Assignment 5 – What is it about?

The final assignment is about the Barbican estate in the City of London. I have been photographing in the Barbican regularly for nearly 10 years now and wanted to revisit this subject with a fresh photographic approach for the final assignment, perhaps closing the circle opened by the first assignment, which was about an unfamiliar place photographed in a conventional way.

The Barbican is not particularly large (c.40 acres), but the fact that I have been taking pictures here for so long and always find something new is a testament to the interestingness of the place. It has striking architecture, with beautiful clean lines and rich textures from the raw concrete of its walls. It also has lots of hidden views and little corners that reveal new perspectives if you are careful to spot them. More importantly, to me the place is like a condensed version of aspects of today’s society, with a veneer of a sense of community and a subtle but firm segregation between the public and the private. In this series I wanted summarise all I liked and resented about this place to date, full knowing that this series would never be complete. Some of my favourite Barbican pictures fromg the past 10 years are shown below.

When I looked at the brief, my initial tests were based on a straight series of pictures on various elements of a selected subject, each picture building up on the ideas I wanted to convey. But following those initial explorations, I decided to opt for a technique I had just started to use, multiple exposures in camera, both to allow myself to see familiar subjects on a new light but also because I wanted to explore the ideas of context exposed by Terry Barrett (1) and how the amount of information could affect our perception of meaning.

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(1) Barrett, T. (1997). [online] Available at: http://www.terrybarrettosu.com/images/pdfs/B_PhotAndCont_97.pdf [Accessed 8 Apr. 2017].

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