We decided to create a magazine article, and when creating our presentation we will consider the following questions:
Where will the article appear?
Who is the audience for the magazine?
What is the title of the magazine?
How much text will be required?
How many images will be included?
How will you decide what goes in?
Should there be some quotes from the artists or reviews of their work?
To start with we decided to refine the idea behind our magazine and the articles we will write, in the end we decided to focus on the human form and how it has been interpreted by different photographers. After deciding what our magazine would be about we looked into different journal and magazine articles that looked at the idea of photographing the human form in order to gain some idea on how our magazine could be laid out and the kind of information we will need to find out and include in our articles. I found these articles from the British Journal of Photography and AnOther Magazine. We also looked through journals in the library to gain a better idea on how our article could be presented.
This article looks at the way contemporary photographers are bending the boundaries when they photograph the human form and how through the evolution of the camera and photography the way we record the human form has changed. As stated by assistant editor Izabela Radwanska “In its rawest form, artists have dedicated their lives to perfecting it on paper – god and icons of religion and spirituality rendered in perfect anatomy. This changed with the arrival of the camera, and gradually our viewpoints of the figure became manifold.” This is to say that now with photography we don’t always try to capture the human form in the most perfect way, we capture it’s flaws now rather than hide them. The work of several photographers who have done projects surrounding the human form is featured throughout the article, accompanied by a brief synopsis of the project’s intention and a photograph or two.
This article focused on the work of Mel Bles title ‘Islands’, where she created multimedia pieces of art (photography with hand drawn lines) revolving around the female form and bringing it back to the basic shapes and lines. Mel Bles decided on the title of ‘Islands’ as she feels “It expresses something mysterious and fantastical and exotic, but also isolation and individuality. Something completely opposite.” I feel that it is also a subtle link back to the original prompt for this project, the well known quote by poet John Donne, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” The article features several examples of work from her series ‘Islands’ alongside the process and inspirations behind the work created.
After finishing the initial research part of this project we each began to do research into our chosen artists and their work relating to our chosen topic, which we would then use to write an article to be put into our magazine. The artists we chose were: Laura Stevens, Ernestine Ruben, Ted Tahquechi and Anastasia Pottinger. I glanced over the work of each artist and found that I was particularly draw to Tahquechi’s work so I decided to look more in depth into his abstract portraiture series on the human form titled ‘Landscapes Of The Body’.
Ted Tahquechi is a legally blind photographer whose love of photography began in the 1980’s where he mostly photographed using black and white film. That was until he was involved in a major car accident in 1999 that left him almost completely blind. Because of the accident he chose to not work on his art for a while due to “feeling sorry for myself and feeling disappointed with where I was in my life”. That was until he decided to pick up the camera again in an attempt to capture the various moments at family gatherings or in his life that he would have normally missed out on. By using his camera to photograph these memories it became a tool in his every day life with which he could use to look back on the moments he had missed. In a way the camera essentially became Tahquechi’s second eye. Some time after the accident, Tahquechi went back to college to complete a fine art photography degree. When given a portraiture brief he began with shooting close ups of hands (some of which would be working) and “It wasn’t until I started shooting pieces and parts of the body in a more abstract way that I got excited about where I was going”. This led him to look more closely at the human form, but in an abstract way, with the focus being on ‘form, shape, and negative space’. Not only does this offer a unique and intriguing insight into the human form as well as celebrating it, this series of photographs also allows us to see the world as Tahquechi sees it.
Tahquechi chose not to edit these images, other than to alter the colour to black and white using Photoshop as he feels this helps to create “a cohesive body of work”. Tahquechi refrained from further editing as he wanted to display them as they were in their natural form and “to celebrate the natural curves and shapes, whilst embracing the way light wraps around them”. Overall he states that “these images celebrate diversity in age, body size and physical ability and illustrate that the beauty of the human form is present in every body” and I agree. These images emphasise the natural curves and beauty of the human form in a unique and abstract way, while the lighting brings out the texture of the skin.
The series of photographs titled ‘Landscapes of the Body’ features a variety of ethnicities, genders, body sizes and ages (ranging from nineteen to sixty six). This is something Tahquechi is passionate about in all of his projects as he aims to represent a variety of people with his work. The choice to present the photographs as black and white combined with low key lighting in these images reflects how Tahquechi sees the world and is an interesting way to present this. Nowadays Tahquechi works in a low-key environment shooting nudes alongside his wife who operates the lights.
Final Product (Magazine and PowerPoint)
Below are links to the powerpoint presentation we created on the process of making this magazine and the final magazine.