And now for something completely different! It was a real pleasure to welcome Caroline Colegate to the Club last night, for the third time this season. Caroline was with us as our scheduled judge for the SCPF Print League at the beginning of December, and again at the beginning of January standing in for Ken Scott for the SCPF PDI League so it was particularly enjoyable to have her with us last night presenting her own work rather than judging.
And what an interesting evening it was as she took us ‘365 & Beyond’. Caroline explained that back in 2009 she had rather run out of steam with her photography, feeling that the demands of club photography were giving her no time for her own work and unsure where to go. Inspired by Ken Scott she embarked on a 365 project whereby she committed to taking an image every day for a year. For any of us who have contemplated doing 365 (and a number of our members are in picture a day mode) it was really enlightening as Caroline explored how the process had come to increase both her photographic knowledge and her self awareness.
Grouping her images into genres, such as Landscape and Pictorial, People Pictures (a real challenge she at first found), Desperation Days (simply no time but nevertheless time found!), Abstracts and Patterns and Pre Planned Days, it was so refreshing to listen to someone simply talking about the pleasure they had in photography, if also demonstrating an absolute commitment to meet their self imposed challenge.
But it was work deriving from what became Commemorate my Days type work (Caroline had few of those categories in mind when she embarked on the project) that led on to Caroline’s Associateship panel with the Royal Photographic Society, as that work revealed not just pleasurable times and commemorated happy events but also what she called her darker side. She noticed patterns of dark and moody images that led her on a voyage of discovery around feelings of entrapment that were limiting and which her project encouraged her to explore and to step outside of. Her photography, growing out of the 365 project, became not just a stepping stone to the successful ARPS but also a means of therapy that brought self awareness and self fulfilment. A truly fascinating evening.