Posted by on October 11, 2012  Add comments
Oct 112012
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Knox Church 2012

One of the most challenging aspects of photography, or any art for that matter, is to be able to keep the door open to creativity.  Finding a technique or subject that elicits positive response from others is great, particularly if it is from people who can help us grow. The trap is that these responses can encourage us to become stuck in a creative rut where we keep trying to please, investing more and more of our creative energies into repetition.  Building on the approval of others can also become a trap when we become driven by people who do not help us grow. People who love us and will love our work no matter what we do.

Negative response is just as good a driver of growth providing we can process it objectively, that we can step away from the ego long enough to see the assistance we have been offered, and to discern when that negative response is driven by ego itself, or by truth. To recognise when someone sees that we can do better, or more, and is prepared to challenge us at every turn until we step up to the plate. Or to use this response to challenge our own commitment to the path; whether we are prepared and able to justify our stance, while being truly objective about it.

I digress.  Creativity is the challenge at hand.

I've been working with this pile of wood and glue and nails and steel since it was a two dimensional set of plans. And the previous three. When I first started working on the building site my (ahem, long suffering) husband had to drag me away from the camera long enough to do a decent hour's work. I was fascinated, documenting every detail, because it was all new to me. That was then, this is now. I had intended to document this building too but I got bored. The photos I made bored me, so there is no way that they'll see the light of day with anyone else. And I stopped photographing.

A new approach is required, so I've started to play. Sometimes play is the best way to stretch and grow. Ask any kid. Given my current fascination with lightness, I started overexposing as much as I could, trying just to capture the barest details to see how it changed the way I saw things. And I saw stamens. Instead of electrical wiring.

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  2 Responses to “Stamens”

  1. Reading this has resonated with me as I have struggled with aspects and consequences of the approval of my peers.
    Earlier in the year I produced a set of images of my workroom and all the processes I go through with my pattern making. It didn’t make the grade for my A set and I felt it quite personally, as it was more than my work… it was me and my life as well. I was going to abandon the set, but now see it in a different light as it is part of me at this stage of my life thus it has life.

    • I’m glad you’ve been able to look again and stand by the value and validity of your work Ann. I am learning that what feels like failure is more likely that the work is being shared with the wrong audience. Regardless, trusting yourself is key. Thank you for sharing your comment!

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