Tuesday, 7 June 2016

From 2015 into 2016 : When, Then, After, Now and Beyond

Way Back When

It's been almost a year since the first round of this photography project in July & August 2015. In brief, the project is a collaboration between myself and my sister - a way to bring seeing, doing and art practise into our daily lives. A quick and easy project, limited in time with a simple structure and a "lets do it and see what happens" attitude. 


I wrote a short piece on the origin of the Sisters:To&Fro idea on my main blog page while I was in the process of the initial development. If you wish to explore 'behind the scenes' you are welcome to read the post, link provided here. Around seven months after completing the project as it stood on this blog, I also wrote a short explanatory piece for my website, expanding on the history and reasoning behind the structure of the project which you can read here


Following the conclusion of the thirty days I used a selection the photographs that we took, out of order, to create an artists' book. I was interested in exploring the patterns, colours and repetitions that I found within the images, searching for a rhythmical path that would entice the reader to follow from beginning to end.  


If you have read all that then you've heard quite a lot from me and my take on the project, but what about the other half of the collaboration? I fired five questions via email to my sister, Mandy Shannon, and here is what she replied.

Why did you say yes to this project?

Mainly, because I love my sister. I was quite stressed and very busy with my day job at the time and I was struggling to find time to make my own films and be creative - which was really getting to me. I started taking the pictures to support my sister's creative project but I actually found that it helped me much more than I had imagined. I am so overwhelmed by the final pieces that my sister created from the photos. I am very proud of her.

What did you learn from photographing your feet/the sky every for thirty days?

That my normal walk to work is very boring! There are a few things that I used to see on the way to work that I liked so I started taking pictures of those elements. However, as the days went on I had to take different routes to the place I had to go to find new and interesting things to involve in the pictures. From the project I learned how important it is for a creative person to have something to challenge them creatively, even if its just a few minutes a day. Its just good for your brain, development and day to day mood.

Do you have a favourite image?

Each images reminds me of a different day during that month so I like them all actually as I enjoyed taking the pictures and remembering where I had been. If I had to pick a favourite, it was the day where my sister and I were together in Edinburgh and she had her bike. It was fun to take the pictures together. Also, when I was standing in a cardboard box... Or the ones when it was raining so hard and I had a massive orange umbrella - that is more the memory I am fond of though.
Day 4 - Mandy Shannon - Sisters:To&Fro 2015

What would you like to do next with the project?

I would like to do something a bit different, I don't like repeating myself and like to explore different concepts and mediums. I make films sometimes so would be quite interested in doing something with moving images and perhaps quite graphic and featuring symmetry as the theme.

Is there anything about the project that you would change?

I took all of my pictures just on my phone and did a quick 'find interesting location/objects, point at feet, frame shot, take picture'. I would wish I had used a better camera for my pictures. Although, the idea of taking them on my phone and it being a quick 2 minute challenge is quite appealing and ensures it doesn't turn into something different. For me it was the perfect project and injected some creativity into my busy day, which was quite a relief! 

You can find my sister's own photography and film work on her website here.


Sitting here in 2016, we are looking to develop the project onwards from what we achieved in 2015: keeping the ideas fresh and simple while continuing to challenge ourselves. We originally discussed our intent to begin in May 2016 with the same structure we used last year, however we have had to accept that our structure needs to adapt to the current situations we are in. The basic idea is flexible and malleable enough to be able to do that and to this end Sisters:To&Fro 2016 will be following a revised structure and momentum based on ideas originated and put forward by Mandy.