FMP - Guest Lecture, Sian Davey

The Sian lecture was a wonderful example that I should not limit my research to artists who deal with the similar approach to photography as me. Listening to other artist and hear the honest articulation of the process of thinking and working on the projects is a great value in itself, regardless of the project's subject. 

But it was about both in this case, the project and the processes as I find Davey's works wonderful, deep, beautiful and true. I very much admire the way she share with the audience the fragments of her life which are quite often difficult. Learning about the origins of the concepts and the way she handled the project all way through was very inspiring.

It was a very emotional talk. Davey admitted that she avoids public talks for various reasons but my reflection at the end was that it makes the project so much more deep and beautiful after hearing all what she kindly shared with us. She just talked without being stressed about the pauses, hesitations, and the very touching moments when her voice vibrated because it was so emotional what she talked about. 

The first project she presented was "Looking for Alice" which is about her daughter who was born with Down syndrome but also about, as she said, "all these children who were traumatised, brutalised and there is no record of them'. At some point she realised that "there was nothing wrong with Alice, it was me". It is an intolerant society which makes it hard for all those children who were born "different'.

The other project Davey talked about was about Martha, her other daughter and the difficult time of entering the adulthood. It was very interesting to hear how she slowly built up the relationship between herself her daughter and teenagers Martha grew up with.

Both projects are amazing and so beautifully executed. There is such a distinctive formal qualities in her works like light, colours which help to build that atmosphere of extraordinary situations in the ordinary scenery of everyday life.

Some fragmented thoughts I noted during the talk:

  • "Work intuitively"
  • "Learn to read the image not intellectually but with heart"
  • "You don’t have to know your project, You have to trust your feelings, you have to let it go.."
  • "Keep your heart open"