Assignment 3: Jabberwocky

For Assignment 3 Image and Text I decided to revisit and extend a series of monochrome photographs of Hagg Wood in Holme Valley on the edge of the Yorkshire Peak District illustrating the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ for Book Design Image and Text Project 3.2.

This body of work is part of an ongoing project around the broader theme of ‘Dark Peak White Peak’ in both the geographical and emotional/social sense. Exploring the expressive potential of black and white imagery and ways of working with black and white photography, printmaking and drawing from other places in the Peak District linking with other photographers and artists.

Concept evolution

From my review of previous projects in Assignment 1 and drawing on my tutor feedback, there were many areas of work that I am interested in taking forward. For this Assignment I initially considered Printmaking 2: Project 2.1 Natural Landscape and Assignment 1: Willows as a multi-themed body of prints and photographs on the beauty, contrasts and social contradictions of the River Cam where I live. But after having done further work on that option, I decided it merited much more in depth consideration as social documentary together with input from local people as my body of work for Assignment 4: Audience.

I decided instead to revisit and extend a series of monochrome photographs taken in May 2015 illustrating the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ for Book Design Image and Text Project 3.2. The photographs were of trees, shadows, reflections, litter and other artefacts from an ‘Edgelands’ walk through Hagg Wood along the river Holme. Now a Nature reserve attached to a campsite, the walk follows an old pack horse route connected with the wool and then textile industries with traces of both historic and contemporary human presence.

In colour most of the images were not so interesting.

But a simple contrasty black and white conversion in Lightroom gave some of them a much more abstract ‘edginess’ with splashes of light and dark, leaving the imagination to fill in some of the gaps.

I think this linked quite well with the underlying cryptic violence of the poem
‘Jabberwocky’ for Book Design Image and Text Project 3.2. My first plan was to re-edit those photographs using Photoshop skills I have since developed, and set the poem in more expressive type using new text manipulation features in Illustrator. Aiming to increase the sense of violence and edginess – contrasting the sometimes flippant language of Jabberwocky with the very real fear (and adrenaline rush) that I and many other women feel when walking alone in the ‘peri-urban countryside’. Particularly women who were young at the time of the Cambridge and Yorkshire Rippers (See my post ‘A Subjective Voice’ on my Landscape Photography blog). But I decided that I needed to start again from scratch with the images and see what comes up, and look again at the typography design after I have done Assignment 3 Text and Image. Because of RSI, I also needed much more time to fully develop the skills in After Effects and sound editing that I would need to do this effectively. That work is now part of my plan for Assignment 5 – linking with work on animation for Visual Research module.

So my submission for this first Assignment 2.1 now focuses on the visual communication of different tonal, shape and mark-making across different media to extend my creative styles. Extending the idea of ‘documentary’ into imaginative ‘psycho-geography’ of place. Using:

  • a selection of 10 of the original colour images re-processed and black and white fine art photographs in Silver FX and/or illustrations using artistic effects in Photoshop – including some that were not part of Jabberwocky but that I find visually interesting
  • a new ‘psycho-geographical’ sketchbook from a further visit to Hagg Wood in May 2019 exploring white on black and black on white drawing and scraperboard
  • using these photographs and drawings to develop a series of A3 fine art black and white prints in photolithography and photoscreen media.

Photography series

Path

Toy Boot

Reflections

Trees