From KIMONO MOTHER sequence. James Bellorini 2020.

I’ve begun pulling out ideas and motifs from my recent master’s degree project work and digging into the sensuous nature of what I created there. Making new work and exploring aesthetic provocations for myself. Being as playful and instinct-driven as possible.

I’m seeing the development of narratives as important in providing me with a ‘map’ to move forward beyond the master’s framework and keep building and exploring the themes and ideas I set up there. This with an eye to both expanding the MANNA project and also to create new work for my wider portfolio.

So I’m continuing to explore portraits and still-life ideas and teasing out those narratives and micro-stories juxtaposing textures with chance elements or combinations.

Untitled (from KIMONO MOTHER sequence). James Bellorini 2020.

It’s early days. And the ‘comedown’ from the intensity of the master’s degree is a strange, disorientated one to navigate, especially with the current pandemic lockdown limitations as well. It’s a period of re-adjustment, digging into making the work and thinking about where it might ultimately lead.

I was listening to creative director Gem Fletcher’s podcast The Messy Truth in an episode where she discusses the experience of being a photo editor with Sara Urbaez. In particular they talk about how it’s become necessary for a lot of editors and photographers to bypass the ‘gatekeeper’ ecology and create and build their own platforms with which to have dialogue with audiences and like-minded people. This intrigues me and I think it’s going to become a necessary endeavour as I’ve already mapped out in my master’s plan to publish a project zine (for example). Especially as routes into the editorial and exhibition ecologies are so tightly controlled and even more limited in our current pandemic times.

The expansion of ones own voice alongside like-minded others and in dialogue can create an innovative stage where work and thinking can develop and reach out beyond themselves – which is certainly my main reason for making work at the moment.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES

Gem Fletcher. https://www.gemfletcher.com/

The Messy Truth (2020). Sara Urbaez – On Photo Editing, 10 December [Podcast]. Available at: https://overcast.fm/+Rj60MMLN4 (Accessed 1st January 2021).