Works in Progress: Rajasthani Impressions: The Final Digital Images

While I was in Udiapur the first time, I was here for an artist residency. I made posts about that experience and shows how the work progressed while I was there. Now that I am back I am working on several projects. I thought I would be nice to share those projects as they progress and get your feedback on the work.

From the Archive: Rajasthani Impressions: From Photographs to Digital Images

The final product you see here, From the Archive: Rajasthani Impressions, was completed back in March/April of 2018. It was difficult to create the images and it is difficult to try and speak objectively about them here, now. When I was making the source photographs while in Rajasthan between 2016 and 2017, I thought I would be there much longer and that the final product would represent another meaning. Now that I have made these images I can not even remember what I originally wanted them to say.

What they depict now is my personal experience the way I remember it, the way I want to remember it. I realize others may remember it differently and that is okay. This is not their story it is mine.

The Roads We Must Travel, 2016-2018

Meeting One Last Time, 2016 – 2018

I decided to move to India on good faith. The faith that what I felt was real love and respect and that my partner felt the same. However, as soon as the second day back, I knew the days were number. Whatever was there in 2015 disappeared during the six months I was back in the States. I wanted it badly, not just being in India but being with my partner. So we both stuck it out.

Through the images I wanted to convey a few things: First, to express the color of India; Second, to represent the good times and other people I know there, as there were many and they are what I choose to remember today. Third, to show subtly that there is an aspect of my time there that I want to remember only on the periphery, to make mention of something under the surface. Fourth, I wanted to acknowledge the geography of the area.

Another Perspective, 2017-2018

Supposed Stress Relief, 2017-2018

I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I love these images even though the remind me of a mix of pain and pleasure. Strangely, many of the digital images do bring both good and bad to the front of my memory. For example, the image below, In the Shadow, this image depicts several scenes from the photography workshops my partner and I were teaching while I was there. I love teaching and I enjoyed all of the people I met through them. We always had fun. Participants made connections with locals and we even got chased by a cow. However, underneath all of that sometimes during and always after, my partner would give me a critique about certain aspects of what we were doing. It was exhausting and annoying. I felt like my expertise in teaching was not appreciated or respected.

In the Shadow, 2016-2018

Eaten Alive, 2016-2018

On the other hand, some images show pure pleasure. There were several days/events that I spent with friends only. These days were stress free and fun. For example, the day I went to Sas Bahu and the Jain temple town of Dilwara with my friend Kunal. We had a great time exploring the site of Sas Bahu and the town of Dilwara. We had to wake a man up to open one of the Jain temples for us. It was a pretty funny affair. I felt bad that we woke the man up from his mid-day nap.

A Search for More, 2016-2018

Exploration, 2016-2018

This project has not only pushed me mentally and artistically, it has also opened a new research inquiry. Through research into place and memory, I came across the book, Remembering Places: A Phenomenological Study of the Relationship between Memory and Place by Janet Donohue. This book has gotten me to reconsider memory and how we interact with place. It has also lead to continued research into the phenomenological philosophy. (Phenomenology is basically the study of how people experience things through their bodies.) Through further research, I have been reading a book that is an introduction to phenomenology and an article about how landscape archaeologists in Great Britain use the philosophy to conduct research. These readings are constantly challenging me to reconsider how I make photographs and construct digital images.

This past summer I visited Udaipur and made photographs. I have recently began constructing digital images with them. I continue to read and try to apply it to the making of this new project. I will begin sharing it in later posts.

To see all the images in this project click here, From the Archive: Rajasthani Impressions

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By |2018-10-07T18:22:05-05:00October 9th, 2018|Rajasthani Impressions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.

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