Jo Spence and layers

I visited the Jo Spence show “The Final Project” and there were a couple of surprises for me. For example when I reviewed the book I got a strong notion of layering, but I seemed less aware of it in front of the works on show. What Company appears to have done in his curation is to arrange the various themes episodically in the space – which is largely three spaces interlinked (including the window space with two quite alluring and large images on view to passing traffic).

I have been interested in the effect of adding image to image, in that quaint bygone term of “sandwiching”. Spence’s work in this area seemed to me to be about temporality, her explicit multiple images seemingly connecting her to another time – the past and perhaps the future – with nature and growth, with religiosity and her comprehension of her impending death. To me these composite images denoted her psychological reaction to her death sentence by invoking those ‘images’ of her remembrance. I have been looking at this technique as a revelatory process to hint at memory. These images have been made recently with this in mind. Working with ‘layers’ to merge two images has been interesting. Spence used projected images which is very different from working with solid images whose ‘lucency’ is being transgressed

Combination ‘sandwich’ image

Chloe Dewe Mathews spoke of the triangle between image, text and viewer and that the text is vital to her work ‘Shot at Dawn’. Whilst I think the way I utilised text in the BoW project ‘I Look for Him…’  wasn’t as stridently powerful as Mathews’ work, I am sure that I want to continue with the ‘Legacy’ project employing text in form or another. I am ‘doodling’ with video and audio/text. There is no link between the images, one is monochrome the other colour. There is no link between the visual imagery and audio file. However I provide the bridge between all three.

I wonder what people make of this video:

The words are spoken by an actor.


2 thoughts on “Jo Spence and layers

  1. When I saw the top image on Facebook my first thought was “That looks really murky water, almost toxic”, and wondered what it meant to you. the sandwiched image hints at more than that and, then, the words on the video – stirring up the past, speaking of events not spoken of before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My first reaction to the water was both the reflection and the flotsam. I know I have this layering in my mind at the moment, about how truths/narratives/memories can be masked etc. The colour is a layer in itself, it transports something that isn’t normally there, the same with the floating debris.
      Thanks for your thoughts as ever Catherine.


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