Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding Balance

View over Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, the first image made roughly 14 months before the second image.

When did you last

            Raise your head and look

            Look look look up


                        To the sky.


She saws above me

            High so high

Show me what you know

With your wings


As I look to full spaces

I see emptiness


Man gets tired

                        But spirit is free


Maybe what the spirit is, the man can be.

Nicola Zammit

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Question

Recently I was asked a question by a Malaysian who had visited the Editorial Photography degree show at Brighton University UK: “What do landscapes and pictures of urban decay have to do with editorial?”

To try and answer, when we look at the very nature of photography, it is a mirror and at the same time, a window; a look within and an external glance.  The word editorial can be explained as ‘expressing the opinions of its owner or maker.’  So putting the two together; Editorial and Photography, can mean we can conceptualise about anything in a photographic form, as long as we are expressing our opinions, it can still be ‘editorial,’ a look, a story, a mood of ourselves and of our world.

Urban decay is a reflection of our societies, of how we are living indeed a metaphor into our lives or how we are treating the world.  We could look at it with an even deeper meaning of a look to inside our bodies with meanings of what modern society brings to that.

Landscapes remain encoded with the language of painting, however more often than not the land today is manufactured by human activity and thus again is telling a story of our societies.  For a prime example of this we only need to look at Martin Parr’s ‘New Brighton,’ made in 1984.  Landscapes today are more often than not made in reference to what the land signifies in a cultural context and not necessarily a natural context such as in the work of Ansel Adams.

Today I don’t think we need to pigeon hole our genres of photography so much, as they seem to criss-cross over like colourful threads, and why not?

Maybe in the West photographers have found more confidence in their practise to experiment with ideas and push boundaries, to have faith in their voice and take joy in taking a leap forward sometimes into the unknown of how their work will be received.

We have to read the symbolic aspects of the image not just the literal; Diane Arbus called it “The endlessly seductive puzzle of sight.”

If we look at the work of Lee Friedlander, it goes so much further than the image itself, posing larger statements about contemporary America.  Irvin Penn’s images transformed the most banal of objects into something different even something extraordinary.

So as far as ‘editorial’ and what it might mean, maybe we have to open our hearts and minds to different ways of seeing, and how we voice our opinions through a photographic image.


The image above was taken whilst studying at Brighton University and is titled ‘Erode.’

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Dreamt of Sugimoto

He came to me from across the sea’s, speaking of origins.  “Is it possible to visualise the sea as primitive man once saw it, in its original pristine state?” he asked.

As I searched the shore that I stood upon with a camera as old as myself, film delicately loaded around a spool within, I looked               I watched            I waited.    

I saw much; I saw a rhythm, an ebb and flow, forwards and backwards.  I imagined what the first man might have thought with his first sight of what was before me, and I felt that presence, I felt a time of return, a time to start to move backwards.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Against Forgetting

This work was made in the year 2000, after a visit to Auschwitz and Dachau around that time. 

I am not Jewish, was not born until 1972 and I have no experience of the horrors of Nazi persecution.  In trying to explain as to why I made this work for most of it I cannot. 

I can only say that I know that it is vitally important that we know our pasts, that we not forget, in order to create a healthy future.

This work is made as a reaction to that visit, by myself a young photographer wishing to use her medium to make statements in hope of a better world. 

At that time; the new millennium, there were and still are many atrocities happening in our world, is not time we put these wrongs right?   Since making this work I have also addressed other issues such as the Tibet situation and the Palestinian situation, using photography as a tool for opening up dialogue and as a Voice in hope of Peace.

This series consists of 15 images 8cm x 8cm printed onto 29.7cm x 42 cm archival matt paper, and will be submitted for consideration towards an exhibition titled 'Shoah' to be shown in 2010.