“Finding roots with my personal GPS”

It’s a busy time with the Digital Festival in the running, however, just like with anything there is never the right time to work on your own thing. My project “”Finding roots with my personal GPS”” is underway. With part 1 “Facing East” I am experimenting a little more with  self-publishing. I have also noticed a trend of location based work and a search for “identity/ self” in current photography projects.

This often takes on a slightly abstract approach with a documentary feel e.g. “Finding Tom Calvert” by Tom Calvert is such a quest. It introduces a figure in a vast landscape. What is he looking for? His place in the world? His connection to the natural environment? Someone else? Or Mengxi Zhang’s 350km/h produced on an involuntary journey back to the “motherland”.

Four Versions of Three routes” shown during the 2012 Photo Biennial is another interesting take on producing site specific work and tries to explore “the possibilities that exist within the places around us”. In recent years I have worked rather localised, however, I have finally begun to take some risks and approach the “unknown” following my instincts. Although stemming from a documentary tradition, I’d like my work to remain open to interpretation and questions and I have chosen some more abstract images for this first part.

The four-part series will all be shot on Islands. In the first part I’ve explore my home country, Germany, with a fresh eye trying to dispel the myth of a typical Germany. A Germany that has changed and continues to change. Shot on Usedom, an Island shared between Germany and Poland it provides an interesting mix of cultures. This project also comments on a generation of Inter European migration – something I experienced personally and something that left me quite isolated at times- that’s why the choice of Islands seems suitable – I suppose.

Apologies for the spelling mistakes! Once the book is up one cannot amend it without having to pay twice! Bad Blurb!

Facing East Cover

Facing East is now “test published” but I am thinking to extend it to quite a few more pages- after all there are 1000 images, 10% of which may be worthy of exposure. Heading North (GC) is now also completed and needs editing-not quite 1000 images but quite a task still! Having discovered the collaboration of Lightroom with Blurb you can now book design all day long- hurray (NB: this is by no means an advert for Lightroom OR Blurb!). Next time, however, I am looking for a better value self publishing option- any suggestions welcome!

This is the labour of 5 years planning, photographing, travelling, thinking, lecturing and never having enough time to bring it all together. However, it seems, I finally found a lucky break to get started. Well the trick is to just get started no matter how much else is going on! Here is to the luxury of personal projects! Or as my friend Rupert says: “Take on more than you can chew and then chew like f…!”

Would you like to get help develop/edit your work? Join us at the next ArtsFORUM 11th November where we will be helping 2 early career photographers to find their path through a work in progress. Just e-mail 10 small jpg sample images (1280 longest side) or short video plus a brief outline of project (max. 500words) by 20th Oct to: thebrightonartsforum@gmail.com


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