Life with lockdown, a baby and illness

Life has changed so much in the past few months, my days are hardly recognisable.

We had a new addition to our family, becoming a party of 4 🙂

I spent a fortnight in hospital with what doctors think is Chron’s disease and have been back home recovering since then.

The UK went on lockdown to safeguard it’s people and it’s health service against the Corona Virus and I became a person at higher risk of serious health problems should I become infected.

Although I’m at home all the time, there is less time and space to create. Less time and space to think even, with two children at home 24/7! Consequently, art is taking on different forms. Different narratives are unfolding.

I’m still composting, but using stock images more as I can’t get out to take photos. The subject is no longer me, but the people, animals and objects around me. Using stock photos, I find actually opens my up imagination to new possibilities, as I use images I would not have captured myself.

Dandelion and Fox: Composite – images courtesy of Unsplash

Art begins to reflect life, and these creations look and feel different than what has come before, because life looks and feels very different now. And in a good way 🙂

Lighting

I’ve bought a cheap modelling light to play with. I usually only use natural light, but the winter months and my dark house are making me frustrated with the lack of light.

I’ve decided to use these winter months and maternity leave to learn about artificial lighting.

My modelling light gives a continuous daylight balanced light, which I can modify with a 50cm x 70cm Softbox. It’s nothing grand but something small to master and to see where it takes me.

I plan to investigate:

  • Rembrandt light
  • Broad light
  • Short light
  • Back light
  • Side light

I want to see the effects of more and less daylight when using it as a key light. And whether it can be used well as a fill light in daylight.

I have a lot to learn. I’ve relied a lot on Photoshop to fix my poor lighting, but now it’s time for a new challenge. I’m quite excited 🙂

Bodies are beautiful

I love photographing the human body. I think it’s curves, colours and textures are beautiful.

Looking at my back catalogue, the human body figures heavily in all my images. This has never been a conscious choice as in ‘I want to photograph naked people’. Hell, most of the body parts are my own and I have A LOT of body insecurity going on!

However, I am drawn to the human body and the roll in plays in our lives. It is easy to personify and conceptualise, and I think images can have a greater impact when they involve the human form rather than an object or an animal. It is instantly relatable, even when the subject or message in an image is not.

Does Life imitate Art, or does Art imitate Life?

33 weeks pregnant

Much of my photography is born from my experiences and emotions. Illustrations of things I can’t explain. Expressions of understanding and confusion.

I often find Art to be a journey of exploration and discovery, of the self, others, environment, ideas.

In this sense, I agree with Aristotle, ‘Art is Mimesis’. This was to be the extent of this blog. How my Art, often mimics what is going on in my life.

However, after exploring Oscar Wilde’s antithesis on Mimesis, named by scholars as ‘Anti-mimesis’ (gotta love that), my opinion has taken a swerve.

Wilde believed that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”. That our own realities are viewed through the lens of the stories we have read, the films we have seen and the art we have viewed.

In the era of the digital image, we are surrounded by human interpretations of people, environments, animals and objects. Wilde argues it is these images which influence our lives and construct our realities.

Looking back at my own art, I can see what Wilde is saying. I can see the influence of imagery I have viewed and read in my images. I have called on this imagery to help me represent my life. So I guess it becomes a ‘chicken and egg’ debate…which came first?