As I contemplate nostalgia, it’s role in informing my work and how I intend to communicate the theme through my own project, it’s important also for one to consider the limitations and ceiling that it can create.
Course webinars with Anthony Prothero on my current MA Photography module, Sustainable Strategies, have highlighted and help me come to the realisation that feelings and emotions of nostalgia cannot be evoked simply or solely by a personal choice of analogue film stock.
I have to continue to experiment and consider new methodologies that communicate the themes, but that perhaps also are unexpected to the viewer, that illustrate memory in a new and innovative way.
Being ill with COVID-19 has been a set back over the past weeks and although I’m legally now allowed to leave the house, the long-term effects are still taking toll on my levels of fatigue. This has forced me to step back from practice with the camera and has given me time to contemplate and reflect.
A key method I’ve been using with my project so far is engaging in conversation with my photographic subjects about their item or keepsake that they’ve chosen to be photographed. Intentionally, and crucially, this exercise serves multiple purposes; to engage my subjects and build rapport (many of whom I’ve not known personally, prior to shooting), to understand their story and what their chosen thing means to them personally, to find clues as to how best (and accurately) portray my subjects and illustrate their memories.
Going forward, I will begin to experiment with ways of portraying these memories in a photograph. For me, memories and dreams tend to play in my head like a spotlight on a stage, surrounded by darkness, void of any context. They repeat over and over like the GIF above of me at 4 years old playing in the sand in Seahouses, Northumberland.
Whilst memories and dreams are often very visual and even photographic for me personally, they’re often simultaneously distorted, broken, glitched.
Song: All I Have To Is Dream
Artist: The Everly Brothers
Album: All I Have To Do Is Dream
Writers: Boudleaux Bryant
Licensed by: WMG (on behalf of Warner Catalog and O/H); SOLAR Music Rights Management, CMRRA, LatinAutor – SonyATV, Sony ATV Publishing, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutorPerf, ARESA, BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, Harry Fox Agency (Publishing), UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, and 10 Music Rights Societies.