Week 4 Lecture & Resources
A photographer’s creative response to the “restlessness of lockdowns”
I found an editorial on the Aperture website about how Nepalese photographer Tirtha Lawati responded creatively to the experience of living through lockdowns in the UK, which “forced Lawati to confront his own conception of home over an extended period of time spent in close confines with his extended family.” (O’Neill 2021)
His ongoing series, entitled Nyauli, named after a type of bird native to Nepal, is described as a “call for home” and attempts to depict the feeling of restlessness which is all too familiar for many of us. I thought this was an interesting take on the way this pandemic has been challenging for a lot of people on a deeply personal level.
A tutorial session with Dan led me to research Marcel Duchamp’s 1934 piece, The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even (The Green Box), which is a collection of fragments, preliminary sketches and notes contained within a green box that relate to his artwork The Large Glass. The idea that the contents of the box are unbound and loose, allowing the viewer to arrange and interpret them, forming their own individual conclusions about how the different items relate to each other definitely resonated with me.
Final Design – Spring Visual Journal
This visual journal represents the season of spring. I focussed on realising one as fully as possible, given the time constraints of the four week project. The slideshow below shows a few of the spreads within this pocket-sized journal.
Collecting the Journals
After some thought about how to present the four journals collectively, I decided to treat them like a kind of time capsule and so I decorated a keepsake box to contain the memories, in part inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s The Green Box (or The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even). The idea of an archive, something to be discovered and leafed through, with some parts left loose to allow the reader to form their own interpretation on how everything in the box connects, particularly appealed to me.
Summary/notes reflecting my self-initiated project for Brief 1:
My evaluation video can also be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/659794839
Reflection on the week
I found the group crit session this week really useful. Firstly, it was an opportunity to get feedback from my peers on the (at the time of the crit) work-in-progress on my visual journal, which was overwhelmingly positive, particularly because I am physically making the journal(s) and additionally very encouraging, where they were interested to see how the work develops. Secondly, I also used it as a chance to ask the group for their experiences, in relation to their own creative practice and how the pandemic has affected this, and any wider reflections on living through this period, with my autoethnographical approach towards research in mind.
The general consensus was that the assorted lockdowns gave a feeling of having warped our perception of time. There was also a sense that the effects of the pandemic have generally been a greater work/life balance, with less commuting and more flexibility from employers on home working. The more introverted among us benefitted from the reduced expectation to socialise and quieter environments with less people around. One student said the pandemic led her to make the decision to go freelance within the last year, as well as choosing to start this master’s degree.
On the other side, one of my fellow students actually caught Covid and temporarily lost her sense of taste! We also agreed that one of the negatives has been the dearth of live music and festivals lately.
O’NEILL, Alistair. 2021. ‘The Photographer Confronting the Restlessness of Lockdowns.’ Aperture. Available at https://aperture.org/editorial/the-photographer-confronting-the-restlessness-of-lockdowns-tirtha-lawati/ [accessed 13/10/2021]
PechaKucha. 2021. Available at https://www.pechakucha.com/ [accessed 11/10/2021]
Tate. ‘Marcel Duchamp – The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even (The Green Box), 1934.’ Available at https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/duchamp-the-bride-stripped-bare-by-her-bachelors-even-the-green-box-t07744 [accessed 27/10/2021]