Over the last week or so, I have entered the Belfast photo festival Open submission 2021 , the Photographic Museum of humanity 2021 photographic grant, and Arles Open walls.
ARLES OPEN WALLS
For Open Walls Arles I have so far uploaded one of the two projects I am going to enter. The free upload that comes with my 1854 membership I am using to enter my 10 minute film that I have made on ‘A Heuristic Interlude’.
I am then going to enter the individual photographs from the same project into the story category as well.
The theme for this years open walls reads –
For the third edition of OpenWalls Arles, a collaboration between Galerie Huit Arles and 1854 Media, we are inviting photographers to respond to the theme Then & Now.
We are seeking images that convey a sense of reflection or the changes that time brings. How have you, or your families, grown and developed? How has the past year affected us? Has history repeated itself? What challenges face us ahead? We want artists to explore the theme in many different ways. Experiment with new work, revisit past or forgotten projects or examine your past archive and found imagery.
I may not be a filmmaker to the standard Arles is used to , having only just made my first ever attempt at a film, however, my project definitely fits the theme perfectly, being about families that are growing and adjusting to the last year, and reflecting on this in the interviews, and in their decisions.
BELFAST PHOTO FESTIVAL
I have also entered BELFAST PHOTO FESTIVAL , again with the project ‘ A Heuristic Interlude’ . For both Arles open walls and Belfast photo festival I had to rewrite my artist statement, combining some of the artist statement for the overall project of Unschooled; ‘A Heuristic study’ combined with the artist statement from ‘A Heuristic Interlude’.
My final artist statement for the project is –
Unschooled ‘ A Heuristic Study’ is comprised of three interconnecting spheres of visual research surrounding families who’s children are electively home-educated, rather than attending mainstream schools. Combining photography and video with parental interviews and audio from the families who take part in the project, taking the viewer into the hearts of the families, understanding their journeys in their own words, further contextualised through the interweaving of U.K legislation and guidance on elective home-education.
Created by the artist in response to the visual void of real life stories or representations of the home-educating community, the project was born out of the artists first-hand experience as a home-educating parent of four children, offering her a unique insight into the issues experienced by the community, as well as the positives that arise from individualised academic paths.
‘A HEURISTIC INTERLUDE’ TELLS THE STORIES OF FIVE FAMILIES IN THE U.K WHO WERE NOT HOME-EDUCATING PRIOR TO COVID LOCKDOWN, BUT SINCE TRIALING THIS WAY OF LIVING AND LEARNING – THROUGH HOME-SCHOOLING DURING THE PANDEMIC SCHOOL CLOSURES OF 2020 – HAVE EITHER DECIDED TO DEREGISTER THEIR CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL PERMENANTLY, OR ARE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING DOING SO BEFORE SCHOOLS RETURN .
THROUGH INTERTWINING VISUAL IMAGERY, PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WITH THE FAMILIES, NATIONAL HOME-SCHOOLING SURVEYS & EDUCATION BASED PANDEMIC RESEARCH, ALONG WITH ALL FIVE FAMILIES HAVING VERY DIFFERENT REASONS FOR CONSIDERING LONG-TERM ELECTIVE HOME-EDUCATION (FROM NOT ENOUGH, TO TOO MANY COVID RESTRICTIONS IN SCHOOLS, TO HAVING ENJOYED SPENDING TIME TOGETHER) I HAVE CREATED A MICROCOSM OF THE SITUATIONS MANY FAMILIES NOW FACE, WHEN DECIDING HOW BEST TO LIVE AND LEARN TOGETHER GOING FORWARDS.
Heuristic – enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves.
What I really liked about entering this award is that it asked me to put descriptions of the images in the entry. I have never had call to do this for this area of the project before, and it was really good to access a different theme in the project for the first time, WHY these families were considering home educating permanently the lockdown and it showed me how strong these work as descriptions from a sociological point of view. The descriptions I used were –
Simone & Jaison ; Needed an individualised education.
Abbi Eleanor, Elizabeth & Agatha ; Not enough Covid restrictions in schools.
Shelley & Piran ; Too many Covid restrictions in schools.
Natalie, Lilith & Skye ; An educational philosophy diametrically opposed to that practiced in schools.
Katie, Ed & their boys ; Enjoyed spending time together during lockdown and the boys thrived.
What is really great is that this shows how universal this project is. How it represented basically every parent in the U.K that was home-schooling during lockdown that considered even for a moment keeping their children home permanently. It shows this project is about everyone, not just these specific families, and that goes for across the whole of the western world, not just the U.K.
PH MUSEUM 2021 PHOTOGRAPHY GRANT
For the PH MUSEUM 2021 grant I entered images from all three of the spheres under one name of ‘ A Heuristic Study’ . For this entry I entered 20 images as a series.
1854. Openwalls Arles. Photography Awards. Screenshot. Available at https://www.1854.photography/awards/openwalls/ (Accessed 26.02.2021)
Belfast photo festival screenshot Available at https://www.belfastphotofestival.com/submission-information (Accessed 27.02.2021)
PH Museum 2021 photography grant. Available at https://phmuseum.com/grants/2021-photography-grant (Accessed 27.02.2021)