On Wednesday I attended the Creative Practices lecture series, in the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan. Although the talks were primarily focused around photography, it was interesting to see the processes undertaken by other artists and how this might inform my own practice.
Brian J Morrison, discussed how he has progressed from being a photographer, to a performance artist, sculptor and now a painter. He showed how all of these roles were linked and informed each progression, how his early human documentary work informed his later tension band and steal sculptures through the relationships of the human body.
I was inspired when Brian talked about there being no set direction to his work, that it was organic and acceptable to change direction and experiment with new ideas. Brian also discussed how visitors to the Birley Gallery, Preston had interpreted his Tension installation differently, with some being very methodical, counting tension points of the materials, whilst another appropriated it to their own mental health issues.
The individual interpretation of objects is something that I identify with in my own work. In producing an interactive space, as the designer I may construct it with a narrative in mind, however, it will be interesting to see if others engaging with it will share this or amend it to produce their own stories.
The other speaker at the Creative Practices event was Ian Beesley, a Photographer with an interest in local identities. Like Brian, Ian showcased his previous work and showed how one project had led into the next opportunity and developed his working practices.
I was particularly interested in Ian’s work documenting local histories and voices before they are lost to time. He also spoke about the relationship of people and materials, which has decreased in the digital age, something that I too have been investigating in my own work.
One of the most interesting works Ian discussed was the reconditioning of the Big Big Camera (see featured image). Originally a large process camera used in the wallpaper manufacturing camera, it had been in storage for many years. Ian reconditioned the camera and has used it to produce a collection of images for Gallery Oldham. The process of restoring the camera was not straightforward, especially as the film used in a camera of this size was no longer produced and the costs of having it manufactured were prohibitive. Instead Ian experimented with smaller standard sized film sheets. I liked how this experimentation produced imperfect final images, but felt that this only added to the interest and narrative of the story. It also reassured me that although not all my ideas might work, by trying new, unusual or experimental designs, the unexpected may actually produce the prefect imperfect result.
The Big Big Camera – Gallery Oldham http://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/exhibitions/