Saturday, 15 October 2011

Image Makery

Okay, so I'm back at uni and its killing me. After an 'easy' second year I've pretty much got to up my game to a whole new level. With my sketch book I'm researching and showing my invested time, however I am also going to include my blog into my project, updating it everyday so it is an online log of my work.

My new project:
Recently we had to give a presentation on our idea, we had to talk for 6 minutes about our concepts, context and content. I'm not great at speaking in front of groups so I spent hours writing down exactly what I would say, which inevitably was time waisting as half way through I realised how dry it was and that I had not really explained my idea at all. Here are a couple of points from it:

Erwin Olaf
laboral escena, gijon

I will be looking at the style of Erwin Olaf, his work is always a source of inspiration. What attracted me to these photos were the painting like quality and how they follow the same theme I am interested in. The way the female model is portrayed in the fur denotes wealth and the pheasant hanging places you in a rural environment. I enjoy the way his work plays with the real and the unreal, how you can almost be convinced it is a painting and the skill that has gone into lighting and post production.

Elaine Bradford
Sweatered Elk

For my next project I will be combining my knitwear with my photography, although I am incredibly interested in knitting I must remember that I am the photographer and that the props really have to come second to producing the images. Looking here at Elaine Bradford's work it links into my project as I am hoping to produce a hunting themed shoot using knitted props as substitutes to fur and other traditionally cruel animal products. I will be producing a fashion editorial (8-12 images) with a vintage feel, combining textile props and fashion accessories to trick the viewer into believing, at a glance, the objects are real.

I have finished making an antler, it has turned out slightly different to what I expected, however I am happy with it (excuse the terrible photos)! I wanted to knit it in one piece but it has become more textured because I have wrapped it around itself, which fits into my style a lot more, hopefully my friend Ben will guide me a little bit in the prop making! I've got one more to do, which should take about two days. My whole life is being consumed by this project, but I've got a few elements sorted and I'm just piecing it all together.

Todays Research:

Today I have been looking into documentary photographers. I am trying to gather as much information I can on hunting and how to portray the models within my images.

David Chancellor

"This body of work explores the complex relationship that exists between man, and animal, the hunter, and the hunted as we both struggle to adapt to our changing environments"

I believe by looking into the real I can draw more inspiration than looking into other fashion images. We have been warned away from looking at other contemporary fashion photographers because we will just reproduce what we are looking at (which is totally ironic as fashion reproduces everything and everything and is not as conceptual as portrait or documentary work). Although this series is looking at Africa it does give a good insight into the hunter's life and the situations they face day to day. What I do struggle with when looking at images such as these is how real they are. With fashion you know it is contrived and selling a product/lifestyle, but with these why are the posed? Why does the hunters stand there proud showing his prize? What is the reason behind the photographer capturing the moment and what did he have to say to get the subject to stand there like they are? The subjects do show an uneasiness which raises two more questions: are they uneasy about their work or because of the photographer?

With this series there is a strong link between the photographer, viewer and subject. We are interested in the subject because it is the 'real', we are interested because it is human nature. Seeing the results and 'trophies' is shocking and I personally cannot believe it is real. Although the series informs does it take a side? From the series I do feel inspired despite my image making being completely different. It raises questions on how I will be producing my work. I can draw from the poses and the emotions the subjects are showing.

Things to look at:
How to position the model in my images: looking into how the subject and audience interact.
How do I present my work without promoting hunting?
How to raise awareness within my images? Do I want a connection between the props and the model?

Zed Nelson

I have decided to look into Zed Nelson's fox hunting series for ideas on styling.

This is the write up from the Institute For Artist Management website that accompanies the work:

 The British tradition of fox hunting is viewed by many as an elitist and cruel past time for the rich. The battle between those who call for an outright ban and those who demand the right to hunt has made it a major political issue. Hunting with a pack of hounds was banned under the previous Labour government, but hunting on horse back with a single hound remains legal and a frequent countryside activity.
Anti-hunt saboteurs continue to harass and disrupt fox-hunters wherever they gather, but ‘pro’ fox-hunting lobby groups have mobilizing their own supporters, and are digging in to defend their right to hunt. The hunters have become the hunted, but they are refusing to go down without a fight.

Once again by looking into the real I do have a good idea of how to produce my work. I have a meeting my stylist tonight to discuss the idea further, I do really like the Alexander McQueen 2012 Resort collection, which is really tailored and plays with gender roles.

Basic Shoot Outlines:
Farm House. Hunting. Knitted Props. English Feel. The Representation of Women. Time Setting - looking into 40s knitting patterns and how the women are portrayed. Tweed. Role Reversal.

Look into how women were portrayed in the 20s, 30s, 40s (stitch in time) look into knitting patterns - the style of images.
Look into the roles of women during those times and how to cross over modern androgyny with vintage appeal.
Look into the real and the unreal and how to cross over in my project.
Look into how to produce anti-animal cruelty images without encouraging it. Vanity vs. Welfare. Fashion fixes.


  1. looks fantastic!
    looking forward to the end result.
    great creativity :-)

  2. Hey louise,
    I loved this blog and how you combined the knitting into your uni projects!
    I look forward to your regular posts on your studies!
    Kate ;)