Assignment 5: initial Plans and Ideas

I am intending to shoot still life photographs or any other photographs that avoid the use of the human figures for assignment 5.  I want those photographs to convey a certain message that expresses a feeling of absence, sadness, isolation and loneliness.  I want them to be about the emotional journeys we go through that no one else sees and about the ones we experience and can’t show others.

I was initially inspired by Photographer Penny Klepuszewska which I wrote about here.  I was mostly inspired by her simplified minimalist scenes that she captured in her series “Living Arrangements”.

My tutor Jayne suggested that I look into the work of Rosy Martin on absence and place, she also suggested that I read The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard and Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes for inspiration.  I did read Camera Lucida for my third assignment and wrote about it here.


“The Poetics of Space” by Gaston Bachelard:

Gaston Bachelard focuses on house and space and how they affect us.  His book changes the way we look at homes.  To Bachelard, house is the manifestation of the soul through the poetic image.  It wasn’t easy to read though, I had to read summaries written by others exploring his philosophy through poetic writing.

Bachelard explores the psychology of houses explaining that it is made out of memories and experiences.  Every part suggests something.  For example, a door knob and a key both are used to open and close a door, however, people see the key as something which is more often used to lock a door while the door knob is seen as something used to often open a door.  Another example are drawers, to Bachelard drawers are places of secrets, wardrobe suggests a centre of orders, the attic is a metaphor for clarity of mind, while the basement is the darker secret of the home.

Bachelard explains that understanding the house is a way to understand the soul.  He spoke about daydreaming and how we revere things.  A new house that we enter might be overwhelmed with experiences of prior homes but not memories meaning memories of the house and each part of it are not something remembered but rather something that is tied to our present and current experience.

In short, the house is an image that evokes feelings in every soul.


“Too Close to Home” by Rosy Martin:

Rosy Martin’s work “Too Close to Home” is about the absent and presence that Roland Barthes talk about.  It is a metaphor for the process of aging.  Martin focuses on the house she grew up in where her 88 years old widowed mother lives.  She records detailed exploration of memories of specific space.

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Bibliography / References:

Bachelard, G.  The Poetics of Space  [online]. Available from:   [Accessed 01 August, 2017].

Cultural Reader (2011).  Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space – summary and review [online].  Cultural Reader. Available from:   [Accessed 01 August, 2017].

Martin, R.  Too Close to Home  [online]. Available from:   [Accessed 01 August, 2017].







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