For the interim photography exhibition we had to write an artist’s statement, after a couple of rough drafts and some tweaking here’s the final statement which was displayed
6 x Inkjet Prints, 4 x Analogue Prints on Resin coated paper
My work represents the passing of time and the realisation that life can be scarily short.
What started as a journey of self-expression soon became a personal narrative of childhood hopes and dreams, of having grown up too quickly with the stark reality that dreams are lost and simple pleasures are forgotten.
The work is a collection of self-portraits and also includes images of my daughter, she features as a representation of my younger self. The images have been taken on and around the coast where I live. I spent many carefree hours on the beach as a child, summer holidays always seemed long and hot in those days. I have mostly memories of idyllic days but also of the day I almost drowned on Aberffraw beach, aged 8. As an adult I am still drawn to the sea and love to stand gazing out, loosing myself to the sound of the waves. I now have my own family and listen to my daughters talk of their dreams for the future, I hope that they won’t look back at life with disappointment and regret.
My work has been influenced by the photography of Sally Mann and Francesca Woodman. Sally Mann photographed her children in everyday situations, controversially depicting them in poses which give an impression of children having grown up to soon. I relate to her work as a mother who uses her daughters to help create the images I can visualize. Francesca Woodman’s work seems to be about self-expression, and she features in a large proportion of her photographs. In her self-portraits she is often hidden or concealed by her surroundings, using slow shutter speeds so that her figure appears as a ghostly shadow. These qualities add to the mystery around her relatively short life, making me wonder about who Francesca the girl behind the images really is.
The use of the pinhole camera is important to me as it is reminiscent of a nostalgic past. The soft focus gives a dreamlike quality which adds to the atmosphere and the light leaks and flare implies to me hope of regaining those innocent childhood aspirations. The slow shutter speeds which allows for the blurring of moving figures produces ghostlike apparitions creating an ethereal mood which gives a surreal mix of fact and fantasy.