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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Circling back

Looking back is often a good way to get started for me. This project is closely aligned with my earlier autobiographical work, so it makes sense to review and reflect as I get started. My most recent work utilised photographic etching and photographic screen printing to mediate self-portraits. The tactile nature of these processes have been a vital part of their appeal to me. The materiality of ink embossed into the surface of the paper, or paint dots sitting on the surface capture the nature of my intentions in a way that pure digital photography does not. I find myself looking for ways to mediate the digital image at the same time as I am drawn to its ability to capture a moment and convey a sense of documentation.

The context of my home studio rules out using photographic etching. Screen-printing is a possibility, but I would need to use an off-site service to strip screens and maybe also to expose them, so the opportunity to experiment is limited. The service is outside my 5km radius of permitted travel, so I would be relying on delivery services as well. I can have a look at alternative photographic processes like Cyanotype to see what I might be able to manage at home. My challenge is to explore processes that hold some of the characteristics of photography alongside more analogue characteristics. I think I'm looking for the materiality of the work to hold some of the affective content, while the photographic element holds the narrative content.

Meanwhile, I'm analysing some portraits that I have previously used in my work. Rather than thinking of them as photos, what happens if I interpret them in terms of line, tone or simplified form?

In contrast to my interest in photographic self-portraiture to date, Ori Gersht's photographic work about trauma primarily utilises landscape elements. He strips back identifying information from his photography thereby being drawn towards abstraction. What can I learn from his approach?

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