Centre in Rowsley. Given my current interests in terms of my photographic practice this seemed very much like the kind of event I ought to be at. In the event several presentations did give me good opportunities to both reflect on the work I am doing and to network with others who might either be interested in collaborations and/or exploitation of the outcomes. Two speakers in particular - John Newling and John Fox, although coming at the issues from very different perspectives (and utilising quite polarised means) both touched upon the pivotal big questions that face us all now and that - albeit in a way that is different again from either of them - I hope my project can similarly address in its final conception. So a day that very much was not at all wasted albeit that the light suggested I be elsewhere!

On another tack I am increasingly drawn towards utilising video as a component in the body of work that will eventually result - in part this is a reflection of the viewing of several video works that were on display at the Venice Biennale earlier this year and also those that the artist David Claerbout showed in London this past summer (and that I have written about here before). Some ideas simply beg to be subjected to the temporal - something a couple of my colleagues have been playing with (using Powerpoint and Animation) - and this snippet from a piece by the Australian artist Shaun Gladwell ties together aspects of my own current concerns and those expressed at the EMARAN event earlier today...

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