Recreate a childhood memory in a photograph. Think carefully about the memory you choose and how you’ll recreate it. You’re free to approach this task in any way you wish.
- Does the memory involve you directly or is it something you witnesses?
The memory is something I witness, something I feel. A memory of many events, many summer evenings spent down by that sea, on that green patch. I have taken a ‘nostalgic’ shot of one of my favourite kinds of feeling from childhood. I can remember one evening here in particular but this image sums up many evenings here as a child/young adult and the thing they all have in common is this one specific feeling which I still get when I’m down here. This particular memory that I have is of my brother and I, lying out on the grass after swimming all day in the river that joins the sea here. The air is warm, its the middle of the summer holidays and the sun has just set leaving the sky in pastel stripes, light blue and pink meet the darker line of the sea. It feels peaceful, we are tired from swimming and from using our imaginations to re-enact the last movie we’ve seen and all is right with the world. Time stands still for a while. An endless summer’s day ends perfectly.
- Will you include your adult self in the image (for example, to ‘stand in’ for your childhood self) or will you ask a model to represent you? Or will you be absent from the image altogether? (You’ll look at the work of some artists who have chosen to depict some aspect of their life without including themselves in the image in the next project).
I didn’t want to use myself in the picture as I felt it would seem staged. I also didn’t want to use models because it might again looked staged and I wanted to pick up the mood of the place/time not just take a snapshot of some kids lying on the grass. It just felt right to do it like this. I lay on the grass to take the photo so I guess in some ways I was re-enacting that day myself and keeping the camera low so as to pick up the same view that we might have had – as kids lying out on the grass.
- Will you try and recreate the memory literally or will you represent it in a more metaphorical way, as you did in Part Two?
I have definitely recreated the memory in a metaphorical way mainly. When I set out with my camera and headed down to that coast that is so full of memories I didn’t actually know what I wanted to do, I wasn’t evening planning to shoot the final image but something about it clicked in to place when I got there, the mood just felt really similar to that memory and many others that have merged in to one feeling.
- Will you accompany your image with some text?
This is actually really difficult as I’m not sure what sort of text would do the image justice. I think maybe just a caption like ‘The end of summer’ or ‘Childhood I’ or something might help to contextualize it but the viewer can interpret however they like (and I would encourage this with this kind of image).
- In your learning log, reflect on the final outcome. How does the photograph resemble your memory? Is it different from what you expected? What does it communicate to the viewer? How?
The photograph resembles my memory of the place so well, I don’t think I could have made a better image and I was lucky to have the right light and weather etc to create the right mood to capture how I feel/felt. I feel like this image is many different memories of the same place and throughout different stages of my childhood but it also perfectly sums up this one clear memory that I have from one summer when I was about 9 or 10 and my younger brother would have been around 5 or 6 years old. I think to a viewer that has not been told what this photograph means would view it as a pretty scene but I think they would definitely pick up some of the mood of the scene, it might be nostalgic to others too as I think this kind of evening light, the empty benches, the still quality to the photo would be quite effective at bringing up some of a viewers own memories.
It might be interesting to show your photograph to friends or family members – perhaps someone who was there at the time and someone who wasn’t – and see what the image conveys to them.
Unfortunately I had shown my mum the photo before I thought to ask her about its meaning so this wasn’t a very good experiment as she knew the idea behind it but here’s her thoughts anyway:
“Even though I wasn’t there at the time of the memory that is suggested here I can remember many similar evenings when we were down by the sea here, as a family or just parts of the family. Hatti and I used to go for walks together when she was little and look for wildlife at dusk. This picture reminded me of that.”
My friend was here when I took this shot but hasn’t been informed of why I took it or of any of my childhood memories here specifically. This was his take on it:
‘Through each passing day, regardless of where you may be, there is always calm after the storm. And with that new day there will always be a place for family, friends, togetherness and love.”
I really like this poetic take on my picture and I think its not too far out from my intentions. Definitely this sense of calm and togetherness.