This residency is made up of a number of visits to Westgate Studios during February and March 2011, documenting the space through as well as recording the journeys to and from Durham to Westgate Studios, Wakefield, Yorkshire.
This blog will be a documentation of the project and its outcomes.
Completed 4 digitally printed A5 photo books for the Westgate Studios show yesterday evening, alongside 12 framed photos these will be the work from the residency for the show next week.
I have just finished the latest issue of MAT ZINE.
This issue makes up part of my response to the residency and will form part of the work for the art walk show at Westgate Studios at the end of this month.
In this issue I have tried to address the idea of empty properties being regenerated as studios both in Westgate and Durham.
There is only positive to be had from the use of empty properties as centres of art practice: maintaining empty buildings, bridges built with local communities and of course providing low rent and viable spaces for a variety of arts practitioners.
At the beginning of the residency I was thinking in terms of taps, and a net work of flowing creativity through these spaces.
This issue of MAT ZINE is more political in content that I had 1st planned; there are political contexts surrounding the emergence of art practices in empty properties and I found I couldn’t not refer in part to those issues, especially as much of the work I was documenting at Empty Shop Studios in Durham contained a direct political content.
Sunday was my last day of my residency at Westgate Studios.
Spent the day photographing around the building again, as well as having access to artist Ian Smith’s studio:http://tim-naish.blogspot.com/ as well as the empty 1st floor area which I hadn’t previously visited.
Now face the final push in order to complete the project work for the Westgate Studios open at the end of this month.
While working on the photographs from Westgate Studios have been thinking about the impact might cameras have on our understandings and expectations.
There are a prolific amount of images surrounding us, a constant kaleidoscope or slide show of images.
Replicating the way our eye sees, builds up visual information from number of images.
Thinking about photographing things in the way expected… prescribed… what things should look like/interpretation….imposing a look/set of ideas/ideologies connected with a certain ‘look’…. Camera and lens will dictate how we see/interpret things… sepia long exposure Victorian photos… 35mm b/w fast grainy film… Polaroid… flash… digital… HD. The capabilities/availabilities of technology interpreting its current environment.
Have been looking at soft focus, enlarged segments of the photos as a way to question the extreme clarity achievable by high tech digital and HD cameras.
One thing has been bothering me about this blog was the adjustment needed when using a different weblog. (I have been using a WordPress now for over 3 years and wasn’t really aware of how comfortable it had become until trying to adjust to a new weblog format.)
Employing a new structure really helped to high light how ingrained my work practice has become. Hope by trying new methods it will provide a better awareness of the established ones.
On Wednesdays visit the weather was more over cast with drizzly rain. I was interested that one view from Paula’s studio window was similar to that from mine in Durham; there is a steep road opposite.
Another thought was that in these building which have been used for retail that the views from the 1st floor up have been the property of those employed there, not the customer. The views from the studios are cracking.
I did find myself wondering about falling in to taking an expected type of studio photograph. Have to keep reminding myself that this is a process of building up a rapport with a specific place; that the images develop over visits. Similar to repeatedly drawing a place might.
I am also interested about the imprint these visits will leave on me.