Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Pondering Personal Histories

I’ve been thinking about how to start my Personal Histories book.

When I went on a solar print workshop a few months ago I used old family photos as the basis for some designs and I want to continue using these as source material for this project

We all have a stash somewhere of old photos, some of relatives and friends we recognise and others who we don’t have a clue about who they are. As time passes they just become faces. We may know their name, if it is written on the back, but we don’t know anything about them.

I also think most families will have a scattering of heroes and villains in amongst the majority of the ordinary people who make up their ancestry. Their stories may have been completely fictionalized in the telling and retelling, or just forgotten over the years.

I want to combine these two ideas, the hidden stories and the almost anonymous figures.
I’ve decided base my images on the children’s rhyme “Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief”. We’ve probably all got some of these amongst our antecedents.

I’m not sure yet what structure to use. You’d think I’d learn from experience and sort this out first. It would avoid a lot of problems further down the road! However, at the moment I’m contemplating a series of unbound images jumbled together in a box/container the same way that the original source photos are kept, although I also quite like the idea of a frieze of dancing dolls.

This is Agnes Hall. I decided to divorce her from Thomas.