351MC #Phonar – Session Seven Reflection

For our seventh #Phonar session, we listened to two individual interviews with Marcus Bleasdale and Aaron Huey, both taken by Jonathan Worth. The main idea that I found was the most interesting in this session, was the fact that both of these photographers collaborated with artists as a way of appealing to different audiences.

As both of these photographers took part in this particular process, in the discussion after the interviews we deduced that as photographers, they enjoyed trying to engage with different audiences through testing the boundaries of their photographic works. Marcus Bleasdale took this point forward and said: “What I like to do is try to engage and reach out to a different audience through the platforms I display my work on”. He then introduced us to a collaborative piece where he worked with artist Paul O’Connell who took Marcus’ images from the Congo, and used them to create a series of graphic illustrations. (http://www.soundofdrowning.com/unspeakable_things.html). Aaron Huey, on the other hand, suggested that he liked collaborating with different artists as a way of bringing formal issues (that are usually discussed in broadsheets, such as The Guardian) to the streets, as he is able to share the knowledge and understanding of a particular subject with them. (Aaron Huey collaborated with artist Stephen Fairey and produced a piece of work called “Honor the Treaties” http://www.honorthetreaties.org/#p1,s1)


This idea adds depth to the previously discussed theme of collaboration with the subject (talking about in the reflections for weeks four, five and six) as it shows that we have the opportunity to work collaboratively with different artists to create a more dynamic piece of work.

What this also tells me is that both collaboration and the digital age gives us, as photographers, opportunities to experiment with the boundaries of our photographic practice as a way of appealing to different audiences. We need to gain knowledge and understanding about our chosen audience before we can decide on the best possible output that will appeal to them as a collective. For example, in this digital age, there is a constant debate about the particular presentation methods chosen by practitioners, and many photographers are becoming more inclined to create digital pieces as a way of appealing to the increasing majority of digital natives within our audiences. These ideas have therefore allowed me to consider my photographic practise, along with the networking contacts I currently possess, to contemplate whether, in the future, there will be an opportunity for me to test the boundaries of my photography, by partnering up with another artist, as a way of appealing to a particular audience.