Informing contexts and project development

My project involves three levels of image making in the exploration of community engagement with urban regeneration: (i) images made by residents as a way of exploring their lived experience and aspirations; (ii) collaborative image making with resident and community groups for influence, advocacy and change; (iii) my own artistic response to the impact of urban regeneration and the possibility of positive change for residents and communities. The work focuses, in particular, on social infrastructure. In the previous two modules I have concentrated on building relationships with community groups and researchers and on the development of the first two forms of image making, and this is reflected in the contextual research I have carried out. In the oral presentations for the previous two modules I have focused particularly on photographers who explore the lived experience of residents in urban areas undergoing change, on ways of engaging stakeholders and on the presention photographic work alongside other media.

In this module, I want to focus on the third form of image making and the development of my own artistic practice. For the preliminary task, I have chosen to explore the work of three photographers who have a strong conceptual base to their work combined with distinct and clearly defined forms of artistic practice, and who explore issues of relevance to my own project: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Naoya Hatakeyama and Fay Godwin. All three produce visual work that crosses disciplines, and they combine photography with other media. There are also strong philosophical, social and political dimensions to their work, and in the manner in which their work is presented and exhibited. Like me, Sugimoto came to photography from another discipline (social and political sciences), Hatkeyama is concerned about exploring the future of the city, and Godwin combines text and image in campaigning for public access to land. In the posts to follow, I’ll address the work of each in turn, and then pull together common strands and relate these to the development of my own work (in relation to intent, choices, strengths, limitations and plans for the module).