Carolyn Lefley – 150 MC

  • BA Fine Art 97-2000, Coventry University
  • Early influence by Robert Rauschenberg
    • Famous for combine photography
    • “Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made”
    • Home – A lens to look at life, memory, identity
    • Also inspired by Gaston Bachelard – Poetics of Space
      • A home is a “topography of our intimate being”
      • To gain access to some homes, she had to approach home dealers during a transaction period of ownership, especially on houses that weren’t done up.
      • As a photographer we notices the little things, like a stand up comedian does
      • Carolyn noticed redundant telescopes on the coast (Viewpoint, 2001)
      • Next project was about how the television has become a “surrogate” part of the family
        • So she took pictures of room only lit by the dim of the television. Initially she tried doing it with people in the picture, but it looked too much like an advert
        • Thompson based film – medium format
        • Studied for a masters in photography at UWL (University of West London)
        • First project was called ‘Home’
        • Took pictures at the night-time, but initially tried to blur the pictures
        • Reason behind this project was that when you grow up, home isn’t really home any more
        • “Semi Detached” 2006
          • Looking at mirrored images from a same room, but in different houses
          • At first some may seem similar, but again it’s looking for the little differences
          • “Belonging” 2006 (Final Masters project)
          • Used eBay to look for old restoration doll houses
            • Ambiguity to the lighting – when can’t tell what time of the day it is when it is actually studio lighting
            • Used the Mamiya Z7 for the pictures; able to get clear pictures without loosing any focus/ depth of field like you would normally get with macro photography
            • Presented these in depth-frames (about 5-6cm deep) because as the pictures were dark, glass would have stopped us seeing the full picture
            • “Within” 2007
              • Started playing with the miniature and the giant
              • Toys in the children homes contrasted to a real house which would be shown in the background
              • Troika Editions (Website to look at if struggling about how to write about pieces of work or how to present maybe)
              • Fictional Space
              • A gallery on top of an industrial building that would present pictures
              • “Cosmogony” 11-13
                • Holton Lee Studio residency Sep 2010
                • Made her own sets, but it was too clinical
                • Photographers don’t tend to create something, we just photograph something already there
                  • Cosmology is all about the existence of the universe, how we got here etc.
  • The figures were scaled down too much; around 1/200th whereas the trees were about 1/20th
    • AA2A.biz -> Places that would give you funding and access to areas for your projects
    • “Realm” 09-13
      • A digital double exposure (not done in-camera)
      • Started off as a landscape project, but still came back to the interior
      • The forest was to show the area that was untouchable, that we could see but couldn’t go.
      • A layering of realities
      • All bases on sites of myth
      • Part of the Timespan Museum who has funded for her for a project this summer of the excavation~ of a 200 year house
        • Wanted to look at the people who lived there, seeing as photography wasn’t invented then
        • Linked to the ‘Clearance’ Period
          • With ‘Finds’ she tried to go for an emotional response
          • Experimented with Cyanotypes
          • Also worked with portraiture as well with descendants of those that used to live there
            • Used the people to give a sense of scale towards the pictures
            • Another approach was a ‘Home within a home’
  • Key themes were: ‘If these stones could talk’, Diaspora (the dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland), migration, Home and Belonging, Abandonment
  • Final pieces were pictures printed onto stones; inspired by archaeology
      • Used Matte Medium transfer, but it didn’t have that true effect

    Then decided to use liquid emulsion

    Looking back at the lecture, I thought her first work on the house wasn’t very appealing to be initially to me, but when she started introducing double exposure into her work I began to become more interested in her work. But the real aspect that caught my interest was the area of mythology. As someone who is into horror games based on myths and horrors, I thought this would be a really interesting area for me to look into at one point in the future.
    But another part from the talk was that she talked to us about editing, on the basis of photo manipulation as well as choosing which pictures we would use in the final pieces. I thought being told about how to properly edit, as well as the way we could present our work (such as what pictures would come first, be the stand out and end etc.) This was extremely useful for me with my current project, as it has made me think as to what order I would present my pictures in as well.

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