At our last meeting we discussed image and text – how they can be combined and how one affects the other. Ariadne van de Ven started the ball rolling by showing one image with two alternative titles, demonstrating how the title can completely alter the viewer’s perception. She explains: “It’s interesting to think about how a title frames a photo essay: these two opening slides create very different expectations in any viewer who doesn’t know me (for the record: both are true). Woman and Crow is just one of the images out of the 17-image photo essay that I submitted for my MA at Goldsmiths.”
Woman and Crow by Ariadne van de Ven
Text as inspiration for imagery was also discussed – whether in the form of literary quotations, poetry or just the odd phrase or sentence which can leap off the page and strike a chord. There was some discussion about whether the use of words to illustrate images added anything. Would the viewer have the same understanding without the words? In contrast, some members preferred to give no clues to their photographs, leaving them untitled for the viewer to interpret themselves or else just using simple or generic titles.
The glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye by Maria Oldland, inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Glory of the Garden
From the series Puddles by Joe Jacob
Images incorporating text were also shown – the words adding a playful dimension to the work. Words can also form the subject of the work as in the Edith Templeton’s example below, one of a series about London signage.
It Wasn’t Me Mum by Chris Burrows
Take Note by Edith Templeton
The most obvious place for the juxtaposition of words and images is of course in book form. Ingrid Newton brought along a number of books illustrating the symbiotic relationship between text and image, where the words act as footnotes and background information to a photographic project.
From the book Footloose in the Footnotes, part of the series Par Hazard by Ingrid Newton
Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2012 at 18.45 at the usual venue – The Artworkers Guild, 6 Queens Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT. There will be no set topic for this meeting – instead we will use it as an opportunity to show and discuss new work. As usual if you would like to show examples of your work, please bring along up to 6 images either as prints or on a memory stick or in book form.
Further examples of work from the group can be seen on our blog.