Assignment 5 – Planning

The Brief –

Look back at the themes we’ve examined relating to place and our presence within it.  What areas inspired you most?

The culmination of this course is a self-directed assignment where you have the free reign to choose a subject that relates to any of the material discussed in the course.  You may gather skills and insights through the projects that you want to revisit or you may have been inspired by other ideas.

The only stipulation is that the final outcome must represent a notion of identity and place that you are personally inspired by.  Make sure that your work is visually consistent, relevant to the subject matter you choose and holds together wells a set, both visually and conceptually.

Ideas –

This assignment is a self-directed assignment the only stipulation is that the final outcome must represent a notion of identity and place.  Initially, my first thought was to create my series of images from the abandoned villages I explored while I lived in Cyprus.  After much thought I was not feeling happy with the idea;  I wanted to create something more personal.  Throughout this course I have used my photography as a means to document issues I face in my daily life, I wanted to continue down this road.  The final assignment I have decided that I wanted to create a series of images that show the emotional struggles/challenges my 10-year-old daughter face while her father is away on deployment.  I want to create a series of images using my home as my backdrop and I want to keep the images as natural as possible.

Putting the assignment together –

Before starting the assignment I did some research on photographers that document family life.  I found a photographer,  Anna Grzelewska her series titled Julia wannabe very inspiring.  The work is a document about her daughters becoming a woman.  I really like how Grzelewska uses the natural environment and the natural poses of her daughter.  As a mother, I feel I can relate to this body of work because it will be something I’m going to experience with my own daughter one day.  Her work is an expressive narrative that shows the truth as well as intimate moments, Its intimate photography.  ‘Intimate photography is an exercise in pathology,  editing a sequence of seemingly unguarded private moments that reveal the origins and manifestations of the subjects personal lives.‘ (Cotton, 2009) Like the work of Grzelewska, I want to create an expressive and intimate narrative but I do think that is going to be the challenging part of the assignment.

The Images –

I have started to work on my images, over a period of time I have started to document my daughter. I have asked her to write notes, I’m thinking about placing these notes alongside the images.  I feel that by doing this I will make the work personal by showing how she was feeling at that moment.

Contact sheets –


Selection of final edited images –

ContactSheet-edited images

Putting the final assignment together –

_DSC0450.jpgScanned Image 1.jpg     *Using Photoshop I will add the scanned handwritten text to the image.

*Part 5 of the course is about removing the figure, I wanted to create images that work alongside my portraits.

*Experimenting with Photoshop to create a couple of my images.

The final images –

_DSC0450My husband was busy getting ready for his deployment, the pre-deployment phase as we know it has.  The days leading up to this I noticed the changes in my daughter’s behaviour, she became more angry and emotional.  This image was really hard to photograph because he just had an emotional outburst, she got angry with her brother.   When asked why, she answered ‘I’m so angry, everything is frustrating’

_DSC0501Father has left, the day before she started to complain about how ill she was feeling.  She was up all night crying saying her head and stomach hurt, she lay on the sofa most of the day refusing to eat or drink.  She just lay there feeling ill.

_DSC0509.jpg_DSC0513.jpgThey say the first two weeks is the hardest I don’t know I feel each week is hard as it every day has different challenges.  We are smiling a little more now.  Its enrichment week and we have made lots of different crafts at school.  She could not wait to show her father.

_DSC0818bSomnambulism(sleepwalking) is a disorder of arousal that falls under the Parasomnias group of disorders. Parasomnias are the undesirable motor, verbal, or experiential events that occur typically during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. (William Brim, 2013)  Sleepwalking is a behaviour disorder, and there is a number of factors that can contribute to these sleepwalking habits; stress and anxiety being one of those factors.  Deployment can affect a child’s emotional as well as psychological well-being.  Sleepwalking is what happens to my daughter when daddy is away.  She struggles to settle and then once she is settled, the sleepwalking starts; but it’s not just walking around, sometimes she sits up and talks, other times she will unpack her cupboards and sometimes she will walk around looking for her brother these are just a few things to mention; but she never remembers.

*During Part 5 of our course we looked at the work The Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson, I found it very interesting how he adds inserts and fold-outs to the book to make the narrative more interesting.   I would like to experiment with photo book making.

Assignment Planning 


References –

Cotton, C. (2009) The photograph as contemporary art, Thames&Hudson world of art.

William Brim (2013) Staff Voices: A Look at Somnambulism/Sleepwalking (Accessed online)