- Mark Wylie
Looking ahead to 2023
It's the end of the year and all that, where we traditionally look back on the year, the successes, the failures, and set forth good intentions for the New Year. This year has been a fairly decent year photographically for me, but as always, there is a lot of room for improvement.
It has been productive in terms of my coastal work and starting on the 'Gatherings' project where I seek to document events and activities where people gather (a whole lot easier now that the pandemic has receded in our minds).
I have spent a lot of time working around the South Coast from Margate to Weymouth. It's a project that is still in its infancy in many ways. There are a lot more places that I would like to explore, such as Weston-Super-Mare. But, places like Blackpool are also in my mind. Whilst I have really enjoyed exploring and shooting the actual focus, well, point of the project is still being developed in my mind. Initially, I took the Bruce Davidson approach of just exploring, shooting, then sorting out the images into a coherent whole later. This is typically how I work. However, for this project, I am realising that it needs a different approach. I need to do some research to develop a clearer perspective to the work.
I have also spent some time looking at events where people gather, such as the summer and winter solstices at Stonehenge. This is a project that I am very much excited about developing over the coming years. There are a lot of events, festivals, and hopefully protests that will round out this project. My aim is to create individual bodies of work that combine into an overall corpus.
One of the recent ideas that I have quite liked is developing monthly zines. Each month I pick an idea to explore or extend. Some of the images might have started earlier in the year, but I use that month to develop the idea further. Such zines are not completed bodies of work, but really a review of a work in progress. I don't spend all month on them, but they do help me to expand my ideas, approach and practice.
Looking ahead to 2023 there are a number of areas that I would like to work on. Firstly, in 2022 the blogging has been hopeless. That needs to be sorted out with more regular and consistent blogs as I do really enjoy writing almost as much as photography. Secondly, I would like to get involved in a collective with other photographers. I'm not sure how to do this, but I think it would be a good thing to do. Thirdly, I would like to exhibit again. It's been a few years since I have done this. However, it's something that I would like to do at some point. Fourthly, I think I am very much a photographer of British life. I enjoy observing and documenting the stuff that we get up to on this small island. Ideally, I'd like to continue in this vein, capturing the both beautiful and alarming madness that makes this county the place it is right now.