Sunday, 24 January 2010

Another Layer of Loss

It took me a long time to come up with an idea for our current project 'The Constructed Image' but I finally came up with something that started over Christmas and New Year.

For a while now, I've been putting together a list of people I would like to get in touch with and with the bad weather making anything outside a no-go, I sent off a load of emails.

Some people responded and some people didn't and it got me thinking more about the things I've lost in my life. Most recently and most obviously, Alan and our relationship. Most people would think that 4 years on the separation would be long settled, but it's strange how you can just go on losing after something like that. It just seemed to me like an onion, peeling back the different layers. And yet somehow not. An onion being peeled would imply that there will be a core, something to reach at the end of the process. But it's not like that; I don't think that it's a metaphor for a part of the loss I haven't dealt with yet. It just seems like an on-going process - another layer of loss.

And there are so many things I've lost in my life. Nothing as dramatic as death or great tragedy, but ongoing -sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle - stripping of layers like wallpaper on old houses.

So I'm thinking of taking symbols of this loss and photographing them inside the old houses and abandoned places that I photograph - acknowledging that that's why I'm drawn to them; because they've lost things like I have. Photographs of the friends that I've lost because I'm no longer part of a 'successful, suburban couple', the family I've lost because I no longer live with their son, the sister-in-law, the house, the money, the car, etc. And maybe of some of the other losses - Aunt M, mum because of her illness, dad etc.

I think this is perhaps a much bigger and on-going process, but it's my idea so far.

I'm also thinking about the other part of the project, 'the photographic object', so am thinking I'd like to shoot on polaroid to signify nostalgia - will think about that more.

And on a more cheerful note, I'm so glad that despite the things I lost as a result of separating from Alan, the one thing I didn't lose was him! C x And also, we lose things in our lives to make way for new things and I have many new things in my life to be grateful for - and I am.

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