I have to be honest, the prospect of creating a calendar using photographs that might be considered as a vehicle for presenting by a company as a means to promote itself didn’t fill me with any enthusiasm. I wrestled for some time to try and work out ways in which I might subvert the whole process and perhaps myself in the process. I have created, and had printed, calendars before; they sold quite well and had lots of pretty pictures in them, in fact six more than the requirement for this assignment!
After some considerable thought, which included a web based face to face conversation with my tutor who thought my idea was potentially sound, I have come up with an idea to use the current project with the Echoes Group as a vehicle for both the calendar and the ‘Oral Presentation’.
Leaving aside the ‘Oral Presentation’ for assignment six, I shall try and develop a set of images that describe some of my feelings that have now rooted from my work in Artscape, and in particular the ‘Echoes Group’ that I volunteer for as part of the contract I have with the NHS.
The brief for the calendar images require seven images, one for the cover and another six that would be set against two monthly periods in the year. I have discussed this with my tutor and have agreed that I won’t be printing the days/dates on my artwork – though I will try and use the Artscape logo which I feel will be very straightforward to obtain and include, though what it will add to the series I’m not sure.
The current project I am working on at the Group is called ‘The Measurers’ and involves three inner city schools as well as the ‘users’ of the Group. The participants have had talks from one of the University museums – The Museum of the history of Science and have visited the museum to gain some inspiration before developing some artwork. The participants were asked to make a piece that illustrates an invention they would like see. I have been asked to ‘document’ the project with an aim to either put on an exhibition sometime in the New Year (the project has been running since early September and will run until the end of the current academic term) or develop a book – and maybe both. So I’m making lots of images, printing them and showing and discussing them with the users and the artist lead who is running the project.
A little while after deciding on the subject matter for the calendar it occurred to me that underlying the narrative of ‘The Measurers’ document was another thread about ‘time’. That a calendar is a measure of time seemed to chime very nicely which gave me a renewed confidence that the current project at the Group was an appropriate subject.
My concept at this stage is to place not one, but two images per page as diptychs. The twin images will be contrived to open a dialogue for the viewer to try and maybe interrogate their comprehension of the juxtapositioning of those images. Each diptych will have a ‘user’ and either a piece that has been used as an inspiration (from the Museum or otherwise) or an artwork that has been created in the project. My aim would be for a dialogue to opened by the slight disjuncture of the image, or perhaps by the inclusion of some text. Text was a suggestion from my tutor as I had concerns over the formatting of the twin images – there maybe instance where the coupling might contain a landscape and a portrait pairing which would leave some white space and so, by adding some text (which I think is a real opportunity for me) I can perhaps compensate graphically over the whole of the work.
I am now looking forward to this assignment in a way that I hadn’t expected to.