Gardening for Ordnance – still in process


It has been almost a year since I last provided an update on my Gardening for Ordnance project, but rest assured, it is still in progress. Sometimes a project needs to rest and allow the brain to do its thing chugging along in the background.

I had recently been more engaged in a related project Trabuco Flats which I investigate the same urban landscape. Interestingly there are a number of overlapping aspects between these two projects, although I am thinking that one is more of a fictional story than other. I am using the expired 120 roll film for both projects, so there are some visual overlaps as well.

Nevertheless, I find that my interest in Trabuco Flats is receding at the moment while my interest in Gardening is increasing. First, I had been thinking about publishing a line of new photobooks and as I considered which of mine to include, I kept coming back to Gardening for Ordnance. Thus I created a couple different book dummy’s for this project; and I am seeing some potential. That book publishing project is temporarily on hold while focusing on the (re)launch of the contemporary photobook magazine PhotoBook Journal. You can only do so much!

Second I was asked to submit some images for an on-line exhibition that investigates the idea of ambiguity, one of my Gardening photographs came immediately to mind (above). Okay, something is going on with the mental resurgence of this project.

Now I have another exhibition to submit and the images all need to be analog (film) based, which rules out many of the Memory Pods and Trabuco Flats images. BUT the Gardening project is totally analog! Not that using film is necessary to create an interesting project but the process of using film does create some subtle differences. I am not here to argue or defend film versus digital because as an artist, I use both depending on what I am attempting to create.

Such that my very expired film does create some unintended visual results. And using it provides another visual metaphor for investigating old/aging memories. I think the last film batch I processed (for Memory Pods) kinda went off the color scale. Well these two rolls were expired in 1997 and who knows what kind of storage conditions these were kept in over the last 22 years since its expiration date (or even before). I just keep rolling the (film) dice.

I also started journaling about the non-visual aspects of this project and perhaps what is drawing me in, other than the weird thing that we have decided to live on a decommissioned WWII bombing range. I think it has a lot to do with what just might be lurking just under the surface and recalling an incident when I was still a young lad and having an unresolved lingering moment of terror. That event continued to haunt me for many years. Seems like I buried that for awhile and interesting in how it has resurfaced.

So probably time to re-visit the images, make some new prints, think about a larger book dummy in terms of the edit and sequence and then consider which images to submit. Wish me luck!


Featured singular image: Untitled, Gardening for Ordnance, copyright Douglas Stockdale


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