Since Week 10 and the submission of my 10-minute film, I have probably pinballed from one final proposal to another.
I have now written my draft critical review of my work, digested feedback and will be sticking with my four photographic endeavours under the umbrella of human impacts.
I feel there will with a little more time and experimentation arise a single focus for my final major project. And I think I may already know which one that is but I’m not quite ready to give up or put to the side my other investigations.
I am continuing to focus on my topics of litter, lichen, rural landscapes and ‘Nature’s Goddesses”.
Taking the latter, I have been reflecting on how myths impact on how cultures and individuals view nature. I am concentrating on the human-made tales about goddesses of nature and our notion that nature is female. Through my work I aim to create new stories, ones that show the real human impact on nature; that there are no goddesses and how all our stories of deities of nature are false ones.
For this I am incorporating either my own hair and body or that of plastic dolls to create a physical impression, or trace, on cyanotype materials. To make the images I have to work within nature and with nature, using the elements of earth, air, fire and water.
The use of plastic dolls acts as a reminder of our own addiction to throw-away and human-made plastic, blurring the line between what is the human impact and what is the plastic impact.
There are also traces of ecofeminism to consider such as how a patriarchal and a male-orientated attitude to nature could be a root cause of its degradation. If women and nature as considered ‘lesser’, is this connected to detrimental effects on the natural world? If power and dominance (male attributed traits) over the natural world were not the order of the day, but a more considerate and nurturing (female attributed traits) attitude reigned, would our natural world and our own place within in it be better? The use of the plastic dolls not only stands for a dependency on a material that is choking the oceans and used for many superfluous items in our current environments but also as a symbol of the female and nature intertwined under a patriarchal system.
I have so much more to unpack with this. Not only in regard to ethical, moral, and philosophical considerations but also to how I want the work to develop. Ideas around automatons dressed in sheaths of cyanotype fabric wandering libraries in old houses or overgrown gardens, telling tales of times long gone, a time when humans existed is one such idea. But I am not ready for that just yet. This strand of my work is exciting and I can’t wait to see where next I can go with it.