Thursday, 24 March 2011

Four Thousand

I reached a little landmark this week, but to tell you about that I need to take you back…

It all started back in July 1996. For my degree show, I put together an exhibition of photographs based around passports – part of The Kennard Legacy. But that whole project is quite another story. What I want to talk about here is the supporting material for that show.

For the show I wanted to show lots of images apart from what was on the walls. I’d been taking pictures for years and I thought it would be good to get them all together in one place. Over the course of the degree I had made a few books, sometimes by binding them myself, sometimes by chopping up blank sketchbooks and sticking photos in. This was before the days of self publishing on the internet - craft knives, pens and glue were the order of the day.

I was putting small books together with selections of photographs based around themes and locations, similar to the exhibitions I put on my website now. For the show I created a book with all the images I’d taken over the three years of the degree thought were worthy enough to be seen, all notated with the location, date, and an ID number, starting at number 1 in August 1993.

By the time of the show, the numbers were reaching up into the late 300s. After the show, I continued with the books and with the numbering. The numbers are used now as a basis for the ongoing exhibition The Hundreds on , which looks at every hundredth image, a sometimes exciting and sometimes frustrating idea, due to the sheer randomness of the images on show.

I still chop up and stick in the pictures, hand writing the notes as before. There are of course easier ways to do these things now, but I like spending the extra time with the images, it helps me to embed them in my mind and look for connections with past and future work.

With busy times for my business, a new baby, and the London exhibition, over the last year or so my time has been spread thin. Processing the pictures – i.e. selecting images for the books, printing and cutting them, then sticking them in the books and notating them – has fallen a bit behind. I’m determined to get back up to date, recently I have been working through October 2010, climbing towards image 4000.

This week I hit the big four-oh-oh-oh, and it was such an appropriate image for my continuing work, that I wanted to share it with you all. When I took this back in October, I had no idea the image would be anywhere near 4000, so it’s pleasing that number 4000 turned out be an encouraging and positive image. Here’s to 5000!

4000 - London, England, 2010

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