Dreams and Reality. The project set for the Summer term for Level 2 photography. What a brief. What a head-scratcher. I wanted to do something a little unusual, but in one of my favourite places in London. The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
Kew has an exhibition of one of my favourite artists, Dale Chihuly, with his exhibition ‘Reflections on Nature’. Chihuly is a glass sculptor, who had an exhibition at Kew in 2005, so he had been here before. He has a unique way with glass but, at 77 and with only one eye after a vehicle accident in England in 1976, he no longer creates his sculptures but has a team doing his creations. However he does curate his exhibitions, and checks them before they open.
My initial idea was to use the sculptures, and the icons of Kew like The Great Pagoda, Temperate House, Palm House etc. using plastic dragons and/or faeries using a 10 stopper ND filter at somewhere around 1 minute, superimposed with the models and the ND filter at around 20 seconds, so the models ghost. What is the reality, and what the dream?
The dragons and faeries were to be supported using wire and held in position. Unfortunately I realised there was little chance I could hold the models still enough for the time required, without them becoming blurry and even more indistinct.
My next thought was still to use the Chihuly sculptures, but using a human model, using the same or similar timings. Hopefully this way passing public would disappear and the sculpture would be distinct, but the model would become a ghost. Is the model there? Or just imagined? There were a number of technical difficulties with this option too. First, securing a model, my girlfriend is not overly keen on being photographed, the second is to find an area where I could set up the camera, without the security ropes being visible and the last is that quite a number of the public stand around the sculptures for long periods and so they do not disappear, or necessarily even ghost.
Here are the story-boards I created, with photographs of the objects in situ. I apologise for the quality of the drawings. Art was not my strong point. Thrown out of Art in my second year at senior school. I think you can see why!!!