Today I attended a really insightful and interesting lecture held by artist Sian Davey. An artist to whom I feel connected in terms of our work similarities (in terms of focus, of course I am nowhere near on her level).
Looking for Alice was one of the series discussed by Sian, the one which I am naturally most drawn to, well that was until I saw the others. Having a child with Downs Syndrome myself I feel that this series holds a special place in my heart and has really been at the forefront of my research for the past year and a half.
Image from the series “Looking for Alice” by Sian Davey.
Light plays a very important part in Sian Davey’s images, really enhancing the colours and contrast in her images. Sian explained during this lecture that in the image above Alice had gone over to this bed and just lay in this straight position, without any direction from any other person around her. The bed resembled a hospital bed with its clinical green sheets and white walls, something which sprung a thought into her head with the links between how the bed physically looked, the way that Alice was lying, and the facts of the past based upon the types of places children with Downs Syndrome would have sadly ended up. Institutionalised.
Her series all hold meaning and really do draw you in with interest, something I need to work on a lot. My images are not holding the viewer in long enough to break the images down due to lack of subject interest, especially the ones where I have photographed Holly alone, and normally in the same setting every time.
I really appreciated Sian’s feedback on my work today, it was particularly comforting that she liked work that I had shot on 35mm film previous to be starting to use polaroid method. The images she much preferred were the ones that were unstaged, involving Holly with others, as opposed to alone.
Image shot by myself using my Nikon F90X 35mm film camera & Ilford XP2 monochrome film.
Images such as the one shown above hold much more interest and value that some of the other images I had previously shot. I now plan to go back to film, this time using colour 35mm Fuji Superia, in order to capture some more images of Holly, exploring her relationships with others in the household and in particular my father, Holly’s Grandad Stuart.
Old Wulfrunians Club, 2016. Rebecca Newell.