Case Study Exercise

Brief: All three of these projects are examples of personally driven work but they become universal when we can relate to the feelings they present by visiting out own personal histories.

  • Which of these projects resonates most with you, and why?
  • How do you feel about the loss of authorial control that comes when the viewer projects their own experiences and emotions on to the images you’ve created?

The project that resonated most with me was Jodie Taylor’s ‘Memories of Childhood’. I really like Taylor’s style and nostalgia is something that I experience frequently when I view the work of others -even if it is not the intended theme. I am a very nostalgic person, I am much present and past focused than one who looks towards the future and never stops to reminisce. I like Taylor’s work especially because of how simple and unexpectedly interesting the somewhat banal subject matter is when photographed in this way. She uses lots of long shadows and wistful light to create a memory-like effect -her work reminds me instantly of endless summers.

I feel that a loss of authorial control is healthy and although it is quite frightening to think that anyone could interpret as they wish and add they own perspective I think it is important to embrace that and see where it goes rather than selfishly close up the work and keep it closed up. I used to think that it was rude to interpret the work of renowned photographers and come up with my own conclusions and storylines and I also used to think that there was only one ‘correct’ way to view and that was to view in the way that the work was intended to be viewed and interpreted -I can see how very wrong I was. All work that is open to the public eye invites the viewer to interpret in their own way and to add context as only they are able to, using their own personal experiences to draw on. Of course some imagery is more closed than others and has strict storylines or intentions but it is impossible to stop people from viewing the images through their own eyes and from their own point of view and experience.