INFLUENCE: Open Eye Gallery Inspiration(Bradford-by-the-sea)
After taking a visit to LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 and viewing the 'socially engaged' approach to producing bodies of work, as well as meeting and discussing the approach with the Open Eye Head of Engagement, Liz Wewiora, I was highly inspired to incorporate the methodology into the way I produced Bradford-by-the-sea. Open Eye Gallery describes this approach as: "...activities or projects where photographers and communities/ individuals come together to co-author or co-produce visual representations of the world around us. The process behind the work produced is often as important as the final photographic work, and projects are often reliant on collaboration and discussion. The work often reflects multiple voices about a particular social, political, economical or environmental issue, rather than that of a single artistic voice." The idea I had to engage with this was to set the subject on a more equal level of importance as me, the creator, I did this by firmly setting out that this project was as equally about me as it was about them. By placing myself as part of this community I could level myself with the people I was shooting. To produce this project in collaboration with the subjects, I let them have the majority of the decisions surrounding how they wanted to be presented, and also what they wanted to be presented. When talking with subjects, I would ask them a few questions to gauge where they thought best to be shot, or what they considered most important to their stories, this helped to heighten their importance as contributors to the project, and I believe this helps to create a less voyeuristic body of work.