Friday, October 17, 2008

Some Autumn Colour

All images © Claire Gilliam
I start out today with a couple of shots of Autumn Colour, taken in my back's been quite amazing this year and I have recently had a burst of enthusiasm for getting out the digital camera, (and also the colour film!) to capture some of it. In fact I am heading out shortly to Wawayanda State Park, NJ in search of some more autumn splendour.
News this month.........
Since I last posted, I have discovered that I will not be awarded the Photographer's Fellowship Fund. Initially I was disappointed but have got over that very quickly! There's always next year, and I hoping I'll have an even stronger body of work to put forward.
 The 1st November marks the opening night of the Annual Small Works Show at Bertoni Gallery in Sugarloaf, NY. It is a small venue, but fun to enter. This will be my 3rd year exhibiting work at this gallery: three photographs from 'Family Matters'. My husband Gene will also be showing a piece, a beautiful portrait of one of his sons.
The beginning of October marked the first weekend of the six month ICP course "The Independent Project" with Chuck Kelton, master printer to the likes of Danny Lyon, Helen Leavitt, and Mary Ellen Mark to name just a few, and a tremendous teacher to boot. The time spent working with Chuck, and my fellow students is exhilarating, and exhausting, but by the time Sunday evening comes around we are all infused with huge amounts of creative energy to see us through to the next class in a few weeks time. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am working on printing some self portraits first made a year or so ago. I am really excited by these images, and can't wait to see them completed. The talent in this class is exceptional and I am very excited to see the final portfolios of work we all produce. If it is anything like last year's class we are all in for a treat. I will leave you with couple of links on them to see the work of two of my fellow classmates projects: Jorge Luis Monteagudo, and Wendy Paton. Stunning and beautiful work........ 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Family Matters

A Memory of Susan Marshall, My Mother, With Her Family, C. 1970 (2008)

Rosalind Marshall, My Grandmother (2007)

Alan Marshall, My Grandfather (2007)

A Memory of the First Holiday Afterwards, C. 1978 (2008)

All images © Claire Gilliam

This past week has been spent preparing applications for Woodstock Center for Photography's annual 'Photographer's Fellowship  Fund Award', and juried competition 'Photography Now'. They are now out of my hands and awaiting the jurers at CPW. This is the first time I have entered work for any kind of award, and I found the process a bit nerve racking, and time consuming.....but it was worth all the effort, because even if I do not win, I have learnt many things, and realise that it is not so difficult after all just to go for it and see what happens!

The body of work I submitted for both awards was taken from "Family Matters', a project that I began working on last fall, and completed (stage 1) in March. Through the interweaving of text taken from the written recollections of my family, portraits of family members, and the reworking of old snapshots I put together a document that tells of one particular moment in my history. Its interesting to me because whilst it is an intensely personal body of work, that was painful for everyone involved, the collection as a whole begins to reveal the idea of truth and memory, and how this can shape one's life. Its a piece that I think, like my 'self portraits' I shall continue to work is by no means finished! The images above a small sampling of the project.....and a poem which I wrote for the project

My memories of You
are sharp, acute.
I feel every moment lived.
Emotions Cut through my skin
Straight to my Heart.

My History is embedded with yours
Entwined and sculpted.
The 'I am' of me, always
Connected to you. By Chance

One instant bringing change
Unforeseen but destined.
A Grey day sometime black night
Then Blue Sky heralding hope.
Your Gift to me.

No Earthquake could dismantle
My constancy and faith
In You. There, solid, and so strong, 
My kin stand facing outwards
Embracing Me.