I have been thinking of ways I could display my books and if I was going to display them closed I was considering possibly having them on very thin shelves like this:
In preparation for Bristol I wrote a statement to go alongside my work:
“Through a process of cropping second-hand postcards and painting ‘before’ and ‘after’ moments, I create sequences that imply narrative and suggest that there could be something more happening than once assumed. These speculative, almost-narratives urge the viewer to explore the hidden narratives of the everyday.”
A few of us decided to organise our own show in Bristol over the Easter holidays, called ‘Within/Without’. The exhibition was split into 2 weeks and took place in a gallery/shop on Broadmeade street called PAPER Arts.
I decided to show what would almost be a ‘preview’ of what I am working towards for the degree show. I curated what I made so far into 3 narratives that were 5 panels long each.
I feel that putting on this exhibition was very helpful for me at this point because it made me actually step back and reflect on what I had done so far. Looking back at what I had made gave me a good idea of where to go next with this project.
I had various concerns about my project such as wether or not the blending between painting and postcard crop was effective, or wether the painting was unnecessary but when my work was up, I could see that the painted elements did in fact work with the photographic elements.
This method of condensing and curating something halfway through rather than towards the end was very helpful for this project and I could use this in the future for large projects like this.
Even though for this show I opted for a straightforward method of displaying my work, I feel that I can now better imagine ways people can interact with the work, and take this into account for my final show.
On deciding I am going to be working towards books as my outcome, I have been looking at some interesting examples of unconventional narrative;
This book doesn’t follow characters, but rather shows and compares events (from big to little) that have taken place in a living room. I thought this was a really interesting way of telling multiple stories at once, which is what I might like to do with my postcard narratives. With this book found myself wanting to go back pages to compare pages and see if I had missed things, etc which is something I would like my own books to do.
This book was also very relevant to what I was looking at at the start of this year with looking at lives of objects. It appears to follow the life cycle of a house, and then just so happens to record various human events that occur in that room/space over the decades.
I think this could be an interesting way of displaying/distributing books that are connected to each other.I could get the sense of multiple things happening at once through boxing a few small books that are somehow interlinked.
my narratives are quite linear in comparison, yet they are unconventional in a way that there are subtle links between the narratives that make them connect with each other.
Author and illustrator Graham Rawle recently came to our university to speak about telling stories in his work, which is very relevant to what I am working on at the moment. I first learned of graham Rawle’s work in second year when he gave a talk at a Monday Muse, and was also an inspiration for what I was working on in my Beyond Fiction project lats year.
One of the things that was focused on was the structure and trajectory of a story, in particular he is interested in the three-act structure of beginning, middle and end.
Percieved Tension and the Kuleshov effect
He also mentioned about getting the audience to fill in the gaps, and how this can be more rewarding for the audience if they are more involved. He explains how this can be done through the arrangement of images, using 2 examples of the same pictures, put next to each other in different ways to show that if they are put together, the tension is taken away.
Next Graham Rawle talked more about his process, particularly when creating ‘Woman’s World, and how with this process, writing can become more inventive, and the found material adds another layer to the book through the tone of the magazines coming through. he mentions that from looking at these works, it is obvious that they have been pieced together from other bodies of text, but this adds to the narrative.
This project was a story that was inspired by pictures he found on the internet of an aircraft plant that has been hidden by a fake town being built over it to prevent it from being bombed. He said that what was intereresting about these images is that from an aircraft it looks unremarkable, but as you get closer e.g. photographs from ground level, the images of the houses etc don’t look quite right. This relates back to my own work, where at a glance, postcards look fairly normal and mundane, as they are photographs of nothing in particular, but as you look closer you start finding small, frozen in time moments that have been captured, and sometimes these can also be strange. This is the feeling I have been going for, where something looks like these is more to it than it seems and with my project I am going to be directing the viewer through some things I have noticed from looking closely at postcards. I would like to leave some things up to the viewer,so I will be contrasting more definite narratives with vaguer ones so that once the audience is led through one narrative they may look into others that may not already have a narrative to them, and find one.
This is the mock viva I presented, I feel that it went well considering presentations aren’t my strong point. With the content of my mock viva I mostly focused on explaining my process with the postcards project along with some slides on my previous project. Having to curate what I have done so far together into this presentation helped me to notice overarching themes between the two main projects I have been working on. even though the two projects are being kept separate in terms of work, they seem to go together in that they both seem to incorporate the idea of there being hidden narratives in the mundane.