Drawing with time

Stillwater, G (2020) Drawing with time. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

Abstract

I have spent most of my creative life as a photographer, interrupted by periods of immersive poetry writing. I treated the two as if they were separate careers until I realized that both shared the same content and vocabulary. I have always looked upon my photography as a visual language. At the same time, I have regarded my poetry writing as a part of that same language. As compositions characterised by beauty of expression, poems can be written or visual. The creative component of my doctoral research has been driven by my need to explore how the disparate elements of a lifetime’s practice could be bonded into a meaningful whole. I am attracted to photography by its connection to time and memory. By re-creating the elements of a family photo album, I have endeavoured to produce a fictional narrative – a historical novel of my own creation. My purpose in making 'Time-songs' in this way was to provide a framework for revisiting the past as a metaphor to clarify the present. It serves as a means for reporting common experience in order to travel beyond the mundane and capture a glimpse of something more universal. Storytelling is at the foundation of my creative work. Within 'Time-songs' I hoped to present a different, perhaps even new, type of photographic storytelling. Time-songs’ broader themes are founded in my lifetime’s experience. These ideas did not occur to me on a single day, in a flash of inspiration; nor were they conceived in a well-planned determination of ordered steps. Rather, 'Time-songs' is built from a history of hit-and-miss attempts. The critical component of my PhD explores those attempts. Thus, presenting the critical component of my dissertation in the form of a memoir seemed to be the best means for capturing the long-standing creative process involved in the making of 'Time-songs'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: creative practice, photography, poetry, memory, time, family, historical novels, fictional narratives, photographic storytelling, memoirs
Divisions: School of Creative Industries
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2020 13:38
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2020 13:38
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