Saturday, 27 October 2012

Brynamman Angels

The following images were made for my Final Show, as part of my Fine Art Degree in 2004...

(This post was originally uploaded to My Site On Multiply on: 1st January 2009  at 3:38 pm , It has been revised for this blog post. )

The Angel image has personal significance for me, due in part to the inspiration coming from a monument in a graveyard near my home.

200 years ago The Black Mountain was the site of a quarry, it’s sluice was named Y Gwter Fawr. The workers came from all over England and Wales, bringing their families with them and a settlement grew up at the bottom of the mountain. This settlement took on the name of the sluice, and in time became a village. Sometime around 1845, it became known as Brynamman.

Gibea Chapel, Upper Brynamman has 2 graveyards, they contain the graves of many families connected to the quarry. The evidence of their labour is still visible on the mountain and in the original parts of the village.

Gibea Chapel
Through these photos and by placing myself inside them, as a Modern-day Angel figure;  I attempted to re-connect to the forgotten history of the village and the legacy left by those hard working men and women, who laid the foundations of I village I now live in.

My dress was designed and hand sewn by myself, I styled it to resemble the dress the Angel Monument wears.

The above image is my "Ultimate favourite" the original image was captured on Illford Black and White 40mm film. I always use Illord as I love the "grainy quality" it brings to the image.

 Using a computer program  I took the Black and white image and changed it into a negative image of the original photo. After that I saved the negative effect and added a "Fire-Light" effect over the top. I then altered the saturation and contrast.

Stamped onto my back using 100 Year Old Printer's Gothic Script letter stamps, borrowed from a Printer's Archive Storage.

Of all the rolls of film I posed for that day, this image really stands out for me. It seems to encapsulate all that I wanted to express, and yet do so in such a diffused way that I can't quite put my finger on to verbalise the words. I think it is the most Ethereal of all the images.

The above images, and two below, where all taken in varies parts of the Black Mountain itself, the sites of these photographs, I chose for their Historical significance in the forming of what would become the Village of Brynamman.

 After the show, I was looking at these images again and started to see myself (The Angel Image) headless! I thought it might give a certain poignancy , like I experience when I enter a Victorian Graveyard and see beautiful memorials, in stages of ruin and at times, headless angels themselves, so I manipulated the image.

 I thought it worked really well and so I used the same computer software to manipulate this photo into a headless Angel, and then give it "age" by changing the visual effect to Sepia tones.

                                                               Angel, Quarry Road.

This time I decided to experiment with the image using "Fire-Light" effect, and then alter the saturation.

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