Re-work & Wip #23

I’ve re-worked another of my assignment 2 images, the one chosen to appear in the Lens Culture competition gallery.

Although initially happy with the original montage (and not one I intended to re-work) I now feel the colours are too saturated.

I tried changing the blocks of colour to include blue tones but it just didn’t seem to work –hard to explain exactly why but I didn’t like the result.

I don’t want or intend for all my BoW to be sepia toned and the montages certainly (on first viewing) have a traditional appearance and the overall tones signify a past era.

However, by merging both past and present the intangibility of time is suggested, different worlds collide.

Two new versions of The Wave below. Not sure which I prefer at the moment but possibly the first one—– I need to print both to compare.


Re-works & Wip #22

I’ve re-worked the following montages submitted for Assignment 2 and as possibles for my 3rd. The new montages are created using my own personal archival photographs from the case originally belonging to mum and dad.

* The Lookout
* Passing Through
* Parallel Worlds
* The Sailor Boy

Jayne thought the contemporary image in The Lookout was too saturated hence I’ve remade three different versions, the first two using a (very) slightly different shot taken of my eldest daughter stood gazing out to sea at Mount’s Bay last October and the photograph of my dad standing on the same beach in the1940’s. I think the more muted sepia tones work much better.

My favourite of these is the first one. I notice small details, the cigarette in his mouth; interestingly he always smoked a pipe when I was child and most other photographs of him from this era show him with a pipe, never a cigarette. Yet it is his smart and fashionable attire that ‘pricks me’ (Barthes, 2000:96). The punctum is unique, subjective, idiosyncratic and unplanned ‘one is either pricked or not, but such a response cannot be cultivated, predicted, or explained’ (Zuromskis, 2013:41).

My third rework also uses the same photograph of dad in place of the found photograph I used in Parallel Worlds.


Jayne suggested bringing mum ‘back into the fold’ as she was separated from us in ‘Passing Through’. I’ve made two versions and really can’t decide which I prefer, possible the first one but hubby prefers the second. I will print both and prop up on the wall as I’m sure one will really ‘reach out’ to me (hopefully) ! Again I’ve converted to sepia, I will definitely keep to the softer more subdued colours but do not want to limit myself completely to monochromatic tones.


The Sailor Boy has been reworked and renamed as Dad at Mount’s Bay replacing the found photograph with one of my dad as a young man stood on the beach at Mount’s Bay and a contemporary image taken in approximately the same place.



Barthes, R (2000) Camera Lucida. London: Vintage

Zuromskis, C. (2013) Snapshot Photography The Lives of Images. UK: The MIT Press

Feedback summary assignment 2

A quick summary of the discussion I had with Jayne a couple of weeks ago.
I will add the tutor annotated formative feedback to this post as soon as I get it back.

I’ve decided my re-works will be posted in two categories on my blog
1. Assignment 2 reworks
2. Work in progress for A3 as they will be new montages

We discussed my recent Lens Culture review and agree when using my own personal archives the work is more evocative. The montages are intended to suggest a personal interconnection that is lost when using ‘found’ photographs. Submitting / sharing work (i.e Lens Culture) is a good way of networking and obtaining impartial feedback. Something I find quite difficult but need to do. My blog is processing well. We discussed my plan to use printed postcards & invite others to form their own narratives prior to making a montage. Discussed a new cut & paste collage I’ve made.

Using found photographs offers an alternative perspective and trying out different ideas is good to help my work develop but it’s best not to branch out too much. The work with my own archives is both personal and universal. Our parents had a life and identity prior to our existence, we inherit our memories from both parents my work (using images from my personal archives) explores these concepts.

Individual images comments:
Halcyon Days —remove frame from B&W photograph / distracting.
The Lookout—contemporary image too saturated—
Passing Through —try bringing mum closer to the family in the frame as she’s separated from us in this.
Parallel Worlds —will try using photo of dad used inThe Lookout with the contemporary image in place of the found photo.

Montages with found images are more about other people than my family—not what I want. Those using my personal photographs are more resonant. i.e Sally Dabbs—only I have that unique memory evoked by this particular photograph. It was of significance to my parents for different reasons.

Things to follow up:
Discussed the cut and paste collage I’ve made (not on my blog yet).
Continue experimenting with smaller elements, a hands on approach rather than simply generating a digital montage—an artefact in itself. The image I used is of mum on a Northumbrian beach & this acts as an arc across the BoW—Plan use more of mum’s archival beach pictures.
Try cutting out figures.
Play with linear time, placing myself as a child with mum and dad. Photography doesn’t respect time.
Try asking family members to write their memories about my personal archival images rather than the found ones. Get them to write on them—consider how best to do this—postcards / paper with side margin / over actual image.

Learning Log
Progressing well and shows evidence of my research etc.

Suggested reading/viewing
Susan Hiller / collective and personal memory
Epigenetics / Studies suggest we carry traces of our parent’s memory in our DNA. Pertinent to my BoW.

Lebohang Kganye

Her Story (2013)

Following the loss of her mother Lebohang Kganye’s series Her Story is an exploration of the archive and an attempt to regenerate their relationship and uncover her ancestral origins. As is common in many families a mother is frequently the lynchpin that keeps the extended family connected, following her mother’s death this link was lost.

Using artefacts from her mother’s archive Kganye reconstructs her mother’s original photographs then superimposes herself alongside her mother using photo montage techniques. ‘The photomontages became a substitute for the paucity of memory, a forged identification and imagined conversation’ (Kganye, 2013)

The juxtaposition of mother and daughter plays with the concept of linear time, something I discussed with my BoW tutor recently, how photography doesn’t respect time & something I’m exploring in my own work.

Reconstruction of a family, 2016

An exploration of the construction of the family album .

Such archives generally have some form of structure, either classified by type or in a logical order. The traditional family album is typically in sequential order, but who chooses what is included / excluded assembles the family archive, they are not objective choices. However, whilst they may record the family narrative this history is not fixed but open to interpretation.

Using silhouette cutouts Reconstruction of a family ‘confronts the conflicting stories, which are told in multiple ways, even by the same person – memory combined with fantasy. Such archives do not reveal easy answers, for me they reveal that time can break apart and reconnect and not quite fit back into one another’ (Kganye, 2016).

Accessed 10/09/19
Accessed 10/09/19

Lens Culture Review (some thoughts)

I’ve received my Lens Culture review—-link @ bottom of post—- & must admit on initially reading it felt rather deflated; especially after being so delighted that one of the photographs was chosen to appear in the competition curated gallery (see previous post).

However, after reading it a 2nd (3rd & 4th) time it is a very honest critique with valid suggestions, something I need to get used to without taking it too personally. It has made me consider carefully where I am going with my BoW.

On reflection there are two separate strands to the work I’ve been producing, my exploration of my own family archive and that of found photography. As per reviewer advice are my montages using personal archival photographs more pertinent to my exploration of memory and loss ? Any thoughts welcome 🙂 . Interestingly my hubby thinks so &, if so, perhaps continue working with ‘found’ photography but as a separate element of my BoW.

Fellow student Fitz suggested I print postcard size images and invite others to form their own narratives & pairings prior to making my montages. Since then I’ve handed out a few postcards and am awaiting thoughts regarding these but perhaps rather than ask for pairings I simply hand out a selection of my bought images (different ones to each individual) and present these in book, album, or separate blog form alongside the stories supplied. Possible title Different Stories.

I have a tutorial with Jayne this week to discuss my 2nd BoW assignment and will ask her thoughts regarding my ideas.

I’m not sure if the review is available to see online so I’ve included a pdf below

Lens Culture Review

Link to my submission / portfolio HERE

Wip #21

I decided to enter the Lens Culture ‘Emerging Talent 2019’ Competition. If you enter a series of 10 photographs you will receive a free professional review. As a student you get a 30% entry discount too.

As the next & final level 3 course involves ‘getting your work out there’ this seemed a good way of preparing for wider public viewing.

I was rather shocked (& extremely happy) to receive an email the next day informing me that one of my photographs has been chosen to feature in the competition gallery !

It’s one of the recent montages I’ve been making for my WiP.

When I receive my review (which will be a bit later this year) I will share it on my blog.

Chance #3

You Can Call Him Another Man Maria Kapajeva

Finding a box of over 200 developed and undeveloped films taken by her father before she was born Kapajeva’s work explores the archive in an innovative way and is presented in multiple formats. I like the idea of presenting my own BoW in variable configurations too.

The images were taken when her father was a young man and before he married her mother, a stranger to her, they accompany text from the novel If on a winters night a traveller by Italo Calvino.

The Create a New Story tab on her WEBSITE invites each viewer to fabricate alternative narratives, each click loads 10 random images and text. Her father’s archive has been atomised, no longer fixed in time the images function as fluid and malleable artefacts with limitless ways of being interpreted.

The layout at each exhibition is different, an alternative story emerges each time. Additionally Kapajeva introduced an interactive element that enabled visitors to create their own interpretation, they were also invited to their own personal photographs and use these in conjunction with and disrupt Kapajeva’s archive.

Instagram #youcancallhimanothername

Fellow student Fitz suggested I print postcard size images and invite others to form their own narratives & pairings prior to making my montages which is something I am going to do. I have printed a selection of my archival (both bought and personal) images along with some contemporary seascapes on photo postcards but am considering using Moo to print more if I decide to scale the project up. Initially I shall distribute these amongst friends and family but I really want an unbiased approach so very close family will recognise the people from my own collection hence their interpretation will be biased. However, it will be interesting to see if their arrangements differ to mine. My eldest daughter suggested she pass them on to her acquaintances too so that will give me some objective sets… be continued.
Accessed 2/8/19

You Can Call Him Another Man, Maria Kapajeva
Accessed 2/8/19
Accessed 2/8/19
Accessed 2/8/19

Accessed 2/8/19