Heading into my final year preparation hasn’t been amazing, as it took me a while to figure out what method I wanted to go down in terms of my final major project. I struggled with the getting strong ideas down which were going to be effective and last the duration of the year. I knew what my theme was going to be based of the back of the second year which was from my Performative portraits unit. My theme was Barriers. As this was my most strongest piece of work from last year I will continue using this theme for my FMP and dissertation. My strongest idea throughout the summer was to continue using the Barriers theme but taking it down a different path.
After a while, I began to look at a selection of articles and artists which gave me inspiration. One artist which stood out for me was Don Mccullin’s book ‘Sleeping with Ghosts, A life’s work in photography’. Mccullin, a British photojournalist, covers a collection of his best war photographs. What is intriguing about this book from a visual standpoint is, looking at the different series of images and placing yourself in their situations. Of course there are many other topics involved within the book, but I thought mentally placing myself in the photographs would allow myself to understand more about the situations which were shown in the book. Unfortunately, looking over the book after a while I began to realised this wasn’t the correct book to be viewing. Mccullin has some amazing photographs in the book, but they just don’t link to my current ideas. There is a link for my Barriers theme, just the link isn’t the one I was hoping to discover whist looking at Sleeping with Ghosts. I can see myself coming back to this book eventually as the powerful imagery has made me not forgot quickly about the images. I have an interest in war photography but at this current point it doesn’t help me with my current process.
After struggling to use Don Mccullin’s work, I started looking at different artists as I reached a dead-end with Mccullin. I came across Richard Wainwright, a photojournalist and videographer. I had never heard of Wainwright previously, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of his work. After doing a simple google search for barriers in photography, I quickly came across his borders and barriers archive. After having a quick browse through the different selection of work, I knew there would be able to gain potential ideas from viewing this work. I didn’t want to limit myself and single out any piece of work and use this as inspiration, but The Barriers to a Positive Peace. Caught my attention the most. Wainwright took a trip to Israel and Palestine to continue with his project, which was on communities divided by separation barriers which was back in 2012. For the project, Wainwright went to find people who had been affected by the separation barrier, how the people dealt with this barrier issue, and what the wall means to them. Looking at the photos, which made them impact myself was one image could have a normal day-to-day setting one moment the next would show the impact of the barrier problems. An example of this is Claire Anastas, who had a barrier protecting her house on three different sides.
There is only a small collection of images for this particular project, but each image had its own story and powerful impact for me to take notice. On a personal level, these images make me appreciate my current surrounds and I am grateful who what I heard as others aren’t so lucky, this is clique to say, but when you look as something as powerful as Wainwright’s work it makes you think about your own personal situation. The issue with this work, however, it’s very similar to my previous Barriers work. I need to look over the work again and compare this to other artists work, as I don’t want to use similar pieces of work as I’m trying to take my theme in a different direction. Wainwrights’ work had a strong impact on myself, so I can see why he has collected and produced some many awards and exhibitions over the years.