How to build an urban legend.

 

The images above were featured in the exhibition catalog as a teaser for the main exhibition work. My intent was to leave the viewer with as little information as possible in order to allow them to decide for themselves if the work was a genuine document of nature or a fabrication.

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The work was exhibited alongside  other members of the graduate show. As in the image above you can see my work on display along with the work of others in the vast exhibition space set up inside the Capitol Center Cardiff.

This body of work was based on the existence of mythological creatures which was intended to subvert the concept of the traditional museum exhibition. In short, I wanted to build my own “urban legend”. My first approach to this was to look at mythology itself and see what I could work with.

My approach aesthetically was to hint to the existence of my character rather than a blatant pictorial representation of her. To achieve this I photographed her in a way that documented evidence of her life in the forest, and in some cases photographing her environment in a way that would suggest that she was caught in the photograph by accident or even that she is being hunted by an interested party.


The three images above are the finals that we on the wall. These images were shot on a Mamiya RB67 camera using Ilford HP5+ medium format film. I used this method of image making to add a more believable aesthetic to the body of work. This was because there is a perceived credence that follows the use of analog photography. This factor combined with the fact that none of the images within the series have been involved with any form of photo manipulation. Everything caught on camera was a real life prop with or used in conjunction with the model.

exhibition-mockup

Above I made a mock up of what I intended the finished article to look like. This display was inspired by traditional museum exhibition spaces in which evidence would be presented in a museum environment. The three enlarged prints hung on the wall while the cabinet contains the original typed documents alongside props including the characters spear and maps of the local area.

This display required the use of a vitrine for the purpose of holding and displaying all the related documentation and props used to generate the images on the walls. This proved problematic to acquire. So instead we made one from scratch for the exhibition.

Another part of the project was to add to the mystery of the character by adding depth to her story. I did this by fabricating evidence through documentation to support the images.

I made a series of “Police interview transcripts” that detail eyewitness accounts of sightings of the creatures. These were all typed using a typewriter to give the proper effect for the concept of being evidence.

The combined use of the physical props, typed transcripts and large prints came together to create an immersive installation piece that was incredibly effective to set the tone and story of my exhibition. In future I hope to expand the body of work to further the theme and story.

 

Exhibition

Final exhibition set up featuring vitrine and prints.

Due to time constraints and the venue having a quick turnover of artists work, I was only able to exhibit my installation for a week. This opportunity has furthered my experience of how an event and exhibition is run and has helped me plan for a future exhibition in a larger scale, which expands the world of the urban legend.

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