Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art therapy

“Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. It is practised by qualified, registered Art Therapists who work with children, young people, adults and the elderly.[2] Clients who can use art therapy may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include, for example, emotional, behavioral or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, brain-injury or neurological conditions and physical illness. Art therapy may be provided for groups, or for individuals, depending on clients’ needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.” British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT),

I have been researching ideas based around art therapy, because I consider my work to be based around this idea. Art is a form of self expression so in many ways all artist use art therapy on themselves. I specially was born with a life threatening illness that has caused me to have a lot of trials in my life time. One of the ways that I have learnt to deal with this is through photography, my work last semester was a really big step in where I want to head as a photographer but it was also a really big step in helping me deal with my illness. I love the idea that people who are suffering because of something they can't control being able to produce something that is powerful and honest. I often feel that true honesty comes out of suffering.

My work this semester was influenced by an art therapy idea that I had read online. It is called transformational self portrait and the idea behind it was that each person goes through many life changes and some of these can transform us as a person, this task is all about self refection. In the first part you are asked to think of a past experience that still has a negative impact on you life to date, then think of what you would like to change about yourself as a result of that negative experience.
The second part is where you will create a transformational self portrait based on the experience that negatively impacted your life and cause a negative transformation or life change to your self. It is important to remember that you are creating this self portrait around the past self how you felt about that experience, it can be based around one aspect or can be based around the experience as a whole, it is a refection.
The third part is creating another self portrait but this time you are going to create a more traditional self portrait that reflects the self you are today. This piece should really be about where you are at in the present moment, has anything changed or have you stayed in the same mind.
The last part of this creation is a look towards the future. This self portrait asks that you step outside yourself and think about how you want to be, about how you want your life to be, and how you want to make that change. Think about how you are going to see yourself in the future after you have transformed and create a self portrait based around these ideas of yourself.

The way that I viewed and adapted this idea into my own folio was that I took the ideas of self portraits and the ideas past, present and future self's and changed that into the concept of organ donation. In the past these people have a horrible time/illness then the present comes where they are forever changed by have the transplant and when you take a look that the people who are donating the organs they are the future for patients on the waiting list. Each portrait is a self discovery.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inpirations: Rineke Dijkstra

I believe I love Rineke Dijkstra as a photographer because of her choice of subjects. Her photographs are not amazing lit and don't show ground breaking photoshop techniques, instead they show to me almost a diary entry into someones life.
People ask the question if you can really capture a person soul through photography, and I believe that the Rineke does a hell of a job doing just that. Does a photograph really have to have all the bells and whistles, do the lighting or the props really demonstrate who we are as a person? I believe because her photographs are so simple, that they are a better representation of the person. Once you add other elements to the photograph people then begin to change, they play up to the camera instead of being who they really are.

With my series on organ donation I want to emulate what Rineke does in her photographs shot people as they really are and let them tell you their story. One of Rineke's series called Israel was based around photographing teens before they were sent away for national service, then photographing them under the same conditions 20 months later. The same person just on a very different path. I believe that my series on organ donation, has very similar elements about it. The pairing up of images, the minimal lighting techniques, minimal background, basic human representation, working in a series but most of all the way we want to share a story. She asks the question where will the youths be? I ask the question if one person will become part of the other.

Other notable series of Rineke's that I love are were her series on mother's after the birth of their children, and her beach portraits the compositional style is very similar with both of these series, but the concept and context are very different. I think between the two I connect more with the series on the mother's because it shows the strength of women, and the basics of human life. And because this series gives me hope and ideas of where I want to head as a documentary photographer.






Monday, September 19, 2011

Inspirations: Tracy Chapman

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know they're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

Don't you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

Drafts








Sunday, September 18, 2011

Change

This semester I decide to do three main pieces of work for my main folio that I would present at the end of year exhibition. These three folios were based around areas of interest for me as a emerging photographer.

The first piece of work was to be a continuation of last semesters work where I am going to use the images and the blog posts around last semester documentary work of my illness and turn it into a book. I would create a mock up book, for the end of semester and then send it away to publishers in the hope that it would get published as my story.

The second piece of work was a folio called The women in my life. This folio was design to be based around the women that I find inspiring in my life. I was going to photograph them based on important images of women throughout history I thought related to their character. I have deiced not to continue on with this folio for two main reasons. Firstly because I felt that, while portraiture is a wonderful area of photography it is not really where I want to be heading. If this is the work I will be showing to prospective client/employers I want to be able to show where my heart truly lies. I feel this folio was more an idea of fun then a labor of love. Secondly I want to be able to focus on the other folio, I feel the idea and focus of the other major folio is what I really want to focus on. I want to be able to present a beautiful folio rather then two sub-par folios.

The third folio has developed into an even greater idea then I ever thought possible! When I was coming up with the concept of this folio I was thinking to complex because I thought that I had to say everything I ever wanted through these photographs. But I have found that the simpler the concept the bigger the impact. The folio first started out being a series of photographs around organ donation from the prospective of the organ recipient. But while I was composing these photos the concept changed and grew in a different direction which I really want to follow! What the concept stands at now is I want to photograph organ recipients and people on the Australian organ doner registry. The photographs will be in pairs, so that I am taking almost the same shot of two different people, I will match these people up in age (up to five years defence) and gender. So that it is almost the same person just with totally different paths. I want this series to connect people, for people to understand the concept of fortune, and give a greater sense of the meaning of community and humanity.