One of the first projects set by our tutor (Catrin Shackson, who I’ll talk about in a later post) was to photograph textures. We’d all gotten a Hoya Macro filter with our camera kit so of course we had to make use of it.
This was still early in the term (September 2005) and I didn’t really feel like a photographer. For some unknown reason I thought it was my brother’s “thing”, like I wasn’t really going to be good at it, but it was a good thing to do. I now know this is ridiculous, but all throughout my GCSE years I was compared to my brother (we had a lot of the same art and graphic teachers), so I took this thinking with me, despite going to a different college. In some ways, and circles, there’s still a comparison, but on the whole I managed to shake it off when I went to Byam Shaw.
Anyway, back to these textures.
As you can see I was at the height of printing innovation! Mixing fixer with developer and hand painting selective colour. I thought I was the dogs’ bollocks, and clearly this confirms it.
I felt this was “art”; abstract, conceptual, terms that I had firmly given to art, but still separate from photography. It would take me another year to realise that a photograph could be a piece of art. I know I often forget this and get caught up in what “photographers” are dictating it to be, but photography, for me at least, is art.
It’s not about fancy lenses and lighting and polish, it’s showing and expressing and that isn’t always “in focus”. In recent years I’ve forgotten that, which is partly why I’m doing this whole thing. To get back my art.