This video was returned to on 16 October. This lecture tunes in to the representation of people through community collaborative practice.
I then relate Judy Harrison’s work to my practice to find out what I can take from it.
Studying at college with what were to become famous names such as Martin Parr and others, Judy was in good company. Judy’s work showed a great deal of social concern around the topic of identity, migration and racism. Her work also featured themes of strong women in farming and in the pottery industry.
Judy’s work showed genuine concern for people as she spent time talking with them. Examples here were the women working on farms. Judy noted the importance of engaging with the women who were her subjects. This was part of slowing down. She did not want to take advantage of her subjects.
An element of rephotography existed as Judy often returned to the original places and so was aware of changes that had occurred.
Judy instigated the setting up of workshops in migrant communities and by lending cameras, and by showing how to use them her subjects were able to document their own identities. This was a lengthy venture in which Judy was involved for 15 years.
The collaborative work toured and exhibited nationally.
Work began to locate in a third space, between shooting indoors and outdoors. Her collaborators were able to bring gestures of performance and create images of self-expression. People were given a voice. She would often go back over the years. The children had grown into adults and now had their own children.
Judy then became concerned to document place, people and school. Her concern was to mend a cultural divide, through a literacy project.
Her work changed to that of the decline in the potteries and she became deeply ingrained in the remaining industry and alludes to the sensory experience in that working environment with the smell of clay and dust.
Judy is an advocate of making work on photographic film as a means of slowing down. This compares with the Final photo project. As a photographer, 35mm film use has been readopted. However, its use is infrequent. The digital practice is unavoidable in the Final photo project where unseen data on the digital sensor is key. Slowing down still occurs but this occurs at the post-processing of image art in the digital darkroom.
The work is not about Nostalgia. Is nostalgia a negative?
Obtain a balance between others’ interests and the photographer’s interests.
Collaboration is encouraged by the University. A challenge is knowing how to mark the work. Family archive prints are a newly introduced part of my project as I seek direction in mixing art with photographs others can identify with. If seen as collaboration it is in the context of using historical records.
Photographs – courtesy Judy Harrison from Falmouth University Guest Lecture