Work in Progress

Hollywood (working title – work in progress) is (mostly) a self-shot series I’m working on that evolved out of the self- and character portraits that evolved out of The Rabbit Hole Effect.

About the work

This series starts tie together my love for story, my degree in film and my love for art and photography.

“Hollywood” as a working title, is wrongly named, of course, particular as it’s starting to evolve. If anything it should be called “Indie” given how size of the crew, cast and the nature of the themes. But “Indie” is an awkward name, a certainly a far less “platonic” name for the idea of movies, hopes, and dreams all rolled into one. But the name was dirived from the idea of creating minature sets to shoot with.

Miniatures have long been used in Hollywood. In my case, trapped in my house during the Covid Period, I realized that I might be able to create my own environments to shoot in.

The work itself evolved from my self-portraits. But though I am in most of these, these are not self-portraits. They are not of me, but a character I am playing that is, of course, shaded with my own feelings, but who have their onw history and lives quite separate from mine.

With the exception of the images that contain a car of some sort, all of the images here are composites, meaning I’ve used more than one photo to create the image. The interiors (images shot inside rooms) are actually based on miniatures I’ve made. I am, as I write this working on my first miniature exterior, a lonely shot at night.

The background of the image with the tree was shot and lit primarily with a flashlight in multiple shots and stacked. The figure was lit with a flash, and all of the images brought together and then with photoshop created the “beam of light”.

In my mind, using composites, digital manipulation, the use of miniatures, these are less photographs and more “works”.

I used to write and have admired “flash” or “sudden” fiction back when Twitter used to have a 140 character limit and twitfic was a thing. It was a challenge to make something of those 140 characters. The best ones were emotionally and meaningfully loaded; an often quoted example being; “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. And so the way those written moments are to a book, these images are to a movie. At least, that’s what I am starting to strive for.

I often start with a feeling and a glimmer of a story emerges. I find myself thinking and building out the character: who is she, where did she come from, how did she end up here? And without consciously intending it, I can see the feeling behind some of the images are not just mine, but very much about women and our realities, and what it’s been like to live during this Covid time.