The fundamentals and essentiality of my research is based on an inspirational (and to be repeated) trip to Chernobyl: initially being to look at self-settlers and their reasons for returning to a homeland that could potentially kill them. However, after in depth research, I soon realised there are a multitude of issues connected to the 1986 disaster that are still very much relevant worldwide today i.e. real-time safety issues regarding the highly radioactive waste still stored at Chernobyl, recognition of the disaster as catalyst for world change (i.e. Glasnost), collective memory – a cognitive resonance, relating to the sudden evacuation of Pripyat and displacement trauma, as well as the effect of human error on mass population (responsibility) and not least the heroic, almost suicidal bravery of individuals who really did save the world. After initial research, subjects broadened (to include the Holocaust, Dark Tourism etc) and became too much. Therefore I have concluded what it is I am most interested in – ʻChernobylʼ and the ʻpoignancy of a fleeting moment in timeʼ and through this message –visually and emotionally communicated through my work, I will selectively choose particular resonating ʻsnapshots in timeʼ attempting to raise awareness of the wider and far- reaching issues through a textiles exhibition piece or installation, the title of which should definitely be…
'What Once Was There'
‘What Was There Once’
The next step is more research, but not exclusively as I need to produce physical work – which will form the basis of my future ‘mastery’. This ‘mastery’ can also be of my subject, my concept. In the first instance I therefore need to extend my memory life, like a rechargeable battery. Duracell, preferably.
Now though I have arrived more at questions than answers…
Q: How to capture ‘a moment in time’?
A: Photography being the most obvious, and I have plenty of photos…so kind of disregarding (for the moment) all the artwork, drawing etc. that I have done, which will never be useless as by doing that I have refined and defined my colour story, compositionally testing out figurative, textured and abstract responses which will no doubt, have subconsciously informed my future outcomes (OR I could actually use some of those images, marks and shapes for a layer of print). An aside: I feel I am still putting too much into/onto a design –you decide?
Q: How to choose the most evocative moment in time?
Q: What if I combine a number of photographic images to create a moment in time?
Q: Do I manipulate the images?
A: So far in some cases I have merged and layered them and decreased the opacity but little else. I do like them and mostly they do, I feel, create a mood, an impression.
Q: Should they tell a story? Can you expect every photographic image to tell a whole story, is that feasible?
A: The one piece that does say what I want to say is this one;
Mmm what to do with it now.