I have continued with this project although over the summer months did very little other then let it settle in my mind. For one thing I felt a bit lost with it and wasn’t sure where or if it was going in the direction I wanted it to. I felt due to that, it would be best to leave it be, concentrate on other things and come back to it when I was ready. I had already put a date in the dairy for the end of August and was in two minds about it, but went ahead and was very pleased to have done so. It seems to me that this project is as much about learning a ‘process’ as it is about anything else. I have some fresh energy now and hopefully will be able to schedule in some more shoots in the coming weeks.

I talked about the project yesterday at the monthly TV meeting and thought I’d settled on a particular trope to concentrate on for the next few weeks, direct eye contact; and whilst I think it will be important to ensure I capture that in the coming shoots, I will also play around with other options since I came across a few images this evening when looking at the most recent shoot that I’d not have taken if I’d stuck religiously to that. So, as fellow student John Umney keeps reminding me – remain open and keep experimenting. I think I need to follow John’s advice as well as stick doggedly to my primary objective too, if that is at all possible. So what I’ve learned is that my process is a hive of contradictions. Which is fine too.

As suggested by Jayne Taylor yesterday I have made a provisional edit with what I’ve got so far and I have to say it is speaking to me, as it were. It’s been a really helpful thing to do.

Obviously I still don’t know what the project will ultimately be called although my eldest son who was peering over my shoulder for a moment this evening, said aaah, yes, referring to my work with a faux Swiss accent as, “The Growing up with a Vagina”.  He really does make me laugh a lot.

I think it was Fiona Yaron Field, who has been very helpful with some advice, who suggested I stopped thinking about what informs the work from my history and just get on with making it and I think perhaps taking the break has helped me to do just that. I look forward to seeing what I think about these images in a few month’s time.

Added later so I know where this is. http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/what-shakespeare-sounded-like-to-shakespeare.html

Images (c)SJField 2016

When I look at this it either feels horribly contrived or possibly spot on. Looking back at some of the earlier shots I am much clearer in my mind about which images work for me and which don’t, and I know that will be the same with these… but I shall have to wait and see. Editing – hard! And you receive so much conflicting advice about it. Everyone does it differently though and that is the point. As one person said to me, you are constantly editing and that to me feels the most accurate in relation to my own way of working. I am constantly returning to the images and looking through them again and dismissing things I’ve thought were right then finding myself returning to them again etc.
For me the simplicity of this is what I think I’m after often. I really like the head-on, nothing-overly-fussy thing about it, and many times it’s what I’m trying to do -pare things down as much as possible (although I’ve seen far more pared down work too, of course). This fits in with some of the earlier shots I’ve taken. But it’s very different from the one above. So I’m not sure how it will fit, if at all. As someone said yesterday, it feels like I have several projects within one project at the moment, and that is how it feels to me too. But that is part of the issue of working on something I suppose -finding a cohesive something. As an actor I would strive to venture down as many paths as possible during the rehearsal. It was only once we started pulling the production together that I would aim to settle on fixed points around which one could play and I suppose that is the same thing to aim for here. (and is happening)

2 thoughts on “Personal Project: Girlhood

  1. There’s a reference that I have been desperately trying to remember with regard to the first image (girls and mirror), when I remember it I will pass it on. I think it has lots of potential and the artifice that you recognise isn’t available to the ordinary viewer. The second image is brighter (I’ve looked on three devices and it seems to be so. I think it rendered more strength when it was darker – just a greater sense of emotive dialogue. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the project develops, so much potential.
    On the subject of artist sketchbook, the absolute best I have ever seen is Francesca Woodman’s – her sketchbooks are available from all good booksellers as well as Amazon :).


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