The second part of the sub project on Re-Seeing public art in Birmingham : an Initial Outcome. Informing Contexts, MA, Falmouth University
I wrote on 22nd February about the group I facilitated which actively captured a part of their city over a three week period. This concluded and I downloaded all 480 images (see below, figure1) onto a single composite image to firstly demonstrate the diversity and number of constitutions but also to establish any patterns or complementarity .
I will, in due course, make a decision to develop this strand of work further. It does not currently integrate into the ‘Empty’ series I continue to make. It stands in its own right and does demonstrate that sub projects (in this case a community-led approach to photography and urban experience) may take on a life that is not umbilically linked to what expands into core work but shows a diversity and flexibility in approach and learning.
The exercise has however provoked interest and the lead consultant of a bid for Arts Council England funding incorporated my city walking and participation technique into the proposal to involve the community whilst the Thresholds exhibition is hosted in Birmingham. The bid was successful so I shall be undertaking this work in the summer of 2017.
Thresholds in London, preceding the Birmingham phase https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/mat-collishaw-thresholds
Thresholds in Birmingham http://visitbirmingham.com/what-to-do/festivals-events/art-photography-culture/thresholds/
Week 8 Reflection (Part Two) Falmouth University : Informing Contexts
This week has been enormously busy. I made a decision to conflate the weekly side-theme created by my course cohort of ‘cardboard’ with my most recent shoot and the principal week 8 topic, Enter the Academy, regarding the role of galleries, display and the challenge or opportunity this may present now and in the future for our own practice.
What is shown here is the work flow that started with a visit just after dawn to a pedestrian precinct route through a traffic roundabout dominated by an overhead dual carriageway. It was finished by public artist William Mitchell in 1968 who was commissioned to create a public art wall to the sides of the open area of the underpass using in situ concrete. This is quite a tricky part of Birmingham, so I planned my solo visit with by digital equipment and tripod early on Saturday morning two weeks ago. I measured out a distance from the wall to ensure that I shot each portion with equal scale and distance. Following this I studied the wall in greater detail both perpendicular and obliquely. This follows try newly established shooting technique I have developed which captures the whole then the fine grained detailed parts of built environment. This sits within the overarching topic of ‘Re-Seeing’ places.
I then downloaded the images, stitched them together using Adobe Photoshop, imported into Lightroom and converted the images into a pre-set monochrome editor. These panoramic files were then printed out at 1:100 scale, mounted onto cardboard and formed into a square to emulate the original layout and suggest a gallery screen wall at 1:2 or 1:3 scale. I used a print from Google Earth to form a tunnel into the show space to emulate the overhead road and bent some cardboard to imply a cast of the concrete remade from a mould on site and cast in the gallery to allow children to climb onto it (with a catch mat below).
This was then rephotographed to form a series of views as to show the installation could work in a gallery context, as a taste of how I may in future show the work to potential gallery curators.
I imagined the promotional sheets with a backdrop image and the title Passing Under – Underpass Art.
It was informative to use my work, think of it at scale and how it could be used to re-see in a new context. I am writing a blog (Part Four) about potential locations for this, along with other work.