Multiple readings of the landscape form part of a process of building deep knowledge about things and places rather like a navigator that takes a series of readings to establish their exact location. The idea of building up knowledge and understanding is embedded in my practice through reflection and re-reflection which is manifested through the writing of blogs, returning to key themes time after time, and also through walking and meditative practice. The commitment to writing a blog on return from each period of practice, short or extended, reinforces the development of knowledge and understanding and allows me to continually add to previous levels. Continual reflections on what I have read and observed in practice through walking allow me to make connections and extend my thinking beyond the superficial to a “deep understanding” and commitment.
In my thesis, I describe my practice-led research as a perpetual recursive loop involving an indefinite iteration and feedback process. My practice lies at the heart of the model as the driving force for doing and thinking. The inner circles represent the continuous feedback loops and the reflection that occurs around ontology or method, for example, but as the intersections suggest, there is always a link back to my photographic practice. My practice inspires conceptual understanding that, in turn, can be applied to my photographic work. This revelation about the nature of my practice-led research and the creation of the recursive loop, formed by inner feedback loops, led me to see my practice as “grounded” in nature.
The idea of building layers of understanding and knowledge through my practice and through a series of readings of objects, places or ideas is developed further through the use of multiple-exposure images. I combine images in camera, rather than in post-processing and allow the combination of layers to tell a more comprehensive story or provide the viewer with a deeper sense of the reality of a place or the objects within that place. For example, I might combine two images, one showing the movement of the place through a blurring of the first layer with a sharp rendition overlayed to show the extent or speed of the wind buffeting trees in a forest or I might capture the dramatic movement of the reeds through a slow shutter speed for the first layer and again add a sharp image over the top. This approach allows the viewer to gain more information than can necessarily be gleaned from a single image. This rationale for my use of multiple exposure work for me provides an intent to my work that extends beyond something that might be considered a gimmick.