3: Text and Image: Woman Lost (December 2019)

This third part of the course takes a more personal approach to documentary and political satire. This underpins the more political ‘voice’ and approach to social and environmental documentary I explore with other people in Part 4: Audience.

My starting point was the work of Rebecca Solnit’s inspiring discussion about ‘getting lost’ and the need to open up and explore unfamiliar things without being afraid.

Losing things is about the familiar falling away. Getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.

Rebecca Solnit ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ 2005

The key focus is exploration of the dynamics of text and image:

  • how text and image combine to create meanings and/or narratives of different depth and complexity
  • the ways in which my own visual communicators author such content
  • the role an audience has in reading it.

Often starting with sketchbooks in different media, I brainstorm ideas and layouts for developing collage, image sequences and animation from photographs and text. I extend my digital skills in working with photographs to include working with Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects. I also incorporate and further developing the creative processes developed in Project 1.3 Creative Design Toolkit.

Project 3.1: Visual Dynamics: Getting Lost in St Ives

This first project and set of exercises revisits Project 1.3 Creative Design Toolkit in the context of developing work from a personal sketchbook from 5 days camping along the South West Coast path just above St Ives, Cornwall started in March 2019 and photographs and further thoughts from a second holiday in July 2019. The sketchbook is a ‘concertina compilation’ with pull-outs and add-ins from spontaneous mark-making, personal reflections on the various influences (Solnitz, Huguette Caland exhibition at Tate St Ives, Brexit angst and climate change in the News) and pencil sketches and photographs from walks. Starting on an optimistic note with Orange, it then dares to get darker in its examination of my personal psychological responses to place.

Project 3.1.1 Orange: Visual Dynamics revisited

Project 3.1.2 Lost in Blues: Maximum Minimum and ‘just right’

Project 3.1.3 Searching for Zennor: collage

Project 3.2: Finding texts: Woman Walking: feminist psycho-graphic explorations

Continuing from my reading of Rebecca Solnitz, I take texts from other psycho-geographers about the places I am interested in for this module as the beginnings of illustrated versions. My aim is to deepen my understanding of different psycho-geographic approaches to documentary and point to areas for further thought and investigation in subsequent projects. My main focus is on women psycho-geographers, but I also look at the work of men who have a similar political critique and/or have written about places I look at in this module. I consider how far and in what ways gender might or might not affect our ‘human’ perceptions and image-making processes.

Project 3.3 Developing Content: Lake Reflections

Using my own photographs, I produce a series of image and text collages about some of the tensions and contradictions of life in the Lake District.

Assignment 3: This Septic Isle

An animation in After Effects based on a feminist and environmentalist interpretation of Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt’s ‘This Sceptred Isle’ speech from Richard II with photomontage of my own images and selection from Internet.