In thinking about and starting to prepare for the upcoming exhibition I have been thinking about my audience in a different way, as well as thinking more deeply about the subjects of my photographs. In discussions about my project with a friend he commented as to whether it was about “depressed landlocked surfers”, this got me thinking about how one of the reasons I wanted to look at landlocked surfers is because that is how I see myself, and that it is depressing being so far away from the sea and surrounded by a manmade environment. Being in the sea and surfing is so calming for me. I wondered whether besides myself and this particular friend, whether any other landlocked surfers felt the same and whether the mental health benefits I get from surfing are also felt by other surfers, particularly those who aren’t able to surf everyday. I felt it could be fascinating to look into this, not only for my interest and to show to other surfers, but also to display to people that don’t surf. This could be of interest to other people who live in towns and cities away from the coast. It could show them how beneficial being in the sea is; in a natural environment away from the 9-5 of office days. As well as how surfing could benefit them mentally and physically.
One possible idea for the exhibition is to hold it in the office I work in. This would provide a strong contrast between the urban and natural environments. It would also be a good opportunity to encourage people that may not otherwise see this kind of exhibition to visit it and consider how being in the sea and away from the constant manmade workspace could benefit them.
It would be necessary to ensure the work displayed would be relevant to this target audience, and the pieces chosen would strongly convey the target message and fit the overall feel of the exhibition. For these reasons it could be useful to involve a curator to advise on the work being exhibited/how it is exhibited. I think it is quite hard to curate one’s own work as there are emotional connections between the photographer and the work that make it hard to separate what is good/effective/fits within the exhibition with what you as the photographer like. Although I would be wary of a curator taking the exhibition in a direction that I had not intended or wanted. It would be a new experience working with a curator and one that could help to refine my work for a specific exhibition.