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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Informing Contexts – Reflection

The first week of this module has been quite a revelation to me.  

For the first time, I feel that I am becoming more comfortable with where and how to position my practice.  Considering the case study of Carol Squiers and her exhibition “What is a photograph?” has opened my eyes to different types of hybrid work that is not traditionally considered as photography. This is where I believe my work fits. I am an image-maker and I view my photography as both art and fiction. It is an expression of my imagination and the imagination of the subjects I work with.

I enjoy trying new things and blurring boundaries between technologies and disciplines.  I have been experimenting with combining aspects of digital imagery with a physical intervention such as embroidery. I have also experimented with the use of light, colour, composition and materiality. I involve my subjects in the creation of the work and how they would like to be portrayed in the image. As I move forwards I intend to further explore cross disciplines and techniques to enhance the narrative of the images.

“With photography, I like to create a fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society’s natural prejudice and giving this a twist.”

– Martin Parr

My work has a tactile nature and materiality about it. I use electronic enhancement for aesthetic and narrative purposes. I am focused on producing a constructed narrative. I make aesthetically important decisions that affect how the work is produced. I am keen to explore moral codes and cultural frames of reference to help me better understand my viewer and how they interpret the work.

“The context in which a photograph is seen affects the meaning the viewer draws from it.”

― Stephen Shore

In considering contexts in which my work could be consumed, I will be exploring how best to display my work. The expected outcome would be to have a physical exhibition in a gallery. The work would be matted and framed, displayed with a wall label of my name and the date of creation.  The text used will be crucial to the narrative. In a gallery, my work would be viewed in a way that would be less about the subjects and more about the possibilities of photographic art to be interpreted in a way that explores the narrative of the image.

Previously I have used an online gallery to display images. These images will be displayed on computer screens around the world, on computers that are uncalibrated, each displaying the image within the capabilities and settings of the viewer’s screen. The image can appear flat and may have experienced a level of image compression in order to display online.

I am very keen to experiment with a physical exhibition set in an open-air venue such as a wood or forest. I am curious to discover what the effects of the elements of decay and weathering will do to the context and interpretation of the image.

My first aim of this project moving forward is to create a unique body of work that immerses the viewer into a fantasy world where they can forget real life. In particular, I will focus on the visual representation of fairies and mythical creatures, researching and evaluating how my interpretation of other people’s ideas can affect the creation of images and how the audience views them.

My second aim is to connect the use of digital manipulation and handcrafted intervention of images to my interest in the fantasy world (stems from a childhood fascination with the Cottingley Fairies). I want to determine if interventions affect the acceptance of my images.

I am excited and inspired by the content of this new module and am looking forward to contextualising my practice further as I progress.


Parr, M, From PetaPixel. 2017. 50 Photography Quotes to Inspire You. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 February 2017].

Shore, S. from Quotes About Photography (576 quotes) . 2017. Quotes About Photography (576 quotes) . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 08 February 2017].

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