BJP Project Assistance Award – Progress Report
Since being awarded the BJP/Nikon Project Assistance Award earlier this year, I have made 3 visits to Spain with one more planned before I present work at the BJP’s “Vision” event here in London on the 27th November. I returned from my most recent trip about a week ago – I made new work in Granada, Sevilla, Murcia and along sections of the Andalucian coast.
I’ve not developed the film from this trip yet, but as I have become more involved in the project, I have felt a shift in the emphasis of the work and in the way the project is evolving. Some of my aims and intentions have become less defined – and yet I think that ultimately this is a good thing. I discussed this with some of my fellow contributors at Insig.ht – Michael David Murphy summed things up succintly:
It sounds like you’re finding a good place between old & new work; It’s always about right to not know exactly what you’re doing, I’d say…
The older work, that formed the basis of my pitch to the BJP when applying for the funding, still has resonance – yet it was made up exclusively of photographs describing the collapse of the construction industry in Spain. As I have spent more time in the country, I’ve found myself photographing more on impulse and emotion; I’m attracted to scenes and more subtle details that perhaps describe my experiences of Spain in a more abstract yet more personal way. “The Crisis” is a phenomenon that is gripping Spain, and it extends beyond just the failure of the construction industry;
With this in mind I have been revisiting photographs that I took more on impulse on my visits to Spain in May and July. Originally I considered them as being “outtakes” – photographs that I took along the way that weren’t necessarily relevant to the more specific “Brick Business” project. The 50 rolls of undeveloped film from my most recent visit will reflect a shift towards this more organic, unplanned approach to photographing Spain. The next step is to bring together a broad edit of the images and see how they sit alongside the older work from 2007.
I’m trying to be open about the process involved in pursuing this body of work; I’ve been moving towards a more free-form method of photographing over the last couple of years – I was conscious that my work was becoming too predictable. Its still a constant battle to avoid covering old ground – trying not to shoot repeat images, attempting to find the subtle photographs while bypassing the glaringly obvious. Hopefully this will result in a more stimulating and engaging project.
Here’s a couple of photographs from my trip to Catalunya back in May – photographs that were originally “outtakes” but are now being brought back into the fold for consideration.