On 14 November, in my Critical Reflection and Review of Practice, I wrote about a moment of insight when I produced some short video films taken through my car windscreen in the pouring rain.  At the time, I believed that I had captured a moving image depiction of Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology.  A world where numerous objects emerge and withdraw behind a veil of perception, revealing and concealing themselves to a greater or lesser extent, and revealing only certain aspects or properties of themselves.  I took the opportunity to reflect on this insight while visiting Dundee, and to talk to my supervisors and others about this revelation.  After returning to Skye, having taken images of trees through a train window, I continued playing through my practice as a dramatic storm crashed into Broadford Bay.  I captured the images and videos through my studio window, as rain, hail and snow hit the reverberating glass.  At times, I feared that the window might crash on top of me as I continued to take the moving images.


A few days later as the storm subsided, we had a rare sunny and still winter day on Skye, and I took the opportunity to return to the calm and restful reflections on a tiny burn not far from the bay where the storm had rolled in.



I began to reflect on the commonality in my practice in these different techniques and others that I had deployed in Year 1.

My research agenda is, through the still photographic image, to deprive the viewer of essential concepts they need to make sense of their experience of the world, and through the inherent reductive powers of the camera and various photographic techniques, give the responsive viewer a sense, an awareness of being that exists behind the veil of presence.  For example, the raindrops on the windscreen or the window, are a feature of everybody’s experience and act as a powerful illustration or metaphor for emergence and withdrawal.  All objects, according to Harman, emerge and withdraw from us certain aspects of themselves.  The tree captured in the Reduction videos, for example, is a metaphor for the philosophical insights of Harman, Heidegger and Kant.  The movement in Trees from a Train is a more complex metaphor capturing the emergence and withdrawal of objects, and through the movement of the train is pointing to a dynamic being.  In video footage, it is not possible to freeze time (unlike a still image) but through the constant movement, provides us with an insight into the dynamic nature of our experience, which is always in flux.  The still camera, when used successfully, opens the possibility of awareness, of aspects of being and not only freezes time as far as the object is concerned but also time in relation to the photographer.

I feel I have started to bring together the strategies of reduction and metaphor (that I have used for a long time in my photography on Skye) with a series of photographic techniques – intentional camera movement, slow shutter speeds, shooting through windows or using the movement of, for example, a train.  In doing this, I am able to glimpse the emergence and withdrawal of objects and become aware of being.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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