The Books

The photograph as contemporary art by Charlotte CottonThe only mandatory reading for this project was ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton’ which provided an interesting introduction to the various photographic methods of artistic expression.

Divided into 8 chapters it takes a broad perspective, looking at the works of many recent and present day photographers and attempts to break down the compositional aesthetic and underlying meanings. The focus is not entirely limited to contemporary works and it does credit the historical works of those who underpin the current contemporary scene and acknowledges that much of modern imagery has its roots in bygone practices.

I admit to being somewhat of a cynic when it comes to art, believing that images are overly interpreted with people projecting their own emotional ideas onto something or attributing inaccurate passions to the original creators in an attempt to justify their own opinions. I am wrong of course (well mostly) and this book has really helped me to gain an appreciation, not just into photographic art but all art in general.

I can see this book becoming a constant companion during the course, the short and insightful snippets into various artists is also an ideal reference and starting point to conduct further research into specific practitioners and this is something I have done whilst creating images of my own. As I read through there were certain images that instantly caught my attention and so I went on an educational tangent to learn more about these particular photographers and their styles. Where I have presented my own work I have tried to include where my influence or inspiration came from and how it connects back to what I have achieved.

The overriding key element to this project was intimacy and this is covered by a chapter all to itself. Throughout this project I have kept this at the forefront of my mind and all the images are in some way connected to this theme. As an intensely private person this was to be a major challenge and even stepping in front of the camera would be a significant step forward.

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