Our seventh seminar was led by Charlie Hackett who invited us to consider using visual methods as a research tool to contextualise our practice: focusing in particular on photography and film.
Our task beforehand was to read research papers that had employed this methodology to discuss in class. Charlie then shared his own expertise in this field, playing a video he had created as part of his research paper entitled ‘Transferable Skills and the Drug Dependent, A Journey through the City of Glasgow’.
Our homework task was to storyboard then create a five minute video that would contextualise our own practice.
The task did not daunt me as I am comfortable with film and video, both analogue and digital. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to film and when; the beach at sunrise. What did surprise me though was I was not prepared for how uneasy I would feel at being alone in a remote setting at a time when not many other people would be around.
I struggled with the decision to go and only decided on the morning of filming. Having found out when sunrise was due I made my way half an hour earlier was required and set up my tripod and camera. It was very cold, exacerbated by the fact that I had fallen into a stream and got my feet wet, but I refused to give up on the task.
Video and photographs taken and treasure collected, I enjoyed my first sunrise by myself in an isolated setting at the age of 44.
I must add that throughout the whole experience I felt vulnerable. I wonder how many other women would feel the same.
Would I repeat the experience, yes, but I’m not sure if I would ever feel completely at ease. It is not the isolation that frightens me but the partial isolation, my physical strength and my sex.