Assignment Two: People and Activity Rework

The object of this assignment is to plan and execute a set of images of people in some form of meaningful activity.  This could be work, sport a stage performance (music, drama), or at a social event.

You should produce a set of approximately 10 final, selected images, and you can choose between depicting the same person (or small group) at different kinds of activity, or different people at the same activity or event.

Concentrate especially on two aspects: on telling moments, and on ‘explaining’ the activity (which means choosing the viewpoint, framing and timing to make the actions as intelligible as possible).

Continuing my theme with the residents of the Assisted Living accommodation where I reside, I’ve chosen to use them as the subjects again for this assignment.

As this series of works encompasses many older people when it comes to activity one needs to be aware of the limitations of their physical abilities.  Even fully able older people have physical limitations that accrue to anyone as they get older and this is markedly more so with those whose health is no longer as good as it perhaps once was.  So although the brief is to show …..meaningful activity.  This could be work, sport a stage performance (music, drama), or at a social event.’ the subjects I use don’t participate in those sorts of events much anymore and so I’ve chosen to illustrate them in more sedentary activities, just as telling I think, and more suited to their situation.  It’s also not possible to show them all performing the same activity as their individual circumstances don’t permit it, and wouldn’t it be boring?  I therefore chose to make images of many individuals in many different circumstances.

I spent some time looking at images made by some of the ‘important’ photographers of the last century, Avedon, Frank, Arbus, Golding, Dana Popa, Parr etc; trying to see what they might have in common that makes their work stand out in this genre.  It seems to me that there is no commonality except that each has put a lot of passion into what they have done and really believe in what they do.  There’s certainly a lot more artists than I’ve mentioned here working in Documentary, particularly Social Documentary, and I it’s my belief that it’s an area that can’t be saturated as there’s always something new to see and a different way of looking at it for that to ever happen.  I certainly really like making these sorts of images and have thought of several different themes I’d like to explore and make series from.

I’ve chosen to give this series and overall title of ‘Captives’.  The title explains their individual and overall situations in that in some way or another they’re all dependant on whatever it is they’re depicted doing.


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