One of my main influences within photography is Martin Parr. I recently visited an exhibition of his at the ‘Walker Art Gallery’ in Liverpool titled ‘Every Man and Woman is a Star’. This exhibition did not present the images that Parr is most well known for, it showed his earlier work before he made his transition to colour photography. The images were very different to those in his series ‘The Last Resort’, they seemed to hold a lot more meaning and depression and this was reflected by his choice of using black and white. One image the really spoke to me was of an old lady sat drinking alone in a pub.
The empty chairs surrounding her and her body language, finishing her drink and clutching her handbag, make you think she is in a hurry to leave. I then noticed the other drinks on the table, seemingly untouched, that make you question; had she been waiting for someone? Had she been stood up? Revisiting this image is what inspired me to work with black and white imagery myself, taking away the colour can be positive; it removes any distractions for the eye that the colour could create.
Whilst visiting the ‘Look: Liverpool International Photography Festival’ this year I saw so many amazing exhibitions. Artists’ work from August Sanders, Weegee, Martin Parr, Tom Ford and many more. These are artists that every artist admires, their photographs defined what photography is today. Just to look at some of their photographs in the flesh abled me to take so much more from them than if I was seeing them in a book.
I have visited many exhibitions this year to enrich my studies. I have travelled to London, Liverpool and West Yorkshire mainly to do so. See works of art in person and speaking to artists has proved to be very important in my project as I have gained a lot of inspiration doing so.
Jo Spence is another artist that aimed to document and show another to something to shock her audience.
Her photographs are very dramatic and are often staged with strong lighting, this, however, works perfectly alongside her ideas.
Her photographs, like mine, can be very personal; she is very well known for her documentation of her struggles with cancer. This may seem a very strange thing to document for some people, however, speaking from experience with my project, I felt stronger and a lot more connected to my issues when documenting my subjects. I feared growing old and most of all, still felt very raw about the death of my Grandad, but by bringing him and his loved ones into my project I feel those fears and pain have been pushed aside.