We are no different from previous generations, youth has always been a time of change and learning – My collaborator and I discussed this mostly in terms of our present experience but I began to think also about how connections can be made to the past. Through the resurfacing of an old photo album I got from an antiques shop, I was able to begin contextualising our theme into a different era.
I often find when struggling to move forward with inspiration and ideas, looking back at something old can refresh my thinking. I shared my photos with my collaborator and we both noticed how they showed a similarity to many images shared on social media today. Holidays, house parties and happy couples – we often document and share our ‘highs’ in life and so it is no wonder there is a pressure to feel accepted.
How can we document this turbulent time in life? It is relevant and connects to everyone, young and old who are experiencing/ have experienced it. We felt it was appropriate to draw inspiration from the photos I had found – they held some resonance with our intimate topic, encouraging a thoughtful association with memory and the transience of time.
While sharing our ideas and photos, my collaborator was working on new material, our exchange on ‘wasted‘ used as an initial creative experiment between the two of us…
In reflection of our developing theme, my collaborator and I discussed what form of writing felt appropriate and best applied. Although her written prose and short stories were strong in their visuals, we both felt swayed towards the use of poetry. In its more simple verses, it suited my ideas for a target publication or series of prints in a minimal style. We both enjoyed the work of Rupi Kaur, her short simple poems in her book ‘Milk and Honey’ were small snapshots into her mind reflecting on emotions and relationships, and these felt transferable to the snapshot photos I had found.
I felt I could better play around with shorter sections of text and we could perhaps create a series of miniature poems with illustrations, they could be subtle and almost diary-like in a collection. I began to make ideas for a publication or series of single images for the end exhibition, fitting with my current practice into self-publishing and print.