Thank you Estelle: Part 1

Craddock, Joanna (2016) Thank you Estelle: Part 1. Feast.

Abstract

Thank you Estelle is a creative project, comprising a collection of photography and digital montage, and is part of a broader and ongoing body of photographic work responding to bereavement and inheritance, to explore the power and meaning of the familial object. Research process: This project takes as its starting point a family archive of a small collection of domestic objects inherited from the artists Aunt, alongside vernacular family snapshots and press photos of her from the 1950s, and in a playful process photographically explores these now decontextualized objects and photographs. The work draws on ideas about the ‘affective object’ (Casella and Woodward 2014: 104), ideas of ‘co-presence’ (Barthes 1980), and the ways in which materiality enables the image to be performed (Edwards & Elart: 2004: 10). Research insights: The work responds creatively to the partial visual culture of a life lived, to suggest that although family photographs, objects and artefacts memorialise, they are still resonant in some way and that through a creative process of repurposing and re-contextualisation, existing meaning can be drawn out and re-animated by enabling new creative and visual associations to arise. In this specific case the work highlights changing notions of femininity, shown through dress, gesture and pose, and the artefacts of gendered material culture. Dissemination: The work has been exhibited in a number of ways and as both online and as physical exhibition, including in peer-reviewed online Journal Feast in Decoration Oct 2016, in a display at Leeds Arts University, 2016, in a group show Make Good Leeds Arts University 2018, and in a solo show Objects and Arrangements at St Martins Church, Leeds, 2018.

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