This series was shared with my OCA buddies and their feedback is in Section 3.
I uncertain about the series of three statue images, the picture of the foot and the mirror image because it is from a clinical setting. There may be some duplication with the stairs of the idea of uncertainty. I would have liked more images to choose from but this is my best selection.
2.The Series: ‘Through the recovery window’
“People think that when you’re in recovery that everything’s sorted, but it’s not. It’s more complicated than that. Sometimes the way ahead is unclear and messy and not as simple or easy as people think.” Diane – Recovery group leader.
“50 years of i.v. opiates and I’m clear. I went into ‘cold turkey.’ It was hell and I was jumping like an epileptic. I had decided to do something else, different things and not have a pity party. Straight away after stopping I started to cry my eyes out. It was purging, cathartic. I’m wrecked but happy.” Paul – recovery group member.
“This is me all on my own before I stopped drinking…” Chris recovery group member.
“This is me back living with my mam.” Chris recovery group member.
“This my family; not just me, mam and sister and baby but the people who have helped me in my recovery and in the group.” Chris recovery group member.
“Well done..fantastic…(the sound of laughter)..You look really well today…I like to remember that “Recovery is through strength and hope’…Coming to the group does me the world of good – it keeps me ‘Up’..I’m in a good place now…I think that the light coming in the room reminds me that there is light at the end of the day – something positive.” Comments by several recovery group members in a single meeting.
“I’ve been to groups before. You have to be ready, sick of being messed up. You have to put yourself first. You have to learn and make yourself up.” Steve recovery group member.
“Life is like a video game. The trouble is that I don’t know how to the play the game.” Barry – recovery group member.
“I have to hope that my children will come and find me sometime in the future. I believe that is possible. I was not in a good place in the past but I’m in a good place now.” Michelle – recovery group leader.
3. OCA Buddy comments
The only image I found difficult to locate in the story was Image 8 (the door in the mirror), which I think you weren’t sure if it worked either. Comment No 1
I guess you are familiar with the work of Jo Spence, which was a strong connection for me when you talk about lending your camera to the participants. I wonder whether 3 pictures of the statues breaks the series when the other images are all unique? A few typos to check when you finalise the draft. I find it a really interesting use of photography – people you work with are genuinely trying to express their selves, some perhaps with little left to lose. It’s like the expression ‘sing like there’s no one listening’ – often when real art is made. Comment No 2
A most interesting and informative set, Morris. I agree about the statues too. I’d be inclined to go with the first one, as it is the most visually interesting and carries on the underlying architectural theme of shapes. The two that I’m not sure about are the mirror one as mentioned above, and also the last one, which is the only one that features any people. But perhaps, with that last one, the idea is about some of the subjects gradually showing themselves to the light? Comment No 3
That’s very poignant work, very thought-provoking. I too am unsure about the statues – they seemed self-contained as a mini-series but a little out of step with the others, perhaps because of the inside/outside contrast. I think I’ve also seen them in someone else’s work, although the context was very different, and that was slight distraction for me (it may not be for others though). There’s a contrast between the images where the window is literal, and those where it’s more of a perspective than a physical window or the suggestion of a window (like the statues again, the stairs and the final image). It’s a compelling set.Comment No 4
The comments concur with my own concerns about the three statue images and the mirror. I have looked at the work of Jo Spence in the past but did again. https://drgsiandp.wordpress.com/photographers/jo-spence/ I am not sure what it adds to this assignment but it speaks to the next two.