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Innovation in Isolation

Updated: May 13, 2021

Throughout my artistic career I have always been drawn to photographing nature, this could be anything from a microscopic image of seaweed to a mucky puddle in a park. For me photographing nature is a starting point, it gives a visual to my thoughts and ideas. I can think conceptually about what is happening within the photos and begin to string a narrative together which connects these images to theoretical readings on topics of photography .

I found mycelium to be a growth that is fundamental to all living things and wanted to research this further. Pink Oyster mushrooms caught my eye their pink peachy tones  fascinated me and I decided to grow these mushrooms and document them each day. I made a plan to document this growth using two different cameras. I would take one picture using and digital camera and another using an analogue camera. This is to create a dialog through a use of the photographic medium. The digital symbolises a fictional (virtual) documentation  and the  analogue symbolises truthful (authentic)  documentation.

At this time I was also reading a lot about the female gaze and how young women today are taking back control of the disseminated image within film and photography. There is a call for a more authentic image of the female, one that is unique and real.

I began to make connection between these concepts of representing an authenticity with how I would represent these mushrooms through print and other fabric manipulating techniques.

Each piece is created from looking at photographs of the oyster mushrooms and this very authentic way of documenting time and growth, but as I would take elements from the photographs and transfer them into print they would become more and more detached from their origin showing a possibility  inauthenticity in representations using the photographic medium.

Playing with elements of the digital such as the halftone and pixel, I would use this to further distance the final product from it original source. Exposing pieces of fabric that were cut to symbolise elements of the oyster mushrooms, I would then directly expose these onto a screen for print creating a loss of information through the fabrics inability to expose in parts, this again further plays with how the photographic image can change perceptions and manipulate truths by distancing itself from its origin. This manipulation I feel can be seen in many the photography seen in fashion magazines today, we are not present at the time the photo is taken and therefore are only realisation of the shoot is the final image, we do not see the staging the lighting and we cannot here the directions given.

Another aspect I investigated was three dimensional shapes of the mushrooms visualised in the photographs. I found this very interesting because a photograph is always two dimensional and to represent the photographic image in three dimensional form could be seen as then bringing the representation back closer to its origin the mushroom themselves, showing a continuous flux between authentic and inauthentic representation.

I wanted to use again inspiration of the female gaze movement by somehow representing the girl who would be wearing my textile pieces. I decided film would be great way to do this. The aim was to create artistic films and narrative inspired by my own interests and the  music films and atmosphere that I found inspiring myself growing up. I felt taking inspiration from music and film and art I had loved growing up would be the most authentic way to create this representation of the female as it had come from my own personal experiences. It was inspired by  the evenings spent enjoying boredom and a pleasant solitude of ones own personal space , the bedroom. Contently listening to a the weird song you found and now felt sole discoverer of. I want to create mood within my collections and focus on garments being indicative to a specific mood. One being melancholic the other being joyful.

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