When I first began this project, I had a number of ideas and so began in the same way I do with most of my projects and collated all my thoughts into a mind map.
I basically wrote a note of everything that interested me, or future project ideas I have waiting for an opportunity to pursue them. Mainly, they are documentary based pieces of work as that is what I have found I am passionate about. I wanted to be able to create a publication that tells a narrative, an important thought to bring to the viewers attention.
Last year, I made a series of images documenting my Grandmothers house and the memories those walls hold.
At the end of February this year, I decided to leave my student accommodation and move to the other side of Plymouth, to live with my Grandma. She welcomed me instantly, with all of my belongings and has been a big support to me since.
I have sort of taken over her house, with my extreme quantity of clothing and camera equipment but theres a lot of positive things that have come out of this move. I make her dinner and cups of tea most days and help out as much as I can. Before this year, our relationship was very different. I would visit her frequently and we’d spend a lot of time as a family on special occasions and for holidays. It is hard to explain the change that has happened, but its almost like we’ve become dependant on each other now that we live together. I don’t know where i’d be right now if she hadn’t taken me in or if I’d even still be pursuing my degree and I also hope that I make her life a little easier. Her boiler broke recently and this caused her a lot of anxiety, something which most people wouldn’t get so worked up about, really caused her a lot of stress. As well as this, a few of her friends have passed away in the last few months. I’m really glad that I have been around more for her during this time as we have had some really important conversations and I’ve been able to support her through the grieving process more than just a chat over the phone of over a coffee.
As soon as I realised this is what I wanted to do with this project, I instantly began photographing her and our life.
To me, this is my life and is very much ‘the norm’ for us now. Evenings spent watching quiz shows on her small TV with a cup of tea but this is what I wanted to document. I also had the idea of keeping a diary of events or quotes made by her.
We had a book binding workshop, where I made a small hard back perfect bound book. Last year, for my complementary studies module I chose book binding and learnt a variety of techniques for hand binding books which resulted in making a publication. It was helpful to have a workshop to refresh this in my head and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I decided to use this small bound book to create a scrap book diary for this project. I think it will be something I will be doing for many years to come to continue documenting our relationship and how it will change and develop over time as I’m sure it will.
The following images are the techniques I learn last year, from mini books to perfect bound books. The technique practiced during the work shop was slightly different but gave the same outcome.
I purchased a roll of brown paper which I tore and stuck into the book. I wanted it to seem quite hand made and rustic in a way. My thought was that I would scan these pages and add them to the publication at the relevant stages of the book.