The Picbod experience has been incredibly helpful to me. I have been engaged with my work, and the work of others through the feedback sessions. This participation has aided my learning processes immensely, allowing me to move beyond the photographers given in class, to other photographers using similar methods. The weekly tasks have made me become a better photographer, better equipped to working within a short space of time to produce content that acts on the themes discussed while maintaining a professional standard.
Choosing to create a project based around strangers would have been otherwise an anxious topic, but picbod has given me more confidence to understand the potential of photography; realising the anthropology aspect, beyond the shutter. Creating such a piece requires patience. Patience waiting for the participants and also conducting a piece that has to be the same in composition, where I’m standing, the exposure and the photograph in relation to the other. It was a long process, but conducting it professionally made it more accurate and more interesting for the viewer.
My project is an objective study of the relationship of strangers. It presents conversations in sequence for the viewer to observe and reflect upon. To call the project, ‘Conversations with strangers’, ‘conversations’ or ‘observations’ doesn’t particularly work. The work shouldn’t be associated by a broad title, it should instead be something that gets the viewer thinking deeply, are these interactions positive of negative, does make people want to converse or stay in their own bubbles. I wanted to suggest that my project had disrupted events, without me instigating these conversations, people wouldn’t have opened up and talked to a stranger. Their interactions with me and the space were incredibly important, but their participation was the most important aspect. From this I decided to call it ‘ Otherwise separated’, because without someone been vulnerable and brave, as Brene Brown talked about, a lot of relationship wouldn’t have connected. But through having conversations, are we connected, or are we still separated?
‘Otherwise Separated’ explores a series of interactions with strangers. Society dictates that we should shield ourselves from others in public – here the barrier has been broken. Why?