For some time now I have been unsure about how to move forward on this course, I have played with the some ideas with fiction and probably tested the patience of my tutor (my tutor for CS must be thinking I have left the planet!). However several things have conspired to bring me to a place from which I have a certain sense of release.
I have wanted to work in fiction for some time, I have felt that my contribution to whatever world I might hope to inhabit as I develop as an artist will not be with grand statements, righting wrongs; paraphrasing Bob – I did that when I was older, I’m younger than that now. As I’ve said elsewhere I want to write short fictions of love and love and loss, tiny narratives that impact us all. Stories that will inevitably tell a great deal about the author, narrating a course through life.
I’m thinking of writing fictions constructed from sentences and snatches of overheard conversations which I will form into new lives from my own perspective and in a visual language so far under developed. The research I have done so far on Marks and Traces I hope will continue to inform the project, those emotive and emotional signs left intentionally and unintentionally by persons unknown and becoming real perhaps for a time in a new story. Elina Brotherus expressed how she used reflection to gauge where she was in her life, a continual process of evaluation and re-evaluation and I see this project as my attempt to reorder my own perspectives on my own life. The fictions expressing, from whatever well I have to draw from, my own feelings about love and loss; being mediated through the medium of fabricated narratives.
The image above is one I sold quite unexpectedly a couple of days ago. I was giving a talk to some photographers about my ‘pretty pictures’ and this image took the fancy of one of the audience. “I think it looks just like Sting” she informed me when I asked her the reason for buying it. I wondered about why she would do that, a fellow student Stephanie D’Hubert, without seeing the work suggested “because who the person in the portrait really matters less than what we see in him”. I thought about that remark and it seems to me to concur with my underlying thoughts about fiction. The lady has a personal connection to Sting perhaps and this image brings her closer to it, I could make up more but it is her story and not mine anymore.
I am aware of the size of the project in front of me. I am aware that I have a huge amount of work to undertake to develop a visual language that can be translated, much as Brotherus’ strategy of sticky notes provided her with a entry into a foreign place, I will have to develop a strategy to test my visual syntax. I’m not sure I have ever realized the size of the task ahead of me like this before. My career changes and directions have been more straightforward, certainly containing a good deal of risk and, thankfully, good fortune, but this self directed challenge is both daunting and exciting in equal measure.