I have put off writing the literature review for Contextual Studies for some time as I wasn’t totally convinced where my assignments for Body of Work were taking me. I feel it is important to have some sort of idea of the general direction the practical work is taking so the theory I conduct can inform the practice later on. In other words I didn’t want to waste time conducting research into a pole of photography or subject that was inconsistent with what my final theory and practice would entail.
I have gained some knowledge about photography in general in the meantime including researching genres and movements of photography. However before delving deeper as the literature review requires me to do, I wanted to establish a good base, especially in the practice.
The literature review still poses somewhat of a problem for me, despite establishing this base. That is because I can see multiple sides I am exploring in the practical photography emerging as well as the subject matter I’m choosing to photograph. There is a loose theme present in subject in the form of regeneration of a certain London area: namely Deptford. However, documenting the regeneration of Deptford isn’t the sole aspect of the photography. There is also the aspect of how the people inhabit place and interact with Deptford as well as each other. This links on to how I’ve chosen to photograph Deptford. I have documented the old and new of Deptford by juxtaposing these layers in its landscape as single images. This would be a fairly straightforward approach to photographing Deptford except for how I decided to incorporate people into the scenes. I have used a composite technique to show how Deptford’s people change just as Deptford has changed/is changing. This composite approach has begun to take just as much importance in terms of potential meaning in the images as the layering of old and new in Deptford as a place.
Therefore I can see 2 avenues developing for my literature review and subsequent extended essay. These include a social history of Deptford’s regeneration (my subject). Also multiple composite images for each setting to show how Deptford is changing (my photographic approach to my subject). I have a feeling I will have to choose between the two in the literature review and the extended essay. That feeling is brought about because covering both topics might overextend the literature review/extended essay and because I can’t see a connection between the two topics.