4: Kyrgyzstan: Dreams and Realities

For the second body of work for Assignment 2 Amend, I envisage a range of outputs in both colour and monochrome around challenges  of gender, cultural diversity and environmental challenges in Kyrgyzstan.  The work will be based on photos from consultancy work in Kyrgyzstan, incorporating also more imaginative drawings, paintings and prints illustrating my own travel notes and inspired by secondary sources on politics, culture and folk-lore and communications with colleagues on the ground.

I envisage a range of approaches in colour, limited palette and black and white, developing my technical skills in some key areas identified in my review in Assignment 1:

  • look at potential for producing atmospheric ‘dreamy’ images of the ‘Kyrgyz romantic ideal’ in graphite and/or gouache and/or ink  images from the photographs – what can these media do that photography alone does not? I also want to experiment with scraperboard.
  • continue my explorations of the potential of iPad software, particularly Procreate and Artrage for producing evocative images and/or further developing drawn and paint images
  • improve my colour and black and white photography processing and printing skills in Photoshop and Google Nik Effects applied to the most technically professional images.
  • further explore the potential of collage and photomontage to create single image narratives from photographs – particularly ‘imperfect’ photographs, building on my work on Ethiopia in Assignment 2.1.
  • further develop my printmaking skills: drypoint, woodcut, linocut, screenprint and collagraph based on selected images from the above.

I will explore a range of styles, including some from my earlier collagraph and iPad work, experiments with Photoshop and photolithography.

The Photo series

The assignment significantly extends a series of photo-books I produced for an OCA leisure course on landscape photography:

Assignment 5: Perspectives on Kyrgyzstan

Some of the photographs are technically good enough to develop as photographs in their own right. But some of the most interesting photographs from a socio-economic perspective are not technically good enough to stand as photographs.


Further development in Assignment 5

This body of work will be further developed in Assignment 5, drawing on further skills developed in the rest of the module, and after feedback from a range of audiences in Kyrgyzstan and internationally. Outputs could include:

  •  a third mixed media Dan Eldon style book and/or on-line interactive pdf around gender, social inclusion and/or environmental challenges in Kyrgyzstan for a development audience (eg the UN consortium with whom I worked) and/or travel/tourist audience (eg with feedback from my Travel Writer’s group).
  • significantly revised photobooks: improve my colour and black and white photography processing skills in Photoshop and Google NikFX to edit my best photos together with my book design skills to produce a quality photobook based on feedback from colleagues in Cambridge Camera Club. Feedback from my photography tutor and others suggest that – with technical improvements to the photos, a narrative and appropriate book design there would be a market for a black and white photobook and maybe also colour. Using different content for each. And paying attention to different audiences in terms of content and price.
  • fine art and photographic landscape and/or documentary prints in different media
  • a ‘taster’ for these in After Effects in Assignment 5 using some of the workshop songs as audio.

As English is not common in Kyrgyzstan an issue will be how to design the collaged book with maximum visuals and minimum text, or separate text, that can be easily translated. The photo-book text would also need to be separate.