I understand that I've been useless at blogging this last month, but in all honesty, I've just been so overwhelmed with my final project...there wasn't any choice, so I hope this will make up for the lack of activity here recently!
Well, it appears that I've finished University...to tell you the truth I'm pretty devastated, I don't feel ready to go.
I feel that I've only gotten into my stride this final year after I finally found the confidence to believe that my intentions for this project were powerful enough to work.
Looking through my portfolio, I think my development is pretty obvious! It shows how far I have come, both technically, and conceptually. My past work is currently on my (under construction) website: www.katiebedlow.com
I feel 'Plein Air' is a stepping stone in the right direction, it's not finished in any sense, however, I think it puts me in a good position for the near future, as I feel it had the potential to get a lot stronger.
I just thought I'd share some of my critical appraisal writing, for those who aren't familiar with my project:
"Through my artistic practice this final year, I have explored how horticulture and being absorbed in nature can provide a positive therapeutic medium. The project began as a reflection of the loss of my Grandmother the previous year. We had purchased an allotment shortly before she passed away, and it became synonymous with our emotional recovery.
The woodland surrounding the allotment plots has come to represent my realisation that it was my own state of mind I had to begin caring for, not just that of my families. By not fearing to think of the inevitable, I have definitely come nearer to a point of acceptance.
As D.H Lawrence (1885) wrote:
“Perhaps it is necessary for me to try these places, perhaps it’s my destiny to know the world. It only excites the outside of me, the inside it leaves more isolated than ever. It’s all a form of running away from oneself and the great problems we have”
These projects have been my own emotional response to loss, and the confusion that so often follows it. Being outside in nature truly provided this environment for such thinking and repose. Through the research I have completed over the past year, I can begin appreciating why I was drawn to the wilder, out of control terrain, rather than the allotments themselves; It was a kind of ‘Prophetic Fallacy’, surroundings that provided a perfect spot for consciousness, awareness of self, of being alive. The work now seems to portray an unfathomable feeling.
“These days, people often tell me that some of their most unforgettable experiences of place are disturbingly painful, and have to do with unanticipated loss” – Tony Hiss (1977)
Even in these most recent uninhabited scenes of the woodland, each of the photographs appears infused with a certain kind of ‘presence’. I have every intention to continue this work after examination, as I still feel I have so much to learn from being immersed in this space. Perhaps with time, I will be able to articulate this feeling more successfully.
In reflection, I have realised I took these photographs of them because I never took pictures of her. These projects have been my efforts of accepting."
This realisation of my true intentions shocked me deeply, and I think it would surprise my family even more so, hence why I won't be suggesting they read the text which accompanies the work. Mostly because I'd rather they just enjoy the visual qualities of the images, rather than reading this meaning into them and perhapes be concerned or upset.
And after all, the important thing is that working on both the allotment and this project has brought us all together again through an immensely upsetting time. I honestly believe these projects benefited us all, and personally, they have definitely provided a therapeutic medium. Photography enables us to capture and treasure a moment forever. When you are so terrified of losing these moments, these people, from your life (which I am) they provide a comfort. It's simple, it's obvious, but it's true.
Here are my final project images for 'Plein Air' ('to be absorbed in nature')
"For ‘Plein Air’ I have taken the focus away from the controlled environment of the allotments, and focused on the overgrown woodland surrounding it. The woodland encloses allotment plots that have been left to decay. They now remain only as memorials.
Trees, like ancient ruins, can embody history."
And finally, One that I didn't include in the final edit, but still find utterly essential.
Thank you so much for reading!