Well, if you've been wondering why I haven't been posting anything for the last several weeks, this is why:
Our final project for summer intensive at RMSP was based on the idea of equivalence that photographer Alfred Stieglitz had in the early 1900's. Described in his own words it was, "to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see [the picture of it] will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed." Our visual Studies teacher said it was the feeling you get from an image- rather than the physical aspect. I love this, because I feel like this is what photography is all about. I want to create images that live in people's minds. And not just the image itself, but the aftertaste.
I based my project off of one of my favorite quotes from a movie, Calendar Girls:
"I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life."
The entire evolution to the project changed from week to week. Originally It wasn't going to be about me at all. I wanted to capture people that were living their lives and experiencing moments in this "light." But, I just couldn't pre-visualize the images. I struggled with it for a long time, until one day it hit me.
I was the sunflower.
I have lived my entire life this way and didn't even realize it. Even in the moments when the light in my life was so, so weak, I was able to find it and let it guide me. And I have felt this light more so in the last year or two more than ever. And it's beautiful.
Here are the individual images, if you'd like to take a closer look. I'm not vein. In fact, I've worked on these pictures and this project so much that I'm getting tired of looking at myself. haha. I just couldn't see the images with any one else in them. Let me just say that if you're going to do self portraits, it's not as easy as it looks. Especially when you're running in heals on a railroad track, on the side of the highway with cars flying by, or jumping into the sunlight in a sundress while people watch you out their backdoors. I've become content with the fact that to get the image you want and to be a good photographer you have to become comfortable with humiliation. And trust me, I am. :)
The pictures were printed 4x4", 4x6" and the last two were 6x6" and 8x8". They were then mounted on thick blocks that were cut down to size and painted yellow on the edges. The backboard was a 26x26" board that was painted black, blue, brown, and yellow. The photos were adhered with PMA and sprayed with a luster photo protectant. It was like therapy to sit outside all day and paint and listen to my ipod. I recommend it to everyone, even if you're not an artist.
And with that being said, I'd like to end with a quote I found today from my very first class this summer. I find it fitting for my life right now.
"Your treasure house is within. It contains all you'll ever need."