Tag Archives: transience

Exercise 5.1 – Traces and still life

During April 2017, I made a three week journey to Australia and for this exercise I have chosen to use a series of transient sculptures which were on display when I visited the Scenic World Park in the Blue Mountains. Part of the offer there is a 4km walkway through the rainforest, which has changed little since the Jurassic Period. The way the company has made the forest accessible (even to wheelchair users) while keeping intervention to an absolute minimum is by the placing of a raised walkway on stilts. And I was lucky enough to encounter this exhibition of outdoor sculpture while I was there.

The sculptures used either rubbish or found materials on the whole, but I was particularly struck by this series, which uses mirrors, rope, string and light to produce delicate, ephemeral marks on the landscape, which could easily be removed when the exhibition finished without leaving a trace.

The instructions for this exercise are ‘Create a set of still-life pictures showing traces of life without using people‘ and the expectation appears to be that we are expected to use our homes and everyday items to make our still life images. However, I very much like the organised yet thoughtful way that the artists have used the landscape as both a backdrop and as part of their installations, making use of it to present their beautiful objects and also to comment on the way that we humans invade and take over wherever we go.

As a final note on this series, I was interested in the copyright issues of making images of sculpture in public places. This explanation seems to imply that, in the UK at least, objects in public displays ere ok to photograph, providing it is not for sale or personal gain to the photographer. Indeed, the photographer almost certainly has copyright of their image themselves. Museums and galleries can post signs telling visitors not to photograph anything on display, but it is impractical to enforce in a large unmonitored area. The rules may be different in Australia, however. Until just now, I didn’t know who made each of the sculptures, as I had failed to pick up a catalogue. After a Google search though, I discovered there is an online catalogue, which can be viewed here:http://www.sculptureatscenicworld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2017-Sculpture-at-Scenic-World-Exhibition_V4.pdf



New considerations about assignment 3



Holly Woodward, 2017

I’ve been rethinking what I want to do for assignment 3, after realising that my previous proposal about people who are missing from the current visual narrative might be a bit easy and too similar in visual content to the previous assignments, and therefore a cop-out. So, the need to look elsewhere for ideas has led to the idea of mindfulness and transience, about which I have been thinking a lot lately, and there is a project niggling away there that I have yet to full pin down. It has to do with the flashes of understanding about the experience of “Now” that come to us suddenly, and unbidden and all too infrequently in our busy modern lives. Having recently watched Guillaume Néry’s wonderful TED talk about the experience of free diving, a phrase he used strongly resonated for me – the journey between two breaths. https://www.ted.com/talks/guillaume_nery_the_exhilarating_peace_of_freediving?language=en

One could interpret this in two ways. Either the journey from birth to death and how transient our lives really are, OR as the gaps/flashes of understanding that come unbidden, such as Guillaume Nery describes. The latter is dependent on taking the time to experience life on a fully present, moment by moment basis. I have referred to this previously in this post: https://hollyocaidentityplace.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/exercise-3-1-windows-or-mirrors/ and it has been a feature of my photography approach from the beginning.

Alongside this, there has recently been a thread on the OCA Facebook page about how our work for the OCA may differ totally from what we choose to photograph and to print for framing in our non-OCA lives, and my own feeling is that I want to combine the two, rather than keeping OCA work separate in its content and style. While I was happy with the subject and outcome of my last assignment (no. 2), I did not feel it reflected “me” in any way at all.

So, I’ve been mindmapping and researching photographers who work in the style I prefer and there is a link to the mindmap below


At present, the three photographers whose work I need to look at in more detail are Uta Barth, Emanuella de Ruiter and Cassandra Kapsos and I think I would like to do this through a series of semi-abstracts, possibly of light through the day or the coming growth of spring. My first idea was a series on the water of the River Ray from its source to its junction with the Thames viewed in a contemplative way, but after the mindmap exercise, I realised that I want to work with the idea of transience as an inner journey of the mind, rather than something physical. There will/may be time for that if I do the Landscape module. However, I also want to review work by people such as Paul Kenny, who uses natural found materials to express the idea of Now.

The references below have been parked here as they aided my decision making process. They may or may not feature in the finished assignment.

Roni Horn – Still water http://whitney.org/WatchAndListen/Tag?context=photography&play_id=30

Not the right idea, as she is talking about the Thames in terms of looking for something that she knows is there, but needs more time to find. I’m approaching from the opposite point of view – what is there is what is important now.

https://www.cassandrakapsos.com/light-as-space – this one is important

http://utabarth.net/ – so is this

http://www.emanuelladeruiter.com/new-gallery/ – and this. Most of her work is relevent

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photos/space-between-gallery/ – serendipity of damaged images saying more than the originals


http://massmoca.org/event/the-space-between/ – multimedia event





http://peterbolland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/transience.html – good blog article