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Title: Keep off the grass! : an exploration of how photographic practice may be used to develop alternative representations of the urban nature subject
Author: Blazejewski, L.
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2013
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The relationship between people and nature has long been suffering from a cultural disconnect. In truth, nature is far more readily likened to travel than it is to everyday life; synonymous, as it is, with those faraway ideals beyond the everyday reach of an urban dweller. However, urban environments are teeming with a range of plants and animals, known as urban nature, thus providing the opportunity to shed these exotic associations in favour of a far more accessible experience. In order to do so, the form of contemporary urban nature photography will be examined in this thesis, where any representational trends found to be inhibiting its development will be identified, and ultimately challenged. A combination of photographic practice and reflective analysis was used to challenge these problematic trends. Five experiments were carried out. These served to yield a set of photographs which developed alternative representations of the urban nature subject. The resulting photographs of each experiment were subjected to a means of reflection; based on Gary Rolfe’s three stage method but refocused for compatibility with photographic practice, where observations were drawn from one experiment so as to guide the direction of the following experiment. These experiments culminated in a final project: a definitive body of photographs that served to fuse the findings of each experiment into an alternative aesthetic. Identity became a critical theme underlining the representations of the urban nature subject in this thesis, for the displacement of photographic information began to instil the subject with - to some extent - otherworldly sensibilities. This process challenged the active predisposition toward naturalism in urban nature photography, and began to direct such tendencies toward a much broader aesthetic landscape; engaging with unreserved artistic ideologies so as to develop exclusive representations of the urban nature subject.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Built and Human Environment ; Health and Wellbeing ; Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy