This module is proving very challenging in terms of project work. All of the contextual material – from Jo Spence to Maria Kapajeva – is fascinating but none is gripping me as overly relevant to my own work. I find myself as admiring their output from afar, on its own terms, without that sense of being ‘pulled in’ or reached in terms of my own output. This is a big shift from the previous module in which I set out with a clear artistic vision and the contextual material – especially Eleanor Carucci, Ana Casas Broda and Elina Brotherus – felt so searingly relevant to what I was trying to do. They felt like the flippers on a pinball machine keeping my project going. Not this time.

I showed Colin the ‘where I’m at’ images yesterday and he was frank (for which I am ever grateful) about his reservations concerning the size of the ‘Other Mother’ images, the fact of their reproduction rather than originality and their suspension from string.

Sue at table

I’m fairly adamant that a key part of this project is taking my Other Mothers ‘out’ with me to places that resonate between the past, via memory, to the present. I explained to Colin that carrying these pictures to the shooting location was akin to a child taking a doll or comfort blanket with them. That sense remains, and will remain. It is felt strongly, and to that degree is artistically honest.

The vision has much right with it, I feel. It is the presentation and delivery that is currently questionable.

Aunty Liz in Woods

So what to do?

Last night, acting on a suggestion from Colin, I bought a small projector. The plan is to photograph the projected images in these same resonant locations. This may well, depending on the power of a battery-fuelled projector, limit my photography to dusk/night/twilight shoots. What that might add or take away from the project is unknown.

It may work, it may not. But I’m excited at the prospect of fresh play as I’ve never used a projector before.

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