Our October meeting certainly dispelled any sense of the hastening year through a set of inspirational images from group members.

There were plenty of images for us to respond to and discuss,  Here's a brief résumé of the delights and insights we enjoyed:  

Angie explored the fascinating world of 'The Landscape Within' through a series of close-up monochrome studies whilst, in contrast in terms of sheer  scale and colour, Eric revealed aspects of the sculptural forms of desiccated, dead trees in the landscape at Deadvlei in the Namib desert.  Nearer to home, Maddy exercised her 'seeing eye' in Brighton, Nigel examined intriguing elements and features of geometric architecture in Birmingham and Judy explored the relationships and dynamics of buildings in London. Abstract content was provided by Bob with his studies of condensation-beaded polythene covering a pile of bricks and Barrie investigated aspects of peeling paint.  Keith 'deconstructed' the Prescott hill-climb through a series of details and enigmatic medium-range shots.  Tineke introduced a floral theme through a series of close-up images.  Tessa probed the contours of The Guggenheim in Bilbao, discovering a plethora of shapes and angles amongst the metal and glass of this visually disconcerting building.  Alex revealed fascinating 'observational moments' whilst he was between flights at Istanbul Airport.  Paul showed an evolving series of images featuring the transformative effect of polarised light upon everyday objects. Clive presented a set showing aspects of the British seaside.

Alex also provided his latest photo-book for us to enjoy during the break. This wonderful volume is brimming full with Alex's particular view of the world and excursions into street photography combined with ICM. 

 

Alex discusses his book with Lucy and Tineke
  

The gallery at the end of this newsletter represents a glimpse into the rich imagery we enjoyed on Thursday.

 

Reading an Image
Image interpretation is always a feature of the group.  After all, we're concerned with what pictures are 'about' rather than what they are 'of'.  Content and intent is really important. To sharpen our attention, we periodically examine an image in detail to reveal its inner workings by looking more closely at semiotics - that's to say, we study of signs and symbols within the frame.  Our example this session was 'Dressing Up' by Charles Ashton.  Here's the photo.....Take a careful and detailed look.

What did we discover within the frame?  Here are some of the interpretations we made:

In a rather grim environment, a girl obviously poses for the camera.  She's wears an assortment of symbols, The environment is visually rich adding further to the analysis.   Taking a closer look.

two sets of ears (increased awareness)

three small bones (death and danger)

a small 'peek-a-boo' face (curiosity)

sticking plaster/band-aid (victim/survivor)

sickle moon (fertility)

stars (astral- projection?)

 a ragged bird (exhausted liberation)

pink headphones (an insulative barrier and to be within a cosy, self-contained world)

'125' in numerology signifies new beginnings and the addition of the 'a' gives priority

background - fragments of graffiti and posters (degradation)

the mysterious 'dark lamp' (sinister implications)

numerous eyes (surveillance)

body piercings (assertiveness / in-group belonging )

several 'arch' shapes (providing visual unity)

many shades of pink, deep pink and coral (femininity / nurturing / compassion)

This was certainly an image rich in signs and symbols.

With so many indicators and connotations we found concern for this rather delicate and vulnerable girl in a district with so much degradation. 

Image analysis and interpretation share a similar attribute to the quality of mercy as described by Portia in the 'Merchant of Venice' - 'it's twice  blessed'.  That is to say by adding value and an enriched and fulfilling experience it benefits both the giver, the viewer and the 'receiver', photographer/artist.  Next time you have an image before you, rather than thinking 'will it please a judge', or working out what you don't like, or clicking a 'like', typing 'great image' or (heaven forbid, 'awesome'; spend a few moment to comprehend the picture and decode what's going on inside the frame.  Your conclusions can't be wrong, because they'll be your personal response and individual interpretation.

Our two 'Outside Sources' this time were inspired by two photographers, one whose work was exhibited at the Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol and a recent, successful Associateship application for Conceptual and Contemporary.

The first was 'By the Sea' by Markéta Luskačová.  These photographs were taken on the North East coast of England during the late 1970s are wonderfully evocative.

Link:  By The Sea 

We then enjoyed 'Teufelsberg Tor - Transformations' by Rosie Mathisen ARPS.  This panel interprets scenes illustrating street art and a derelict one-time cold-war bunker in Germany.

 
  Link:  Teufelsberg Tor - Transformations

October CPG Members' Gallery:  to shuttle through, use the (forward) > and (reverse) < arrows, or your keyboard arrow keys.