Last night I had the opportunity to attend the talk of photographer Cig Harvey. I will be honest, I did not know her work prior to the email recieved by the photography department at my school. However, once entering her website knew was captivated by Harvey's images. They seemed extremely personal and I kind of enjoyed that. Still, it wasn't until listening to a short ten minute clip on her website of her talking about photography and the process in her own words that confirmed for me that this is a lecture I must go to.
In her talk Cig talked a lot about "what are you concerned with? Who are your images for? What do you have to say?" And it really got me thinking. Far too often, especially in art school, we as creators fall into this trap of trying to please others sometimes. Making images that will recieve a better critique or that is more artsy because that's what we have been brain washed to think is better than what we might otherwise of made. Cig banished these ideas. Speaking of having a connection to what you love and looking at what you made to figure out why you made it. Which is a great exercise for all creators I believe
Cig showed a sampling of her three bodies of work in chronological order. Talking about her process and what the picture represented. The standard fair that photographers do when speaking of their work. However, she went further. Cig spoke of how photography is either a mirror or a balance. Which resonated with me quite well. I agree with this. The work that you make at different points in your life as a photographer or any visual artist really can either represent what is going on in your life at that moment or used as a way to balance out the events taking place. It is a sense of catharsis in a way.
Throughout Cig's lecture I found myself playing this cat and mouse game of quickly jotting down notes to get back to listening to her speaks and viewing her images. She also talked about the ups and downs of image making. How sometimes you don't love what you are making and then one image will change that. It was so nice to hear these words. So many times I go to photographer lectures and it seems as if they never faced moments of questioning at all along the road to success in there career. Which time after time left me wondering if it was just me. Cig shattered these fears which I'm utterly greatful for.
When I left the lecture I felt rejuvenated. Working on my photography thesis is a different beast then projects I have produced and made in previous years. I'm looking to create images that when I look at them after they are finished I can sigh a breath of relief and being truly happy with my image. My whole walk home my mind was racing with ideas and thoughts to help me further my project based on what I just heard in this lecture.
I could go on forever about this and really try to give a step by step reenactment of the lecture but I won't. I will just say that going to lectures of people who may have the ability to inspire you is so important no matter your profession. Sometimes it is just the push you need to get you to the next level or out of a rut weither you think you are in one or not.
One thing I will leave you with as I look back on my notes from last night is this :
let go & respond to the world.
Until next time ,