Tuesday, 6 March 2012

on walking the dog and bits of string - inspired by Mary Maclean

How to get the creative juices flowing again?

That has been my chief concern for the last few weeks.

Everything seemed a struggle, until I spent a day with IPSE; Independent Photography in the South East.  and in my search for new ideas I joined them for a workshop in deepest Sussex.

IPSE website

I left the house on Saturday morning, not at all sure what I was going to, having lost the information leaflet that described the day. As a consequence I packed cameras, tripod, my portfolio and a sandwich of dried stale bread, wilted lettuce and hummus. It mattered not what the day had in store; I was confident that a day spent amongst photographers had to be a good thing; and it was.

I arrived at a village hall, obviously used by a playgroup, and full of useful signs giving instructions on how to empty a potty ( wear plastic gloves, plastic apron, put contents down loo, and then rinse.....) , where to wear your plimsolls ( in the plimsoll "zone") and how to wash your hands.

The morning was spent in discussion with Mary Maclean; a photographer with a  background in fine art, currently a lecturer at Reading University.

Link to Mary Maclean's website

Reception 2 Silver gelatin on aluminium 86 x 122cm

As it says on her website.........
"Mary Maclean is an artist working with photography. Her work explores the representations of the experience of place, questioning the relationship between the photographic image and the subjective experience of socialised, architectural space". 

Mirei 5 by Mary Maclean

Suffice it to say that her work is stunningly beautiful, minimalistic and created on large sheets of aluminium coated with silver gelatin; a process that creates a depth and sheen to her images that make something extraordinary out of the ordinary, be it a wall, window or a chair.

Installation view from the series "Frenzy" by Mary Maclean. Metropole Galleries, Folkestone 2006

I came away inspired to get on and create work, for it is only by attempting to emulate great work that one can hope to improve and develop.

Mary's work is about inverting the habitual priorities of looking; as an example in the image above she concentrates on the space between the paintings rather than the paintings themselves.

Much of my work concerns the inconsequential or mundane. My recent walks have focussed on string and hazard warning tape seen as I pass by the farm and through the woods in Chislehurst.

©caroline fraser 2012

©caroline fraser 2012

There will be a series in here somewhere; it is just trying to find its way out.

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