Charlotte Dobson

Sunflowers in her hair

‘Sunflowers in her hair’ is a photographic project and photobook that explores human experience, connection and nature that aims to create a sense of calmness in response to anxiety of social pressures.

Water, air and light are key subjects: humans and nature share similar needs.

Re-visualisations of time, place, memory and nostalgia respond to how time and place can never occur in exactly the same way again, where misalignment and imperfections are key to documenting that moment. Pandora Sykes book ‘How Do We Know We’re Doing it Right’ was key in exploring time in connection to current societal norms in the working week division. Research on traditional paintings and cinematic language translated to canvas texture, luxurious value and lighting.

Key to research of memory included: the place of the hippocampus, senses, neurons, energy translated in flow and light, contextual binding theory and selective/sustained attention. Body language and birth are responses to flow, re-visualising the curves of nature and practices of dance and sculpture.

Since the world has balanced opposite processes, these are explored: loss/retrieval, past/present, light/dark, open/closed, birth/death. Loss is re-visualised as a therapeutic element to release emotions of frustration and anxiety in dying, having recently lost close family members. Imprint, fading and separation were responses. The scattered layout re-visualises to the chaos of the world and translates the place of objects found in the environment. Harmonising, contrasting and pastel colours were utilised.

Three is significant to my practice since being a triplet, in fold out pages and experiences. I explore the sea/mountains lost at distance through visual language and the significant place of Wales, Anglesey through archival imagery.