Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Color Photo Final: 1000 Words

Artist Statement

Michelle Peterson

This semester started with a project on visual memory. I wanted to use my images to portray how memory appears in an incomplete, sometimes exaggerated story. It is something fragmented, and overlapping. The mind does not replay a memory in a linear, chronological order that the event may have happened in. Instead, memory is sporadic. It dulls over time but still has attention to specific, sometimes odd, details.
For the body of work, I experimented with different mediums, and kept my cameras by my side at all times. When an instance started to stand out to me and have a personal emotional value, I would shoot multiple frames of that moment. With the use of multiple angles I would then create a photographic collage, with the images projecting and receding into space at different levels. The color palled would be soft and subdued.

All the while focusing on this project, I would candidly shoot pictures of my husband, whom was often accompanying me on my adventures. These images started just as personal keepsakes. Hiding within each roll of film are a handful of these shots. Upon looking through my negatives at the near end of my shooting, I discovered these snapshot images of my husband packed an emotional punch for me. Not only that, but I found them the most aesthetically pleasing, and value them for their strong use of color.
I decided to use these images as the basis of my theme. I believe they are the images that best demonstrate my growth with the use of color mediums. Before this semester, I had never shot with color film before. I became interested in experimenting with different types of film. I shot with slide 120 film with my Holga camera and Canon film camera, and also shot with one time use disposable cameras with fixed flash. I was interested in the way colors would be portrayed differently in the different mediums. It is in the images of my husband, where I was less focused on capturing a defining moment to recreate in a photographic sense, that I was experimenting with my use of color.
One morning after deciding to change my final topic, my husband broke the news to me he wants a divorce. Nothing happened, other than his need to be free. He moved here, and doesn't feel like this place is home. In the weeks I decided to use these images of him, I had seen this coming, which is why the images are so important. They are a visual diary of the emotion I felt I saw in him. It is a body of work that is so personal in every aspect, but I hope that it has the power to show viewers the same feeling that I had derived being in the moment.  

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