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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Final Major Project: IoP Symposium Talk – Dr Gary McLeod – 20-02-18

Key points:-

  1. Rephotography as stewardship

  2. Rephotography is a way of having a conversation about a place over time.

  3. In his opinion, photographs are open documents – not sealed.

  4. He works collaboratively, inviting others around the world to rephotograph with him and share the work.

  5. Collaboration leads to eclectic images

  6. Some images include Gary himself

  7. Things like ‘Hello Kitty’ frames place the pictures in time as well as place.

Mayumi Suzuki – ‘The Restoration Will’:-

Gary shared the work of Mayumi Suzuki – ‘The Restoration Will’. She lost her parents in the 2011 tsunami. Her work is personal. Her father was a photographer. She found and photographed her father’s camera. She then used the camera to record other personal images. The lens of the camera still covered in mud. The mud becomes a filter.

“My parents, who owned a photo studio, went missing after the 2011 tsunami. Our house was destroyed. It had been a place for working, but also for living; I grew up there. Where their photo studio once stood, there was nothing but a pile of rubble. I uncovered what remained of the darkroom, and then found my father’s camera, his portfolio, and our family album covered in mud. It was at that moment that I first began to regret not taking over my parents’ photo studio.

One day, I tried to take a landscape photo with my father’s muddy lens. The image came out dark and blurry, like a view of the deceased. By taking it, I felt I could connect our world with the world beyond. “What did he regret in his death?” “How would he look down on our new, reconstructed town if he was alive?” “How does he feel that I have grown as a photographer?” These questions give me a reason to take photographs. I felt like I could have a conversation with my parents—though of course that was impossible.

The family snapshots I found were washed white, the images slowly disappearing. The portraits taken by my father were stained and discolored. These scars are similar to the damage seen in my town—similar to my memories, which I am slowly losing. I hope to retain my memory and my family history through this book. By arranging these photos, I have attempted to reproduce it.” – Suzuki (LensCulture 2018)

Questions to consider:-

  1. What happens to your photograph after you have made it?

  2. When is your photograph…

  3. …resolved?

  4. …finished?

  5. …completed?

  6. What happens to your work after you are gone?

  7. How is your work read by others?

  8. Do you think about the next 100 or 300 years? What will happen to your work?


LENSCULTURE, MAYUMI. 2018. “The Restoration Will – Photographs and text by Mayumi Suzuki | LensCulture”. LensCulture [online]. Available at: [accessed 20 February 2018].

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