It feels like an eternity since the last blog but it's not too long, so much has happened! We finally have some decent weather here in the Chiltern Hills so it's been nice to spend time outside without being freezing cold. A couple of days ago it was actually just a little too hot for me (no pleasing some people!).
The gradual opening up of the economy continues here so my social life is picking up again, fabulous but I do need to build some stamina. We all still need to be careful but small steps forward are still small steps forward and we can be thankful for that.
Anyway, on to the main subject this month… my completed Echo Chamber series.
Unlike some of my prior image-sets this didn't originate from a Raw file, all began their life as scans. I've been playing with pigments and solvents accumulated over the winter to see what I could create and this is the result of some of those early explorations. I really am quite pleased and very excited to see where I can take this approach over the coming months / years.
The Echo Chamber
I have continued to explore the concept of getting stuck in a mindset and how this can affect the way we choose to see the world.
This series of work uses the bubble within a bubble as a symbol for being stuck in a place and how we can choose, by our own actions, to stay there or to burst our bubbles and enjoy a wider perspective.
Bursting the bubble isn't always easy… A very small amount of research highlights 2 types of bubble clearly identifiable in current society:
- Epistemic Bubbles: Insiders aren't exposed to people from the opposite side. A good example of this might be a social media feed; internet technologies will track choices and preferences and will change results to suit each user. These bubbles are considered to be relatively easy to pop through exposure if the opportunity arises.
- Echo Chambers: Insiders come to distrust everyone on the outside. These are thought to be far more problematic as participants will typically be entrenched and resistant to outside views. Those inside are prepared to be exposed to alternatives but will have been conditioned to dismiss those opposing views at source. Their trust will be placed entirely within the echo chamber, breaking someone out means repairing broken trust which is much harder than bursting a bubble.
In producing these images I have enjoyed trying to depict endless circular motifs, some are contained while others are open. Circles are a powerful symbol of no beginning, middle or end, just round and round. To me these enclosed spaces represent entrapment and being resistant to alternative views, what ever those views happen to be on any topic.
I find writing about these subjects incredibly rewarding and endlessly fascinating. Invariably I will feel a little bereft once I finish a small series as I wonder what I am going to do next. I think I might try and create a body of work which symbolises the bursting of a bubble, breaking free and moving forward. This feels positive and hopeful and that's how I feel right now. That should keep me quiet for a while…
And now for some madness...
There might be a bit of a gap between this blog and my next one... In a couple of weeks I will have a little 4-legged friend coming to live with me. I seem to be embracing all the lockdown clichés, I bake Sourdough on a regular basis now so I guess it was only a matter of time before the puppy arrived. Having never had anything to properly look after before it will be a learning curve for us both but we will be a little team and I know she will change my life forever. I really can't wait for little Sparkle to arrive.
So, that's it for this month. As ever, I would love to hear from you, either leave a comment or drop me a quick email, I will always reply.
Please stay safe and take care