In preparation for my latest study group I shared the visual strategy I started outlining for BoW. In response one of my peers shared a couple of references to research that work in a similar way, Uta Barth and Charlotte Fox. Having researched briefly I decided to focus further into Barth’s approach which is more abstract. I have discounted much of her earlier work for this comparison as it does not relate. I have focused specifically on the light and shadow projections. The question that immediately comes to mind when coming across a work that is similar is the more important self-assessment, what differentiates your work?
Barth’s series Sundial most resembles my shadowgram strategy in the first instance. However looking further into the series, there are familiar domestic objects and architecture in some of the images and the camera doesn’t have a fixed point of view beyond a triptych (see fig. 1.). The basis of the idea is similar but the fixed spatial framing has a variation in the evolution of the light projection over time. Furthermore my intention to print a 1:1 scale and place it in the place of capture diverges from Barth’s displacement to the white cube.
The presence of interiors is also noticeable in the series Compositions of Light on White (see fig. 2.). What I find more useful in seeing these different approaches is they help to consolidate what I don’t want to include. The abstraction in my early experiments are scaleless until it is printed and placed back into the space it came from. When it is placed back at the point of origin it intuitively contextualises itself.
It further reinforces why I see a great potential in engaging with the place of origin. Returning the image to its source offers to me more opportunities to consider developing the approach around a physical space, maybe in a residency or demonstration? It reminds me of an exhibition at Tate Liverpool in 2014 titled Mondrian and his Studios. During which we got to see how Piet Mondrian lived with his approach on his walls, showing ‘his signature style was something he discovered, not something he planned.’ (White, 2014). Could this be something I experiment with next?
One of the more recent series by Barth, Untitled 2017 (see fig. 3.) echoes what I have been noting in the public space with shadows projected onto a surface for A1. I have continued to make notations of these temporal images with my smartphone as I further conceptualise my approach for A2.
Maybe this could be a series in its own right? I like having a digital sketchbook (a smartphone) that without words offers a notational awareness of the subject I am exploring. It has been said that the process is sometimes more interesting than the end result. To me my notations are like a pre-game stretch and that informality retains a sense of play and experimentation but with a purpose.
I really like Uta Barth’s work. I actually found it more reassuring that someone else was exploring similar themes, even if there were different starting points and conclusions. It helps to tighten up and justify what it is I want to achieve.
Barth, U (no date) Available at: http://utabarth.net (Accessed on 09.09.18).
Fox, C (no date) Available at: https://charlottefoxphotography.com (Accessed on 09.09.18)
White, M. (2014) ‘Mondrian Guide to Life’ In: Tate [online] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/mondrian-guide-to-life (Accessed on 07.09.18).
List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Barth, U (2007) 07.1 [Photograph] At: http://utabarth.net/work/sundial/#image-3 (Accessed on 09.09.18)
Figure 2. Barth, U (2011) Composition #9 [Photograph] At: http://utabarth.net/work/compositions-of-light-on-white/#image-4 (Accessed on 09.09.18)
Figure 3. Barth, U (2017) 17.11 [Photograph] At: http://utabarth.net/work/untitled/#image-8 (Accessed on 09.09.18)