Liminality and the everyday: Letting the practice lead the way.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my Phd project but the time has come to stop thinking too much about the theoretical elements that underpin the Phd project and let the photographs inform the direction of the project. Taking photographs of the everyday using a wide range of cameras has become a strong focus of the project as I search for liminal spaces in the everyday. The photographs below were all taken on an iPhone, but I am also using a Diana plastic camera, pinhole camera, DSLR and Mamiya C220 twin lens reflex camera.

The next stage of the project will involve the building of a small scale portable camera obscura and the transformation of built environments into a camera obscura. The focus of the photographs at the moment is capturing images that trigger memories or  are memory sites. From a 1970’s speedboat on the entrance to a freeway in my hometown, a family xmas feast, a lone pine captured on the day of my mother’s funeral service and an image of the chair my mother used to sit in at the nursing home.

The world seems different after the loss of my mother and the photographs I am taking in the wake of this event are an important part of the documentation as i work towards narrowing the scope of this Phd project.

007 Speedboat, Edithvale, 2014.

Balaclava Station
The here and there, Balaclava, 2014.

Periphery, Oakleigh, 2015.

Bucket list (Narre Warren)
Outskirts, Narre Warren, 2015.

Wish you were here, Edithvale, 2014.

Lone Pine
Lone Pine, Narre Warren, 2014.

Mum's Seat
Since you’ve been gone, Narre Warren, 2014.

Tower, Abbottsford, 2014.


~ by Dean on February 4, 2015.

2 Responses to “Liminality and the everyday: Letting the practice lead the way.”

  1. Really interesting directions here – love the speedboat and ham – the ham is so perfectly scored … the second image is a really interesting abstract – so modernist

  2. Hello,

    I like these photos very much. They work as a collection – same eye, same aesthetic – but I think that individually they work in different ways. They seem to range from abstract to narrative via ‘documentary’. For example, “The Here and There” (#2) is, to me, an abstract photo celebrating form and colour, with hints of the human in the palimpsest graffiti text (palimpsest as in historiographical use of the word ie experiencing time and experience as layers). I love it! It reminds me of a Hockney

    Number #1, 007 Speedboat, I experience as more documentary, by which I mean more objective and ‘observed’. It’s a great image of everyday suburbia. Very ironic. The irony is compounded – for me – by the title. Good old Edithvale. There should be more 007 in Edithvale!

    I read “Periphery” and “Outskirts” in the same vein. (Lovely strong lines in those two BTW – the grid pattern, also picked up elsewhere in the ham and the bedspread and the tower). “Lone Pine” and “Tower” seem more like #2. I think of them as being on a kind of experiential continuum! I am very fond of “Tower”. I love the lean of the building – also ironic IMO – and that big, white space above it. There’s something disconcerting about that image …

    Because I am a sucker for titles and for text, I can’t help but read “Wish you were here” and “Since you’ve been gone” as mini narratives. There are like small, perfect sets for action that has or is occurring out of frame. I wonder if I’d have read the pictures differently if I hadn’t known what they were called, or if you had named them Untitled #5 and Untitled #7?

    Maybe not. Even without the melancholic titles they come across as very personal moments caught on camera. It’s the human scale of the objects, I suppose, and the symbolism of a festive ham and a walking stick hidden behind an empty chair.

    Actually, in a strange way there is a hint of melancholy in all the pictures. I think it’s because there are no humans, just objects. OK, objects and places. There’s an absence of life that haunts these material worlds.

    This melancholy could also have something to do with the way you play with scale. The objects seem to sit against big spaces – the sky; a hospital wall; a big tree; those huge, showy crosses that make the doors seem tiny. (This also made me wonder what the pictures would look like bigger and not on a screen. I bet they’d be amazing!)

    Looking forward to seeing more of them!



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