Since writing my last blog post a lot has occurred but not a lot of photography has been produced. It hasn’t been an easy year so far and with no signs of letting up I cannot stop hiding from my camera, especially when it brings so much joy into my life. However, it is what has happened that has inspired me to get back behind a camera so bare with this post whilst I delve a little deeper (I promise you it does all link back to photography).
In February 2019 after a long battle with Alzheimers my granddad finally passed away and was finally at piece. However, this event completely broke me. My granddad was my biggest supporter and his encouragement to follow what I wanted to no matter what others thought is what led me down the photography route. He loved photography and was the first person who helped me to take a photograph on a bridge camera. As I developed my love for photography it was great to always have someone to talk about it with.
After his passing I didn’t feel comfortable around a camera anymore. However, I did feel comfortable looking back through all of my previous work all the way from GCSE’s to now where I have an A-level and a degree under my belt. It got me exploring not just my work but what events have happened to get me to this point. 2019 is a big year having lost my granddad and it being 18 years since my mum passed but as upsetting these events could be, it is these events that have made me into the person I am today and it’s interesting to explore how each has affected me differently. As exciting this was and incredible to see how far I have come what this exploration of previous work made me realise was not just how far I had come with my work but how far I have come as a person. This has made me curious to start exploring myself more and is what I want to focus on for the next few months.
As mentioned earlier my Granddad was my biggest supporter but in the end he was my inspiration. He inspired me not to hide from my feelings, emotions and illnesses because when it is something that is incurable you have to grief the part of you that will always be missing but celebrate the bits of yourself that are unique and that you still have.
Serenity was 100% inspired by my granddad who was at the time struggling to find serenity in his care home. He knew he couldn’t be at home anymore or looked after by my grandma but he couldn’t find serenity in his care home because he still had enough of his memory and functioning brain left. This didn’t just affect him though it affected those around him who had to watch him struggle to find that place of calm and peace. When we were at university I had an extension because I just couldn’t keep up and everything was affecting me too much but when the opportunity came up to go to the lake district for two nights with the lecturers and our course mates I jumped at the opportunity. In this space with no phone signal and no internet it was lovely to feel so serene walking through nature and photographing it and just appreciating the natural sounds that surrounded us. I thought that if I felt so serene maybe if the photos I turned into a book for my module made me feel serene maybe they would help my granddad too. I never gave him the book because things always went missing in his home but instead I took prints to show him.
He and his battle with Alzheimers has been my inspiration behind the project I want to undertake next as well, not directly but still the main inspiration which I love because it means that even though he isn’t here he lives on through me.
So I don’t think it will come as a surprise that this year has been stressful having lost my granddad, doing a full time masters course as well as working pretty much full time. However, this stress that has sent me over the edge at times, has caused more meltdowns than can be imagined, has made me consider quitting my course, but has also gotten me to the place I am now where I am inspired and ready to document through the medium of photography Me!
Not only has all that happened it was also suggested that I am autistic. At first I saw this as a hinderance, something to be ashamed of but as I’ve gotten used to it and worked out what it actually means I have realised that it is actually a superpower that yes makes some parts of life harder for me but also makes somethings easier and makes me a strong individual. Now that I realise this is something not to be ashamed of I want to explore it some more.
I want to develop Quotidian. I don’t want it to be perfectly lit and technically impeccable because that just isn’t me and it isn’t my life. I want it to be raw and honest and open and unashamed. It isn’t going to be thought out perfectly its going to be documenting not pre-empted. So prepare for new work.