Prior to completing the coursework, I knew that I wanted to look at rural concerns, because most of the subject matter that captured my imagination had an urban/ suburban/ edgeland feel to it. I wanted to see if urban psychogeophic/ new topographic aethetics and narratives could translate to a rural community. The added bonus to this approach is that I could experiment. I took several trips out to explore the edges of the village. My approach was to undertake an unstructured walk through the village and public footpaths at the edge of the village to work out how I could achieve this.
It was difficult to see any cohesive elements at first but eventually I pulled half a dozen images that I wanted to evolve the project from. I also discovered a slide show facility on WordPress that would provide a sense of moving through my journey.
While curating these initial images, my knowledge of psychogeography began to evolve and I wanted to find a narrative and discipline in my approach to the assignment. My assignment proposal documents my thoughts:
Initial Assignment Proposal.
Having had a look through my contact sheet and thought my assignment through a little further, I could see an aesthetic and narrative emerging.
On the original proposal, I identified many ideas for the future but in hindsight I came to the conclusion that I needed to restrict the ‘journey’ to one narrative and concentrate on a confined area. I decided to concentrate on one farmyard with a long history of successful farming but is now crumbling away – all because there wasn’t anybody to hand the reigns to in the latter part of the last century. Memories are tied up in every window and rusting evidence of the better days.
enjoyed during the mid part of the last century. It is an edge land waiting for development and to put a new lease of life into it.
Google maps (believed to be c.2009)
First curation contact sheet:
Second curation contact sheet:
Here I removed everything that wasn’t in the yard. These photographs were taken every twenty feet.
An rural version of straight topographic photography was emerging but the dogs behind the gate was disrupting the aesthetic. A decision had to be made about being true to the ‘every 20 step’ approach or being true to the overall aesthetic of the set.
This curation is probably the one that provides the straight topographic aesthetic that I wanted to arrive at and communicate the psychogeographic/ ‘Edgelands’ narrative of decay, memories and transition from the past and into to the future
It took me time to arrive at this assignment and it didn’t turn out as I had imagined it might due to logistical/ risk assessment factors that caused me to have to dismiss other very early and more abstract thoughts.
However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and I had to confront a style of photography that I haven’t normally warmed to historically.
I think that the set works though and it achieves what I set out to do and that was to subvert the usual depiction of rural village life and I wasn’t sure that I could .
I wasn’t able to answer everything in my assignment proposal but I did manage to overlay urban edge land concerns on to rural life. Psychogeography does traditionally have a literary element to it and I had anticipated writing a reflective poem but I think that part of my brain must be on vacation as the words didn’t come out. The postcard approach does lighten the project somewhat and allows a supporting text to be juxtaposed with the photographs and therefore keeps the work accessible to a wider audience.
I am pleased that a cohesive aesthetic emerged and the photograph of the car workshop disrupts the romance of the yard – bringing the farmyard back to the here and now.
I have strengthened my blog but changing the template and how I enter my work on to it. I have restricted my assignment text to very much closer to the 500 word limit. I have demonstrated understanding of concepts, and I have worked through methodically to produce a creative body of work that shows a ‘crystallisation’ of ideas that have stemmed form my learning.