Week 7 : A collective Home-ed community project 06.03.20
Below is a collection of images that were sent to me in response to a shout out I did on facebook on Wednesday. The idea behind it, was to create a broad picture of what home education looks like to different families at any one given moment, to illustrate the varying ways that home education happens within the same family at different times, and differing families at the same time. If I was to get all these families to redo this at 1pm the next day it would look entirely different again. This was reminiscent of the discussions we had in the Unseen and overlooked pop up lecture that I wrote about here about photography slowing time down. The idea was to slow time down, stop in our day and just capture a snippet of time across place, and illustrate what that looked and felt like in a broad sense. It is hard for anyone to know what home education looks like from the outside, and this is what I aimed to show people, raw, natural, unaltered, unedited, unperfected, just everyday life and all it’s extraordinary nuances .
In the end I had responses from 32 families across Cornwall. I chose to present the images in one single image, with inspiration taken from Carmen Winnant’s ‘woman must write herself’ that I saw at Richard Saltoun gallery in London, in their show Matresence that I wrote about in week 1 here … https://www.bambino-art.co.uk/week-0-critical-review/#article-comments . Winnat’s idea was to print the 6×4 images she had collected of womanhood and present them as an almost patchwork quilt of old , as a narrative on the interweaving lives of women, and the varying roles and realms of the woman, going back to the old traditions of femininity , sisterhood, and solidarity, women learning from other women, through to the modern roles we adopt and adapt to.
I decided to go for cropping the images to square format to keep them uniform. I had originally thought to keep them all the same shape and size that the parents had sent them too me in, however there were too many cropped ones that made it to hard for it to gel well together, and I felt that this way focus wasn’t drawn to anyone one particular image.
I wasn’t that keen on the fact that this made the images appear a bit like instagram images, as I didn’t want it to appear that these were appropriated images taken from instagram , like a Richard prince rehash. However, I am happy that they don’t look like that, even though they are snap shots. I was very clear to the parents that I just wanted everyday photographs of the children, or the things like books they’d been reading, shows they’d been watching, the ‘traces of the child, or traces of the education’ . The variation in the images that were sent to me was amazing, from playing at the beach, to days out, train rides to Belgium and the Netherlands, watching Attenborough whilst ill on the sofa, to sports clubs, learning about David Bowie, the rain cycle and how babies are made, it was as beautiful, and perfect as I expected it to be !
My idea , was to originally just use these images as a CRJ post as research for my project, however, I feel this would work amazingly in the exhibition as a huge printed board or wall, so will approach the parents for permission to do this . I made this image 50×35 inches , but it could easily be made larger or smaller to fit dedicated spaces. I feel it brings something really important to the discussion alternative education. It won’t be presented with my work in progress images this module, but I am pretty sure it will now be presented in my final major project.
EDITED TO ADD 26.04.2020
This exercise has now taken on new meaning, as it means that the home education community of Cornwall had a HUGE picture of what home education looked like pre coronavirus isolation, this exercise has become deep and meaningful in so many unexpected ways. We are, as are our children, able to look back at this now from a totally different point of view, it is humbling to say the least, and gave the already important work, an even deeper meaning and message. A friend who was involved had posted this to her facebook timeline and it made me think about how the context, dissemination and consumption had all changed in such a short amount of time
Graham, Rebecca. 2020. Week 6 pop up the unseen and the overlooked. Bambino art. Available at https://www.bambino-art.co.uk/week-6-pop-unseen-overlooked-05-03-20/ (Accessed 06.03.20)
Graham, Rebecca . 2020. Week 0 Critical review. 27.01.20. Bambino art. Available at https://www.bambino-art.co.uk/week-0-critical-review/#article-comments (Accessed 06.03.20)
Fig 1, Thursday 1pm. Week 7 : A collective Home-ed community project 06.03.20
Fig 2, A friends facebook post, shared with permission