First Things: Reflections on Single-lens Reflex Digital Photography with a Wide-angle Lens
This reflective practice essay discusses the psychology of perception and the proposition of processing trauma and loss through digital photography focusing on “Last Things” series of photographic images by the author. The paper reflexively explores the proposition of Art making as means of processing Traumatic experience, of loss, and shock of the unknown, in this case literally as well as symbolically, in images that go beyond words. The room was “empty” but needed clearing of the last things. She entered the room with camera held to her face as shield and mask and took photographs of objects that she found there. The author learned from her own response, that she turned to the visual, to images, before words; she used her digital single-lens reflex camera, with wide-angle lens. This experience shifted her focus, as arts journalist, to reflectively writing of her own experience, and the images made in those moments. Here, she also refers to other artists and critics including urban Aboriginal artists, Mary Kelly, Barthes in his “Camera Lucida”, and to further published and exhibited photographic works that she has made.
||Digital Single Lens Reflex Photography, Reflective Practice, the Mother in Art and Theory, Subjectivity, Digital Media Art, Digital Aesthetics
The International Journal of the Image, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.55-67.
Article: Print (Spiral Bound).
Article: Electronic (PDF File; 392.853KB).
Lecturer, Journalism and Media Research Centre, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Ruth Skilbeck, PhD, is an arts journalism specialist, media producer, and arts journalism scholar. She is a Lecturer in Journalism and Communication on MA programs at the Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. Her professional background includes living and working as an arts writer and freelance journalist in Sydney, Dublin, and London, and starting up a Sydney-based media organisation, Arts Features International, specialising in writing on Australian and international contemporary art and culture. Recent awards for her research projects include an Australia Council Visual Arts grant (to write on contemporary Australian women artists); and a grant from the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (to write on exiled writers, journalism and trauma). Her work is published in anthologies and journals including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, The International Journal of the Arts in Society, and Pacific Journalism Review. Current research focuses on new forms of digital media production and arts writing. She holds a PhD on The Writer’s Fugue: Musicalization, Trauma and Subjectivity in the Literature of Modernity (University of Technology, Sydney), an MA in creative writing (UTS), and BA Hons in Philosophy (University of London).