LANDINGS

MA PHOTOGRAPHY: WIP EXHIBITION  

The project is a long-term study of the river I live by in Wales, which I've engaged with for the past two years. It explores the themes of sense of place, identity and memory through the landscape that embodies a spiritual nature and myth. The intent of my practice is focussed around the phenomenology of how we experience the world through photography and film.

Each image is made by an instinctive emotional response I get from the environment; it’s a formed intimacy and respect between the environment and I, whereby it keeps feeding me back with something. The reason I chose this subject matter for my project is because of my own fascination I have grown for the place. I’m constantly being drawn back to the river and its relationship it has with natural light, and since having time to think over its qualities, the river, to me, represents what it is to be alive.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope; he was born when Cephissus enveloped Liriope in his waters. Narcissus, because of his exquisite looks, was loved by many but was indifferent to affection. He famously rejected the affections of Echo, who pined away to nothing but a voice. Nemesis, the goddess who punished arrogant lovers for their prideful and selfish natures, made him fall in love with himself. Narcissus was said to have died while staring at his own reflection in a pool, unable to satisfy his longing.

A beautiful yellow and white flower sprang up in the spot where he died - a flower of a plant in the amaryllis family that became known as the "narcussus" in his memory. In modern day this flower is most commonly known as the daffodil, and is one of the earliest flower to bloom in spring with its head pointing slightly downward, as if Narcissus himself were still pining away, gazing at himself in the pool.

The Greek myth of Narcissus, whose pride caused him to fall in love with his own reflection, has inspired artists and writers since the classical period. Some people have seen the story as a warning against the dangers of vanity; others have viewed the tragedy of Narcissus as the result of his grieving over the death of his sister.