Photographs, slides, letters, diaries and objects preserve our family stories, capturing precious moments of joy, loss and connection. These archives also provide endless, intriguing and surprising opportunities for re-discovering who we are and how our ancestors have shaped us.
This workshop invites you to spend four weeks with artist Elise Searson re-visualising your family history. Building on Elise’s introduction of her own and other artists’ practices using family archives, you’ll learn how to re-photograph or scan, curate and collage your own inherited artefacts. You’ll explore using these images to create entirely new works bringing some fresh air to your collection and will finish the workshop with unique prints telling your generational stories.
For this workshop, you’ll need to dig into your storage boxes and bring along some personal artefacts, the more treasured, the better! You might bring photographs (digital or printed), slides, letters, diaries, or even teddies. Perhaps you’ll bring your grandparents’ framed wedding photo, snapshots of your kids’ birthday parties, a recent family portrait, the first baby tooth you lost or a primary school report card suggesting you ‘Could try harder’!
This workshop is suitable for everybody with a family (collection). You don’t need photography experience, as we’ll have a mini-studio set-up for you to photograph any artefacts. You’re welcome to bring and use your own camera if you like.
Week 1: Saturday 15th May, 12 – 4pm
Workshop participants will meet at PhotoAccess with Elise Searson. Elise will introduce herself and her artistic practice, showing the group the amazing possibilities when working with personal artefacts. Group members should bring along their treasured items, and everyone will have their time to share their special stories. Elise will run through the basics of object and image documentation, from either re-photographing items in a small portable lighting studio, scanning prints, or collaging printed and archival matter. This should get participants thinking about what type of work they may create with their objects over the course of this workshop.
Week 2: Saturday 22nd May, 12 – 4pm
Week 2 will launch into making, with more technical tutorials and assistance from Elise. There will be ample time for experimentation, and group feedback sessions for helpful advice sharing and encouragement. Workshop goals and outcomes will be finalised, and independent work inside and outside of class will be supported and encouraged.
Week 3: Saturday 29th May, 12 – 4pm
More creative making time and feedback sessions. The workshop will be focussed on printing skills, or preparing the files for digital sharing. Elise will also guide participants on how to write about their works, as written personal accounts accompanying the images can be very powerful.
Week 4: Saturday 5th June, 12 – 4pm
After a week off to make works independently, the group will rejoin and meet to discuss the works made. Final works will be printed in house, and digital files handed over to PhotoAccess for an online exhibition (Optional, but encouraged).
Visualising Family will take place on:
Saturday 15th May, 12 – 4pm
Saturday 22nd May, 12 – 4pm
Saturday 29th May, 12 – 4pm
Saturday 5th June, 12 – 4pm
Please meet in the PhotoAccess Garden Room.
Please bring a small collection of personal treasures that you would like to explore. Although the workshop will focus on treating your artefacts with respect, please don’t bring anything that is very fragile or prone to disappearing.
We’ll provide all the equipment and materials you need for the workshop, except of course for your personal treasures. All scanning and printing costs are included in the workshop fee.
We’ll also provide a PhotoAccess notebook and pencil for you to record insights and thoughts, and some afternoon tea.
Enrolments for this workshop close at 5pm Wednesday the 12th May, 2021. PhotoAccess reserves the right to cancel the workshop if there are insufficient enrolments. If we have to cancel, you’ll receive a full refund.
PhotoAccess will happily refund or transfer workshop fees up to 7 days prior to the start date of the workshop. If less than 7 days notice is given PhotoAccess will transfer fees to another workshop but will charge a transfer fee of either 25% of the workshop cost or $50, whichever is less. No refunds or transfers can be given once a workshop has started. Please see Terms and Conditions for further details.
“The family dynamic can be complex and I have learnt a lot about my own family when looking back on images I’ve taken. I have a big family and when we all get together I have open access to human behavior. Photographing my family is also a way for me to preserve what I hold dearest. It’s how I hold onto the moment. “ – Elise