Inspired by the series of Jodie Taylor (“Memories of Childhood“) and Gawain Barnard (“Maybe we´ll be soldiers“), I aimed to create a collection of photographs that will picture my surroundings in a way that invites the viewer to revisit that place in their childhood. I wanted to keep the landscape as anonymous as possible, yet giving subjects a feel of how others would see my neighbourhood when looking back in time.
After careful consideration, I have selected ten images out of the fifty I took for the project:
Initially, I decided not to include people to keep the images as simple as possible. However, on the final edit I included the image of the two women walking, as I thought it was still keeping the overall project anonymous while covering the lack of human reference. This thought came to me when I selected the image of the cat, which I also felt was a nostalgic image I should include. These two images, the ladies and the cat are quite dynamic, while the rest aren´t. The stillness and simplicity on the other images is intended to act as a white canvas where anyone could place their own memories and make the photographs their own.
I didn’t follow any particular technique here, apart from careful composition, which is something I enjoy doing. At the beginning, I was focusing on doors, windows and straight lines, which I would normally do so I had to stop myself in order to look at things in a different way and step up from my comfort zone.
While I was still shooting, I was not sure about how well the photographs where working together, so I focused on the high grass that the wind was moving and bending at the park. I took several pictures here as I loved the lines and aesthetic images I was getting and I could easily evoke memories from my childhood at the summer house in the countryside. I though of building my series exclusively on this set of images, but looking at the contact sheets I realized I wanted to show a bit more, perhaps thinking it would look poor and lazy. I also thought these images of the grass would feel disconnected from the rest if put together, which they don´t.
Although I am quite happy with the final images, I would like to take this project further in the future with a different approach. I do like photographing people and I would love to create a series about the families living around me. However, as I do not know my neighbours and I have encountered lots of rejection recently when asking colleagues and friends to be models for a day, it is a project I don´t feel ready to start at the moment.