For our process project we were asked to explore the process of how out work was made rather than develop a piece that explains a process. I began with the feeling that i would look at how the natural world affected the physical appearance of things. The process here would be how the outcome was altered by an uncontrollable process. My main inspiration for this idea was the work of an artist called Jeff Rowland how integrates natural processes such as rain, snow or wind into his paintings of couples.
What i really love about this work is how the processes are personified into the painting and actually become a physical part of the work. The piece just wouldn’t be the same without these interferences.
However, this idea slipped away from me slightly. For as long as i can remember taking photographs i have always had a strange obsession with taking photos of homeless people. No matter where i am, if i have a camera and they are within photograph range, snap. They are eternalised. I think it must be something to do with their vulnerability that interests me so much about them. They are detached from our society. The homeless see themselves as cut off and forgotten about. Frowned upon and not taken pity on. However, i have to say that as much as people choose to ignore the homeless we still subconsciously categorise them and put them together. I found this interesting because they see themselves as being cut off, alone, useless and unnoticed but this is not the case. If you walk around any city, i can pretty much guarantee you that you will see a person living on the streets. Here are a few examples…
These people have been photographed in London, New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Some, admittedly are slightly more active and loving life than others but they are all still beggars. This liveliness then brought me to the concept of photographing normal people. By normal i mean walking around, with purpose and lives of some sort. There was also a process here. I had to look like a bit of an idiot for the duration of my shoots but it was rewarding and i got some funny looks every now and then.
But then again, i feel the photos came out well and the right things were portrayed. I was capturing people as they had chosen to be seen. Every one of these people has specifically chosen to look like this in order to create an image for themselves for others to see. No one can ever really know if these people wish to be seen like this.
With homeless people, the facade that they portray is not one that they can control. However, it does show them for exactly who they are. This way, the process of presenting yourself unintentionally is what shines through.
So what i decided to do for my final piece was to re-create the experience i had when i first saw these two chaps. In my mind they were there, physically, life size and alive. In a drawing they were a documentation; an unrealistic interpretation of what i had seen. I wanted them to be portrayed as they were originally seen. I decided that it would be best if the drawings were larger, scaled up and zoomed in. Create a life size version of a drawing. I can tell you now that this is not easy in the slightest. I firstly photocopied the drawings onto A3. I folded these photocopies into little squares and cut them out which left me with 28 little cut outs. The next stage was blowing them. So using the photocopier i increased the size of these drawings by 300% and had them come out on A4. I then cut up the photocopies and mounted them onto the wall.
The larger photocopies represent how we see and view homeless people. Grouped and as a collective. The smaller cut outs are the perspectives of the homeless on them selves. Left out, detached and cut off. The overlay is to evoke the understanding that there is a very fine line between how we view the homeless and how they view themselves. They are still people and so it is impossible and inhumane to assume that they are something totally and completely different.
The original drawings i did for this final piece have already been posted on my blog.