Joining The Dots
A psychogeographic response of creative walking
All too often as photographers we head out with the express intention in mind of making pictures, why wouldn't we? after all we are visual artists and as photographers we make pictures.... right?
Well what if we consider what it is that truly inspires us to lift them camera to the eye, frame a scene, include some things and exclude others to make an image? The instinctive nature of our emotional responses to our world is what shapes our photography at it's heart...... it's what makes us unique and why we create what / how we do.
To embrace the psychogeographic approach to making images empowers us to forget the camera or picture as the primary reason to be out and embrace the exploration and serendipity of creative walking to understand more about our places and ourselves through our emotional and creative responses to them.
In “Open Door,” (Chapter in A Field Guide To Getting Lost) Rebecca Solnit says, “Leave the door open for the unknown, the door into the dark. That’s where the most important things come from, where you yourself came from, and where you will go”. This is a reminder of mortality and encouragement to look beyond the normal, beyond the safe and ordinary, which is a key tenet of psychogeography. Psychogeographers escape comfort zones to traipse across their landscapes, make unexpected connections, and become more open-minded along the way.
'Joining The Dots' was a creative walk only a stones throw from our regular holiday location in North Yorkshire. A walk up untrodden (by me at least, but also seemingly many) lanes, paths and bridleways, through fields, woods and copses taking turns on inspiration of left or right with no strict timescale other than to return to our cabin before dark.
A single camera, a single lens and small shoulder bag was all the kit required. I would lift the camera to the eye and make an image as inspiration took me by the hand, with no pre tense of theme, style or subject. This mini project was guided by my momentary reactions and connections to the places I walked, responses to visual, audible and all other sensory stimuli.
Questions and findings became important on my wanderings, a modern day rural Flâneur wondering why a giant bee would be sat on a post, why square bales and not round. what a blue net strung between trees in a woodland may purpose, and excited by the wonderment of finding a rural pot hole filled with crab claw and shell four or five miles from the see.
'Joining The Dots' plays homage to the lone elderly resident at a secluded cottage on my walk; Dot, who has lived alone happily many years slightly detached from the rural community yet absolutely part of it and it's heritage. Only by undertaking this creative walk would I have found all this out and in piecing it all together it tells my story of creative wandering and inspiration on this day.
Importantly, visually the place could almost be anywhere and this serves as a reminder to us all that we should explore and wander more, especially locally to home or our temporary bases to learn more about ourselves as we respond and learn to our immediate place, sense of place and feelings.
Be free to wander, not with a preconceived notion of making pictures but to enjoy and explore. Who knows what we might learn and ultimately what pictures we may be inspired to make if we are not looking for pictures?
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Keywords:Flâneur, Walk, creative, creativity, emotion, inspiration, instinct, landscape, mood, place, psychogeography, responding, walking, walking, wandering