“Further development of my bollard project”

After getting the latest brief for the “Local Universe” studio I set out to do some photography of the area in order to find something to focus on. You can read about it here and here.

After some time, I’ve decided to look into the street furniture—bollards specifically. I’ve since taken hundreds of photos of them (although many in the same locations, capturing the changes in the street for the later development of this project), and researched their history, manufacture procedures, and locations (of the oldest ones in the local area). I’ve wanted to highlight them despite their insignificance in the street—the way most of us just pass by them, often without even realising their presence. The ignored coming to life…

Originally, I wanted to experiment with the bollards as separate objects from the street, or possibly display the street in an abstract way (here).

However, while photographing the older bollards (specifically the one that you can find in this link, which also gave me some information about other locations), I noticed that the people passing by were an important part of the images that I took. They represent the movement as opposed the stillness of the bollards. This realisation gave me an idea to take a number of shots in the exact same location (with a tripod), and capture different fragments in time—pointing out the contrast of the stillness and motion.

One of the photos that gave me the new idea.
One of the photos that gave me the new idea.

Once I’ve seen all the vintage bollards in the area, I chose the one in the Brick Lane (the path leading to Allen Gardens), and photographed it at three different occasions—hundreds of photos all together. I then chose the best seven, and printed them out on a large scale (A1) at Metworks. The reason why I had to go back twice more is that the first time the composition of the photos didn’t suit my needs anymore (as my idea was shaping, the composition has changed), and then the second time I realised that the photos were too small (large jpeg) for the large print that I wanted. I had to go and re-shoot more photos in RAW mode (and pouring down rain!), which I could then print out without any problems.

Since I already had an idea of what I wanted in my mind, it was now time to start experimenting with the different techniques and processes. I’ve already tried some mixed media, my next process was screen printing (at the time I thought that it was also the final one). I’ve spent a day preparing the image and the screen only to find out that what I wanted is not being accomplished. The print was too transparent, and the colour got absorbed by the black in the background. Apparently it was due to the heat (the ink was drying too fast), and the lack of opacity in water-based inks. As my time was running out at this point and I couldn’t go though the whole process all over again, I opted for a different (and hopefully quicker!) technique.



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