Sian Bonnell – Everyday Dada
For our last lecture we looked at the topic ‘On Your Doorstep’, looking at artists that have photographed from their houses or/and local area, I was really interested by Sian Bonnell’s project ‘Everyday Dada’ because it’s something very unique and something that I’ve never seen before. This project is very creative, I would never have thought to do something like she’s done and I think that it’s work like this that stands out and is really eye-catching. My favourite photograph from this project would probably have to be the iron and the pasta photo:
I think this photograph is the strongest of the collection as I feel as if it’s the most creative. The pasta being straightened out by the iron is more appealing to me than the spaghetti on the table, the egg hanging from the coat hanger and the other photographs in the series as to me it tells more of a story. Another photo in this series which I think tells a story is the pancake in the washing up tub, I think this is creative as you can tell that the pancake is supposed to be a cloth and can see that reference clearly, it’s things like that which I think help to make the photograph more appealing as it’s like a play on words, but a play on objects, a clever way to make something that people will remember because of how unique it is. Saying that, the stranger looking photos in this series, for example the egg on the hanger, would also be remembered because of how uniquely strange it is.
Many other of the photos in this series have that same look of replacing objects with something else, like the eggs being used as mats in the bathroom and bread being used as floorboards. As well as these there’s also the kitchen tiling made of ham and egg. All of these are the photographs that I like the best from this series as they’re visually more interesting than the other photos from the series.
Overall I think that Sian Bonnell’s work is very interesting and probably my favourite artist from this particular lecture, the other work doesn’t stand out to me as well as her work because it’s the quirky look of her photographs that catch my eye, the other artists that we were shown in this lecture weren’t quite as appealing to me, although I did like some of Andre Kertesz’s photographs that he took from his apartment windows and terrace, taken with the polaroid camera that he was given after the death of his wife.
My favourite two from his polaroid collection taken from his apartment are these two, I like these two photographs because I think they are very powerful images. The first one looks to me like it represents him and his wife being together and then the second one looks like it represents him being without his wife and being alone. The photos having those sort of stories behind them I think are what makes them powerful, being able to read an image like that and having that idea of what the photographer was thinking and what you think they were trying to portray is what makes the photos interesting as different people may think different things when they see the photos and therefore the photos would have many different stories. I also like these two photos because of the composition of them, I think the composition works really well in both shots and especially like the reflections that are in the figures. With the background being blurred it focuses on the subject more, the figures, but then you can also see the background in the foreground, from the reflections, which adds to the image as it gives it a more abstract and surreal look to the photos, making them more interesting to look at. I really like Andre Kertesz’s black and white photography and find them very inspirational and it’s interesting to see these photographs by him as they’re very different to his other photography, not just because they’re polaroid in colour rather than black and white but because they have a different meaning behind them. A lot of his photography would be looking at shadows so for these ones to be completely different it shows the many photographic techniques that he has and how he can photograph many different styles of photography, he doesn’t just photography one chosen style, landscape for example.
Another photographer that we looked at was Nigel Shafran, we looked at his project ‘Dad’s Office’, a series of photographs of the contents of the abandoned rooms from which his father had once worked. I was interested in this series as it shares something personal to him and tells us viewers a story and insight to what his Dad’s office was like and gives us an idea of the workplace and it’s all something that he can remember his father by. However, I was only really interested in the background story of the photographs, I think the photographs themselves are rather bleak and they don’t really stand out to me as much as the other photography from the lecture.
As you can see, the photographs are that interesting, nothing stands out or is eye-catching, which I guess isn’t the idea behind the photographs, he just wants to document what his Dad’s office was like but I think that for these photographs to be presented in a book and published that it is quite strange. With it being personal to Shafran I think that the book should be like a family album type book, something he and his family can look through together to remember the memories of his Dad’s workplace, I don’t think that it being published and sold is helping him much as not everyone will want to see what his Dad’s office was like and probably wouldn’t be interested in the photographs in the book, whereas Shafran and his family would, which is why I think it should’ve been kept personal and not published for the public. If I were to photograph something personal to me it would be for myself, not the public eye. I would probably put them in a book like Shafran has as it’s nice to flick through a book of photographs as they’re displayed nicely, rather than them being individual prints. Also, you could put a personal message in the book and it’s a nice way to save memories in one place, but I wouldn’t of published it to sell, with it being personal to me, I’d rather keep it to myself and not share with the public.