When I think of home my mind instantly takes me to the views one can see from the highlands. Standing tall on the mountain side, stretches miles upon miles of luscious green fields filled with beautiful wild lilac heather. Growing up around such naturally mesmerising views almost made me take it for granted, and not fully appreciate the wonderful country I get to call home. The idea for this project was sparked during my 3 months stay back home at the beginning of March 2020. Returning home for this period made me realise how much I miss where I come from and sparked the good memories of my childhood. During my move to Leeds in 2012, I suffered a traumatic experience which has resulted in a blackout of most of my memories for the first 5 years I lived in Leeds. This loss of memory has resulted in a deep inclination to hold onto the good memories I have back in Scotland. For this reason, I am very passionate to use this project as not only a form of self-discovery, but I would like to visually create images that portray my view and perception of Scotland. A place that for me brings peace, happiness and calm, a place of escapism and retreat that I could turn to in times of stress and hardship. For this reason, I want to create a project that reflects the happy memories I have of my life, instead of thinking about the bad. This is a personal project with the aim being to visually portray my personal feelings and perspective.
The feeling of home is very personal and unique to the individual. Our mindset and view on life is shaped by the way we were brought up by our parents, the exposure we face growing up and the experiences we encounter. For me, I truly had a wonderful and content childhood, one filled with lots of love, happiness and joyful memories. I therefore feel I am so content and at ease when I return home to Scotland. The environment allows me to fully relax, forget my worries and live completely in the moment.
In looking at this idea of perception I started thinking about the famous photograph ‘Migrant Mother’ captured by American photographer, Dorothea Lange. This image is known worldwide for initiating social awareness of the poverty-stricken families during the era of The Great Depression. The Farm Security Administration started a photo documentary project and commissioned photographers to photograph America in a certain light during the years of 1935- 1934. Focussing on poverty in rural areas, photographers would capture images based on their personal perceptions and views of what they saw. This idea of the photographer’s perspective is clear when looking at the different photographs taken by Lange. The famous ‘Migrant Mother’ image shows a mother and her three children, impoverished and suffering badly from the pea crop failure at their farm in Nipoma, California. What we don’t know about this family is that the mother has seven children, however Lange only chose to include three children in the photograph. This highlights that what we view can be interpreted in many ways and what we choose to capture through our lens represents how the photographer has viewed the scenario and the type of narrative they want to create.I feel I can relate this to my project as I am using photography to depict how I view and remember my home country.
(Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936)
The title ‘It Feels Like Home’ is something I have come up with for just now, as at this point in the project, it represents how I feel and the association I have made between the Yorkshire and Scottish landscape. I also think this is such a universal and very unique feeling and is something that is felt completely differently by every individual. By choosing this title, I feel it will give my project the platform to potentially relate to an audience of people who have moved away from their home country and trying to navigate the cross between this new place and still holding onto their roots. However, this title does have the potential to change depending on how my project progresses and whether or not my feelings change throughout.
Lange, D (1936). Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California [Photograph ]. MoMA. https://www.moma.org/collection/works/50989