I made some business card designs which I have sent off to get printed ready for the exhibitions. I have not had a card in the past but feel at this stage it is important to have something with my details on that I can hand out to people when I meet them or to have by my work for anyone that is interested in offering me work or just plain interested. Networking is and will be a big part of getting work in the future and the business card is a handy thing to have in your pocket.
I have made two versions of the same card, the change being a different image (they say variety is the spice of life) for each. The images I chose are from my most recent work which is also being exhibited, so there is correlation. Also if I am not around they can tell from the card that it is my work as the same pictures will be on the wall.
To make the point that I am not only a photographer but also a multimedia filmmaker and editor I made a small ‘logo’ which I will use on any branding in the future for consistency. The image I made is of a camera and a clapper (the board they clap with which has the scene number on etc for movie productions) to cover both the photographic and film side of my practice. They are on either side of a black line making them part of the same image, just as they are both a part of my practice. I am happy with the design which reflects my varied skill set.
This is the back of the card with my details on and the logo. Name, email and phone number where a given but I did not want to put a title as I do a number of different things which are made obvious by the image and logo and if they go to my website. If they are given the card by me then they will know what I do either from speaking to me or seeing my work first hand, so a title was not important and I wanted to keep it as minimal as possible. The website address also made it on so there is somewhere for people to go and find my work, the website is currently having a revamp but will be ready with current and relevant work on it for the exhibitions and beyond.
The two images below are the ones I chose for the two cards. Having two different cards offers a bit of variation and as people who want my card have already had to make a choice as to which card they want, they already have some kind of thought process when it comes to me, an investment hopefully as they had to make a conscious decision about my work already.
The film has a start and a finish and I also made it with a narrative in mind. The way the tension builds towards the end and the sawing sounds near the beginning act as points that happened in the actual trip – making the raft and times of distress, worry or impending doom. Having said that I think for the purpose of the exhibition I will have it playing on a loop. I have chosen to do this because I do not believe that coming in half way through the film will ruin the message or the experience. There are definite sections as footage acts as the start of each sequence as a trigger for the memories in the photographs, so this point or feeling can be made at many points during. If people do come in mid way through they can always wait and watch the full thing.
My other concern was that due to the length of the piece being over eight minutes and with nowhere to sit it might become a tiring thing to stand and watch. Myself and others whom I have shown the film to agree that it does not feel too long when you are watching it as it immerses you as you watch. But these people were all sitting down and if you had to stand for the 8 minutes you would start to become uncomfortable which may break the spell. I thought of possibly putting a chair in but to go with the equipment I have (a high pedestal and a mac) it would have to be a high stool which would be awkward and possibly a danger with people walking around etc. By having the film on a loop so people can stay or leave as they want I think it will work better. It isn’t necessary to watch the entire thing but you can if you want.
There will also be two versions of the film. One will exist inside the exhibition space and the other online. The only difference with the two will be the addition of credits for the online version which would feel out of place in the looped version. As the film fades to white at the end I will make sure that for the exhibition (looped) version that it fades back to black right at the very end – as this is the way the film starts – so that the film seems to be continuous (a sudden jump to black again would give a definite awareness of the loop.
I picked out some passages from Jack London’s ‘Call of the Wild’ that hit home with this project. I was thinking of adding one at the end of the film to act as a highlighter for the meaning behind it. Some of them work better in this way than the others:
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”
“He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and of the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the womb of Time.”
“But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space. ”
“It was an old song, old as the breed itself – one of the first songs of the younger world in a day when songs were sad. It was invested with the woe of unnumbered generations, this plaint by which Buck was so strangely stirred. When he moaned and sobbed, it was with the pain of living that was of old the pain of his wild fathers, and the fear any mystery of the cold and dark that was to them fear and mystery. And that he should be stirred by it marked the completeness with which he harked back through the ages of fire and roof to the raw beginnings of life in the howling ages.”
The winner was this one:
“Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.”
I think this one works well because of the allure of nature and the longing to be closer to it is reflected in it. It speaks of something inside of us (or the character who happens to be a dog) that pulls us to nature, to the wild, to our primeval heritage, to leave the safety of our comfortable modern lives and be with nature with its glory, gifts and hardships. If I am to use it I think I will shorten it to end after the word forest to keep it more punchy and precise (although I would feel bad editing out Jack London’s words)and because this last part does not hold as much relevance.
It could also work as an opener to the film but I think with the information I am supplying next to it combined with this quote would work better as book ends rather than giving too much at one point or the other. So the ‘blurb’ will go at the front (physically next to the prints and film) and the quote will come in at the end of the film.
It may be a good idea to have some kind of explanation for the work where it hangs. I also need to title it. So far the working title has been ‘raft’ as that was the name I gave to the collection of images that form the work. Something more to do with the loss of connection would be better so I was thinking ‘Nature Lost’. I think this works because of the ability to loose yourself both physically and psychologically in nature and beacause of the connection that with have lost with nature.
For the written explanation I was thinking something like this:
In 2011 I spent a year living in Sweden. The abundance of nature and my love of the outdoors saw me spending most of my time in amongst it. The vastness of the land and extended time in it made this love grow and I felt more connected to it than ever.
Being back in the UK I seek out natural environments as I always have, but now they act as memory triggers for something bigger. The sights, smells and sounds bringing a longing that was born in the wilds of Sweden.
This longing I feel reflects societies dwindling connection to nature over the years and it seems this connection, just like mine, is also turning into just a fading memory.
I think this should be enough information to make the experience of watching the film and looking at the see-through prints much more meaningful.
For the foam board prints that will hang in The Strand I thought framing them might be a good idea. To go with the natural feel it is my intention to make my own frames out of old bits of woof or more tree like branches etc. As my grandad was a carpenter and I grew up in his shed this would be a relatively easy task to accomplish made easier still by the fact that he would probably want to help. I do not think glass would add anything to the images as they can support themselves due to being mounted on board. Befor jumping getting stuck in I thought some mock ups might give me an idea of whether it would work/look good so I stuck some in Photoshop for a test.
I think this one is nice. I like the dark wood and the bits sticking out. Not sure if I like the smooth fit on the corners however.
This frame is a nice colour but is far to wide. The width of the frame above is much better suited. I also prefer the more rounded wood above than the planed flat wood of this one.
This one is very simple looking and I like how the corners aren’t flush. The colour is a bit light though and it looks a bit too uniform to me. Maybe a mix of this frame and the first frame would be a good idea.
It depends on what wood I can get or what there is lying around in Grandads shed but I am still unsure. Seeing as it would be a fairly quick and easy job I might make one and see if it works for the project. That and I am itching to make something with my hands that doesn’t involve computers.
As the editing process continues and I think more about the work the more it starts to make sense. The whole thing, as well as being a comment on this lost connection within our society, is also mirroring my personal feeling separated from the wild. Not only do I feel less close since I came back form Sweden but also in general. I miss Sweden and long for the abundance of nature and adventure it offered me but I long more for nature in a more general way. It is a primeval urge to be closer to the land.I think this is what I am trying to get across with the work.
The footage in the film is from places found in between a modern landscape, small spots that have been left to the wild. These spots not only make me feel better when I visit them but also trigger memories of my time in Sweden and other adventures and times when I have felt closer to nature. The narrative of the film has developed with this is mind. The footage with the dream like music and sounds gives way to images of the trip where I was connected to the wild. With each new sound and footage a different sequence of images appears that relate to the photos as if there were bringing them to life again (as they are in my mind).
I think it will fit well with the images printed on clear and placed in front of the window. Both the video and the images show how a connection is faded. Faded for me after my return to the UK, faded for society in general and faded compared to what we once were, people of the land.
We still need and in a way live off the land but it is a far cry away from the hunter gathers that we once were. I’m not saying we should return to this but that it is important to keep hold of our connection to nature. Everything now is a product. I’m sure a lot of kids see packaged meat and do not know which animal it came form. This removal from the hunter gatherer process has lead to ignorance and lost knowledge which in turn has lead to indifference when it comes to the rape of resources and the land and seas. As long as people have their commodities and comforts they are happy, this fact of modern society is used to the benefit of companies who rape the land to make products we do not need to make money and keep people zombiefied and unaware of the world around them.
I am also guilty of this.