Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Photographys ability to make us re-evaluate our environment is one of the keys to its success. Throughout the course I have found myself drawn to the photographers that take the ordinary and extract beauty where others see nothing.

Eugene Atget photographed Paris with a no frills style that revealed more about the city because of its honest, non-judgemental approach. He did not adapt scenes to express an opinion, but recorded what was there as a casual observer to create an overview of the city. I am interested in how his pictures focus on the human interventions in a place, but are mostly devoid of people.

Bernd and Hilla Becher photographed industrial buildings and displayed them beside each other, creating a typology for what would be seen as awkward and alien structures. By representing the unique as one of many the strange shape become the norm. This method of photographing different objects using identical photographic techniques to highlight similarities is applicable to my proposal.

Stephen Shore embarked on a cross country trip which he photographically documented. He photographed the beds he slept in, the toilets he used and the fridges where he kept food. This approach captured the human effect on space. Signs of human activity make a space a habitat.

For my project I began to think about habitat. I was drawn to the one space I use most, my workspace. As an architecture student I could spend hours at my drawing board, without realising it I have cultivated a habitat around this 2m x 1m desk. We think of the home as a habitat, we spend a third of our days at work. Our workspace is as personal as out homes. Francis Bacon's studio is now on display in the Hugh Lane Gallery. His workspace had over the years becomes an extension of himself and gives us a deeper understanding of his mind and work. Even in the most sterile of offices stationary, keyboards etc are arranged to the users specific preferences. I want to document a variety of work spaces, particularly desks comparing and contrasting how people personalise them. I want to investigate what makes a space a habitat. By photographing work desks in a documentary style and displaying them in a way that they can be compared I hope to achieve this.