Select the most interesting parts of the diary (which could also be the most banal or mundane) and interpret them into a photographic project. You could present your chosen diary entries as a visual diary or use it as a springboard for further exploration. You may choose to insert the pictures like snapshots into your diary and hand it all in together. You don’t have restrict yourself to the diary itself; you may decide to use it to take you into new territory.
– C&N CourseBook (p.89)
While I have posted here four sequences of diaristic photographs (and have another sequence that I picked up from Snappy Snaps on Byres Road as I passed through Glasgow on my way north to Orkney for my summer holiday – they will be added to this series of posts as a sort of coda I think) the set of images posted as “Assignment 3 – Life During Wartime” has grown out of various themes that have become apparent to me as I have worked through the diary pieces.
First, over even short periods of time, like everyone, I play a number of roles:
I am a parent (twice – once to a thirteen year-old boy who lives in Glasgow and again to a three year-old girl who lives in London).
My children are half-sister and half-brother; they have different mothers.
And so on. I am self-critical enough to be aware of these roles and the aspects of performance that go into maintaining them to others.
While I take this quite seriously; I try not take it too solemnly.
No single person sees me play all these roles…
But they all look at me and I look out at them looking at me…
Which moves things on from the documentary prose of the diary sequences into something that begins to approach a sort of poetic narrative. and this is beginning to get there, I think.
Beginning to get there, but there is definitely room for more. Something that occupies a space located somewhere between looking out and looking in. Something more playful. Something that engages the viewer and lets them conjure up new me’s from the clues I give them to work with.
Something that might even be recognised as a portrait, not only by me but by others.
To be continued…