Personal Experimentation-Collage

As well as experimenting with video, I am also continuously taking photos to coincide with the videos that I produce. As previously mentioned, the combination of both the body and nature is a running theme throughout my work. The images above show a literal combination of the two things, experimenting with the idea of collage.

Ripping up the images and putting them back together is a representation of how it feels living with mental health – falling apart whilst trying to hold it together. The overlaying of the flower images not only shows the role nature plays with helping with mental health, but acts as a symbolism, representing what it is like to live with a mental illness.

The flower within the top images are not my images, however the other two are. If I was to carry on with this idea I would produce images for the collage myself.


Spoken Word

After looking into more detail of the type of speech that I want to overlay with my videos, I found that ‘spoken word’ suits best.

Spoken word can be described as a poetry that is designed to be performed, yet can be delivered in a variety of different forms. A lot of people use spoken word as a way to express their or another story and is often used within dance, theatre and performative arts which is why it is seen as being more than just poetry.

‘Spoken word first kicked off with the American Beat Poet movement that took place in the 1940s and 1950s. This saw a group of authors in New York using their work to exploring and influence the American culture of the time.

Venting their frustrations with society, these poets started a tradition that has continued for many years, moving into the 1970s with punk poets like the UK’s John Cooper Clarke and famed dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, all the way up to today, where new social issues have brought upon a completely new era of spoken word.’ –

Here are some examples:

Research – Keep Palas Eternal Collection

After beginning to produce some of my own videos, I started looking into similar ideas and how they have been executed. The video above was produced as part of the ‘Keep Palas Eternal Fashion Collection’.

The fast pace close ups of nature create a feeling of intrigue for me, wanting to know what the next clip with be. This is especially relevant when paired with the speech. The way in which it counts down and tells us what is about to happen is interesting, as it initially doesn’t look like a fashion campaign. It’s not until the counting stops that we are introduced to something other than the nature shots.

This is something that I will be looking to create with my video’s. Using the shots I am taking of nature to start the video paired with speech of me describing who I am. As the video progresses the speech will more obviously speak about social anxiety, by which point the self portraiture element of my work will come into play.

Film and sound experimentation

I have always had a interest in writing, as well as speech and quotes. This is something that I experimented with in the very first module on this course, looking at pairing images with quotes that I had written which implied what it was like to live with social anxiety.

Although the sound I have placed with the footage in the following clip is not mine, it gives an idea of the sort of thing I would like to produce. I am inspired by the poetry within the speech, and how the gentle tone of her voice along with the music works well with the footage I created of nature. The contents of what I have filmed acts as a metaphor for the feeling of social anxiety which will be further explored through the speech that I would create to go with each clip.

‘Broken Isn’t Beautiful’│romanticisation of mental illness│spoken word │Eleanors Rus Sub’

Film experimentation

I have started experimenting with creating short clips of nature – not necessarily parts of it that look attractive, but that which shows signs of decay and are not what people would view as aesthetically pleasing.

Here is the first clip that I captured without sound. The video is very simple, yet the movement of the plant in the wind adds a slight emotion to the video.

Short Video

An idea I want to experiment with is overlaying speech with a number of shorts clips I am looking to produce – such as poetry. Each short video is a smaller part of a bigger picture, eventually producing longer videos to go alongside my fashion type shoots.

The idea of incorporating nature within my work (as previously done before) looks at the idea of hope, strength, decay and growth through a metaphor, rather than showing it through self portraiture.

Personal Experimentation

I wanted to continue with the idea of producing self portraiture images, yet my face not actually featuring within the shot. The anomonity creates a feeling of unease, especially within these images. Although I am not completely happy with these images, the concept works well for me.

I wanted to focus on the idea of being trapped, as well as the idea of not being seen. For me though the images actually play on the idea of death. The construction of the images themselves are weak to me. It is obvious that a bed sheet as been used to cover myself which I believe could have been executed a lot better. The lighting also doesn’t work as, using just window lighting to construct the images. If I was to attempt these photographs again I would use flash so that the tones throughout the images are similar. The first image out of the set works best for me as the close in shot causes less distractions than the other two. Although the images themselves did not work for me this time, I want to carry on with this idea of entrapment.

Potential Shoot Locations – St Mary’s Church

St Mary’s Church

I previously photographed at St Mary’s Church in Tintern for a college project. The overgrown ruins and graveyard makes the perfect spot for creating image’s with an uncomfortable feeling to them. Although I do not necessarily want the whole church within the background as there are no need for religious connotations within my work, I feel the stone walls with its overgrown weeds, and stone floor within the ruins would be perfect for the unsettling images I want to create. The church does not get many visitors as it is not well known, which makes it great for creating images without getting disturbed.

As I previously shot here my familiarity would help plan a shoot, unlike the other locations I have spoke about that I have not worked in before. I know that the lighting would be great to shoot in as it pours in through the windows. I want to use a smoke bomb within the church to give the work an atmospheric feeling.

Potenital Shoot Locations – Cannop’s Valley

Cannot Ponds

Forest of Dean is the one of the areas that I am looking into to produce my photos. Not only would the area make idyllic backdrops for my images, but I would be able to find a location that was more private than that I previously wrote about in my last post. This would enable me to experiment without getting interrupted.

One area within the Forest of Dean that I am looking into is Cannop Valley/Ponds. The Valley is described on as ‘a network of forest paths, tracks, old tram & railways allows the visitor to explore the nature reserve with little impact on the environment.One area within the Forest of Dean that I am looking into is Cannop Valley/Ponds’. I feel that the place offers something different such as the tracks which could make for an interesting backdrop. The ponds within the area would also be perfect for some of the ideas I have. Water is a theme I want to incorporate within my work, and having the trees surrounding the ponds would help me create my desired look.

Potential Shoot Locations – Local

Having recently moved house, I explore the local area to see if there was anywhere local that I could potentially shoot. I was looking for open space that I could incorporate into my ideas.

I found the above locations a few minutes from my house. Although I do want to photograph somewhere a lot more ambitious, I thought that finding locations that are local to me means I can begin shooting straight away – using these locations as test photos for the real images. Having this so locally to me means I can shoot whenever I have free time, and as I am using myself as a model it means that I can work the photoshoots into my free time without a lot of scheduling.

Although I do want to shoot in the above locations – especially in the first image as there is a lot of open space – I feel that I could be held back by people walking by. Because the above shots are taken in a residential area there is a continuous flow of people walking by throughout the day which will ruin the photos if they was to appear in the background, and this is something that I cannot control.

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