My thoughts for the coming year are moving towards doing something with my "second home"; Brittany. I've got a few little projects going on to be honest, all of which are connected to "the journey" in some way (a slow burn on train stations with an iPhone, and the Stephen Shore stuff), but I really want to do something in "Penn-ar-Bedd" (its Breton name). For one thing, it will force me to get out to explore the place - it's all too easy just to get there and become a recluse and to try and relax in-between all the little DIY jobs that need doing, so going out to photograph will be excellent.
The thing is, I'm not sure what it is I want to do. I have no real preconceived ideas about what I want to say, I've no real agenda and I've no idea what will come of it all. All I know is that I want to take the photographs and then see what they all say to me at the end. See what my subconscious was picking up. No, actually I do have one little preconception, and that is the omission of people from the photographs - in France you must obtain the subjects permission to photograph and publish (see here
for a bit of background), something that I'm not planning on doing. There is clearly a danger that this might lead to a rather empty feeling to the series, but then, this might also work in its favour in terms of creating a certain atmosphere. We will have to see.
Another "danger" with approaching Brittany as my subject is that I'm only there sporadically - a week here, ten days there. Four or five times a year. Is this enough? Certainly, if I was to produce something like the Into the Valley
project from my own region here in England, it might not be - I photographed the Ribble Valley on a fairly regular basis, and from that there are a number of different narratives that can be taken from the work, the one I chose was more personal than I'd intended. I don't want to produce the same thing in a different space. It wouldn't represent a step forward in any way for me - I will need to push and step beyond the pale in some way. But yes, I know there will be certain similarities, it's still me taking the photographs after all.
The project will develop slowly, but hopefully sufficiently, throughout the year which will also allow me to work the other projects and maybe even come up with something new too (I'm sure there will be something the MA actually instigates in its own right...).
And yes, the working title - Le Loup, le Renard et la Belette
- is a song title. After wandering away from my little idiosyncrasy with the two GSV projects, I'm back naming my projects after songs. I might change it, but its there as an anchor - if it has a name, it clearly exists, so it's a start!
And yes, I've started with a petrol station...