Project 3: Photographing the unseen

Exercise Three Case studies:  OCA level 3 students: Peter Mansell, Dewald Botha, Jodie Taylor. All three of these projects are examples of personally driven work but they become universal when we can relate to the feelings they present by visiting our own personal histories. 

Which of these projects resonates most with you, and why?

How do you feel about the loss of authorial control that comes when the viewer projects their own experiences and emotions onto the images you’ve created?

 Peter Mansell – Check up


I found the commentary given by Peter Mansell about his work, especially his move from photographing for visual spectacle and technical proficiency, “I became attracted to speaking visually about things that were important me” and he was “ drawn to use photography…as a form of expression… while the end product acted as a visual statement about my existence  and that experience””(Peter Mansell OCA C & N p62). It certainly stimulated me to think about what I value and what I might like to explore within the context of this course.

Dewald Botha – Ring Road


He used his camera to explore being an outsider in China, and visually searching finding places of beauty or relief in a place of difficulty. It began as a physical exploration but became “more complex personal journey of self-reflection about displacement and survival”.

Jodie Taylor – Memories of childhood


Her work is about nostalgia and she explores this through photographing her childhood area and marrying her memories and family history with her present interactions, the subject drove her photography.

The project that resonates most with me is Ring Road. I can understand and could see myself producing a body of work as a metaphor for something in my life, just as he has in this work for boundaries and limits. I also find this work aesthetically pleasing which is important to me, at this stage I think I could aspire to marry aesthetically pleasing images  with my self- exploration.


Boothroyd, S (2015) Photography.1. Context and Narrative.Barnsley. Open College of the Arts.