Much like the movement referenced in the project’s title, I have perambulated through this multi-faceted piece of work, a valuable and shifting commission arising at an interesting time. I suppose all times are interesting in some form or another, but this has been a busy year for me, a year where my core photographic work has often found itself coming last. Julia and Chris’ provocation to question what it is I’m obsessed with and truly care about was a lucky moment to get drawn back in, to remember and rethink the whys. What got me into this artistic conundrum in the first place.
The commission was beautifully supportive. Super 8 is not a cheap medium and because of this remarkable support, financially and psychologically and in respect of pace, I grabbed the opportunity to use it, a texture I know Julia and Chris are also fond of. But my ideas didn’t stop at moving-image: inspired by rich conversations around artistic practice with photographic artist Chris, textile artist Julia, filmmaker Paul Daly and others, podcasts crept in, as well as another favourite medium: Polaroids. So my alliterations of P were complete, not least alongside the over-arching project title Project:Public, of course.
So, back to the whys: I honed in on walking. Walking, talking, listening and… surprise. The nature of randomness, inspired by a random encounter at my part-time job at the local business school, a book which caught my eye in a PhD lounge ‘The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives’ by Leonard Mlodinow, a quote from which opens both the podcasts and the film. Essentially, the work I’ve made for Project:Public revolves around openness – sensitivity and discovery. Responding, making connections and celebrating collaboration.
We found satisfying links – Julia listening back to Chris and my podcast text me a cloth she’d recently hand-dyed in buddleia plant, a link to my comment about the evasive species making any drab scene look somehow exotic. She sent me a link to the history of Gosford Green where Chris and I had also ambled revealing some incredible stories of the Middle Ages, near-battles, monarch deaths, and Coventry’s place in parliament. This unfolding knowledge and dialogue created depth and a kind of anticipation and dynamism to the nature of our collaboration, which I hope will propel, inform and compliment the next commissions for Project:Public.
To see the film, listen to the podcasts and view the series of polaroids, head here, and enjoy! I hope you find yourself open to surprise.
Polaroid 600 images by Adele Mary Reed and Chris O’Connell, Coventry city centre, July-August 2023.
Super 8 film stills by Adele Mary Reed, colour graded by Paul Daly, July-November 2023.
Blog written by Adele Mary Reed, 3rd November 2023.