Degree Show

I am now developing my ideas for my degree show into something I can get into. I began by wanting to do something to do with recreating nature: packaging, selling it, just at the moment we realise we are destroying it as a result of fervent and relentless capitalism. I wanted to capture this irony along with the futility and sadness of having to settle for a pale, sanitized version of the real thing as well as a longing for a lifestyle forgotten and distant to those, like me, who live in a big city. I began by looking at playgrounds, sculptures and commercial venues around London without fantastic results…

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I had always planned to include indoor climbing walls in this project. After I took some shots at my local climbing wall, The Castle, I realised I should just concentrate on climbing walls. They typify the comments I wanted to make about city dwellers relationship to the natural world. They also reflect our need to stay fit when we need to use our bodies less and less, to overcome adversity and to ‘move up in the world.’ The contrived nature of the grades suggests a necessity of knowing we are developing, moving, improving even in our leisure time.

On a more personal level I realised the physical challenges of climbing, the concentration needed to overcome them and sense of camaraderie that comes with being around people who share the same passion was what I was using to help me overcome a recent break-up. The cracks, the fear, the hardship I experienced climbing were little physical, manageable manifestations of what what is going on in my life. Even the short routes on the ‘boulders’ are called ‘problems.’

I decided to shoot with a wide angle, so the features of the wall can resemble real rock and some of the surroundings (such as the roof or lockers) are included to remind us of its ‘fakeness.’ The brightly coloured holds do this too, as well contrasting with the ominous shadows of the cracks which suited my mood. Here is one example, click it to see more on my Flickr page. I will be taking more like this soon. Any comments, thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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~ by peterdarch on April 2, 2008.

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