henry woide | photographer

Faux Rock: Work In Progress

PHO702 Project Development / MA Falmouth University 

Faux Rock. Henry Woide, 2021.

Faux Rock questions the authenticity of the landscape and whether this matters if it is real? these images depict a scene not out of place in a national park in USA, the snowy peaks of the climbing wall, the wildlife flying over head, names inscribed on the walls of the rock. Broken fragments only reveal the artifice of the construction but does it matter. With feedback from my tutor I will begin further research into constructed narratives and their influences from art and the further reflection in my work developing this idea and the narrative. As currently the work may only appear as trying to trick the audience into whether these scenes are authentic or not and makes them question but it could go much further.

The work is a starting point in my research and I think there are both some successes in the intent and also weaker aspects. As a start to the project it is still a documentary approach, though the subjects were approached and asked if I could take their photograph. The images were still a reaction to what I observed infront of me rather than a construction for future narrative I think this approach of visiting and understanding the subject for inspiration much like Jeff Wall does but then a period of thinking about the way the image could be re-stage and even rephotographed in a new context that may draw attention to the narrative.

The method however of using flash to fill the subjects shadows in the foreground of the image was successful in it’s intent to focus on the fakeness of the constructed landscape and make people question the artifice of the construction. To me the photographs also made me feel as if the subject had almost been photoshopped in, in image one as the rock sits sharply defined and shadowless against the backdrop of a banal English woodland. I think there could be a play here between the imagined and the banal and revisiting sites in which humans have constructed their own landscapes to express how they see the world or in fact would like to see the world, perfect greens of astro turf, tropical plants in the banal suburban landscape, the way we express how we construct the landscape around us.