Student work · Penny Watson
Watson’s work is an approach taken that I would refer to as candid documentary. In working with older people, much like younger children it seems that there is less likelihood to in same way act for the camera. The realism of the images is touching. Natural reflections of old age, sickness and death arise when seeing the elderly photographed in a this way, in a sense this is what the ‘universal truths’ beyond referred to here are, I would imagine.
The four images from the OCA manual depict the subject of her grandmother in very daily and unremarkable scenes of activity. The depictions of her grandmother just doing her life in a roundabout way and I like the pictures for their simplicity. They images are far from overworked. It seems as if in fact that are very almost vernacular and spontaneous. There is a straight documentary element to the whole scene that makes me image that the photos were really taken in the midst of conversations with her grandmother about the place.
Although the script says that these images came from the heart, I wonder if this is really expressed in the photos. I do not see an overbearing emotional response between subject and photographer and so I am not so sure about that. Partly I mention this because the main photos that I have seen appear to have some distance between the subject and the camera.