THE THOUSAND GARDENS
Part of the exhibition and public programme F O R M, at Seen Fifteen, was a writing workshop led by Victoria Doyle, inspired by a text - ‘The Thousand Gardens’ by Italo Calvino. Within this workshop we explored Photography and its relationship to Literature. Participants were asked to bring along 25 photographs from their phone camera, which will be essential to work with throughout the workshop.
Through both writing and reading alike we developed and expanded ideas around alternative ways one might approach reading photographs. There was a distinct focus on experimentation as we challenged participants to embrace practice as a process of unlearning.
The first part of the workshop consisted of a series of writing exercises designed to encourage and generate thoughts around how meaning can be manifested, subverted or reinforced. Moving from this we began to think more about writing as a medium, asking the group to consider the page as a space of encounter and explore how the visual act of reading can affect the content. In the second part we focused on image as language and attempted to come to terms with ambiguity. With particular consideration to structure, rhythm, and breath we used the photographs that participants brought along to construct and configure their own language drawing from the techniques proposed in the writing exercises.