Self Portraits–Planning

Alnwick July 2014

Not the next self-portrait!  A bit of nonsense with one of the water features at Alnwick Gardens last week!

However, I have been doing some thinking and preliminary planning for the next steps in the self-portrait series. (Still calling them that, for the time being, since everyone seems to insist that they are!)  As I’ve suggested before, I envisage ending up with something approaching (or in excess of) 20 to work with; so, with five under the belt, I still have a fair way to go. But, looking back through various lists etc that I have scribbled since starting the project, I can identify as many as 25 possibilities in total; not all will come to fruition, but there’s enough to keep me going & so I have put them all together, including the five completed, into a ‘schedule’ that I can work with & use as a control document over the coming months. It’s here – though not the whole document, just an idea of how it is working:

Microsoft Word - Portraits Planning Schedule

My next overall objective is to submit another assignment in the Autumn – late September, or October – and I would like to have about another seven completed portraits to submit by then.  Up to now, I have been ‘unveiling’ them on Flickr as I’ve gone along, with the five so far; but I think it’s time to be specific, here, about which ones I’m planning to work on next.  So, here, in no particular order, are the five that I would like to complete over the next 2-3 months:

Reggae musician, died of gunshot wounds in Trenchtown, Jamaica, aged 27 – this will use an archive image of me, in Jamaica, in my 20s, and I see it as some form of memorial website page.

Granddad Stan – a ‘Happy 65th Birthday’ vernacular image, maybe featured in a Facebook posting.

Stan the Man – left school at 16 & went to work on the Blackpool Prom amusements; now owns a gaming empire; location for this is obvious; appearance needs a bit more thought.

Missing diplomat, rediscovered – might end up being a mock-up news story combining an archive image just before he ‘disappeared’ in the 70s, with a dubious image of him spotted in a public place (restaurant) recently – location of first will be France, second to be thought about (though I will be in France again late August). Moscow would be ideal – maybe I can ‘create’ a ‘Moscow’!

Cross Dresser – I’m going to need some assistance putting this one together; and to really work, it will ideally be shot in a public place. (No pressure there, then!)

Going to Court – returning to a more serious ‘theme’ that seems to be emerging from ‘my generation’; this individual has been retired from teaching for five years, but his ‘peace’ has been interrupted by two charges of indecent assault on teenage girls, dating back to the 70s.

The Recruiter – Maybe some wishful thinking about this one because it’s a character (and I can see his like every time I go to Leeds, or any other city for that matter – gelled hair, suit, open neck shirt, maybe a loud shirt, the toes of his pointy shoes pointing at at 45 degrees!) – but he’s just sold his recruitment business for £40m.

Right, that’s the plan for the next phase.  Clearly some are quite ‘desk-based’ and others need me to get out and do some location work.  All need research and planning, but I think that it’s achievable over the next 2-3 months.


5 thoughts on “Self Portraits–Planning

  1. Stephanie Dh.

    I am really looking forward to seeing this project develop Stan! From somebody like me, who knows mainly UK through books and movies, it has something of a Romanesque social history of the Uk, something that reminds me the fate of Jonathan Coe’s characters in his novels, specially in the “Rotters’ Club” and “The Closed Circle”. There is somehow in my viewing of your work a strong interest in the imaginative documentary as well as in the epic character coming from the different possible destiny of ‘Stan’.

    1. standickinson Post author

      Hi Stephanie; thank you for the encouragement, which is really appreciated. I’m pleased that you refer to social history and documentary. I don’t think either of those words was close to the forefront of my thoughts when I started working on this project but, without in any sense moving away from the original questions about identity, truth, reality, and photography’s relationship with all of them, I have begun to realise that the work may also turn into a kind of informal survey of ‘my generation’ (could be a project title in there!!) and how we are seen in 21st century visual images.


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