Thank you so much for a fantastic group on Monday. I had been feeling quite down with all that’s been going on but seeing your lovely faces, hearing about your ideas and projects was just what I needed to boost my mood. We had 18 attendees (some lovely new faces!) and 4 people presenting.

Daniel Regan (me) shared work about the recent loss of his mother. Building on the back of his existing project Melancholia, creating very dark photographs of flora as they go through the life cycle. Daniel also showed work made using cyanotypes and sun prints, some of which as part of the process could fade away if they continue to expose to light. We talked a bit about conceptual ways to show the work — perhaps an exhibition allowing images to fade away over time. Daniel is also meeting with a neuroscientist at Kings to start photographing his tears from grief at a microscopic level. Any suggestions for reading or projects that explore grief are welcome!

Alessandra Rinaudo shared her work Hide and Seek, exploring her childhood through a series of photographic chapters. Through re-enactment Alessandra’s work addresses dealing with emotional patterns established in childhood through self-portraits in her childhood clothes, exploring her now empty childhood home and a series of images exploring self-marriage and self-acceptance. We talked about sequencing and the possibility of putting Alessandra’s images into a book to explore narrative. How much does she need to tell the viewer and how much should be made by the viewer themselves?

Joanne Barrett shared textile based work with a series of experiments relating to her lived experience of Functional Neurological Disorder. Joanne shared various works relating to her need to keep making. Jo talked about the relationship that the art world has to textiles and its gender association, its lack of being seen as ‘art’. We talked a bit about the unseen work that goes into textile works, the focus on the status of the person wearing clothing instead of the skill that goes into the making. A few artists mentioned were Louise BourgeoisJessa Fairbrother (who has exhibited at Free Space Project).

Andy Wiener presented new photographic works based on his time recently spent in Cambodia visiting his daughter. Andy’s new series of photographs and interviews focuses on ex-pats who have chosen a certain lifestyle in Cambodia. We talked through what images worked and those that were less strong, but also ways to build upon the works: incorporating photographs without people that represent Cambodia (and show why so many of these people want to live there). Also investigating the impact that ex-pats have on the local community, how do Cambodians feel about having ex-pats there? There was also a political element to the work with the Chinese building casinos etc. This new work is a move away from Andy’s recent project in constructed photographic scenes exploring family through masks.

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