BLOG – DEAR PHOTOGRAPH – TAYLOR JONES
The concept of “Dear Photograph” is inspired by our nostalgia for pre-digital technology. Taylor Jones explains the idea behind his blog is to “take a picture of a picture from the past in the present”. These new images are a powerful mix of the past and the present, evoking much emotion, inviting viewers to share where they started, and what they’ve become.
The aspects of belonging evident in the blog are two-fold. Firstly, the blog allows a global community to interact and share in these moments. We see that belonging is a universal notion, displayed through these collective memories. The comments that follow each submission show that belonging to this blog can have a significant impact on an individual’s sense of self. David glorious comments on a submission, “I miss my Grandad’s tool shed likewise. Your Grandad holds a special place in your heart like mine does”. Thus we can see that technology helps foster a communal sense of belonging.
Secondly, the submissions show us that attitudes and perceptions of belonging are shaped over time. The power of these pictures that “travel in time” comes in what’s been lost or gained in the space between the old photo and the new, the past and the present.
The crudeness that comes with holding a picture in one hand and photographing it with the other is evident, yet the final image has a potency that cannot be bestowed by applications such as Photoshop. Furthermore, the very absence of digital features and simplicity of the blog allows the responder to focus on the poignancy of the images.
Amongst the weeds in my life, you were my rock. You taught me everything I needed to know about being an honorable man. I miss you Grandpa, now and always.
The photo entitled “Grandpa” by Michael, shows an aged man toiling in his vegetable garden. The caption reads, “amongst the weeds in my life, you were my rock”. Through this simplistic metaphor, we realize that an individual sense of belonging emerges from the connections made with people. The regretful and melancholic tone, “I miss you Grandpa, now and always” shows that his sense of belonging is altered by the death of his Grandfather.
The load was a lot lighter 33 years ago…
The photograph entitled “Lighten the Load” by Weaver, depicts the hand of an older person holding a photograph of a young boy who is pushing a toy wheelbarrow. The responder assumes the hand belongs to the boy in the picture, and the accompanying textual metaphor, “Dear Photograph, the load was a lot lighter 33 years ago”, provides a resonance to the photograph. The photograph shows that attitudes to belonging can change over time. Clearly the author is burdened by the responsibilities of growing up and the contrast between the innocent and carefree boy in the photograph reinforces this notion. The newer photo depicts a family home, presumably the boys’, and as such the responder can make assumptions that an individual’s sense of belonging emerges from the connections made with place.
“ALONE IN THE DARK” by “Me” (Not belonging can be self-destructive)
████ don’t want to ██ be all █████ alone in ████████ the dark ████ ████. Losing sight █████ of my freedom of ████ ████ expression.
The ironic submission, “Alone in the Dark” by “Me”, depicts a hand holding a blackened photograph, against a completely black background. This poignant submission explores the notion that belonging is an instinctive human need in all of us. The accompanying text, “Dear photograph, I don’t want to be all alone in the dark,” symbolically explores the notion that belonging is an instinctive human need in all of us, and that not belonging can affect our self-concept.