After planning what my production piece would be based on, it was time to get to work and photograph graffiti in Sheffield. There are many pieces of interesting and amazing graffiti in Sheffield city and I wanted to photograph it all, so I did. With all my photographs I looked through them and decided which ones would fit in with my study. After choosing 10 photographs, it was time to put together my portfolio.
HOW I DEVISED MY TOPIC…
This idea came to mind when I was walking home from a lecture and noticed a lot of walls around the city with very artistic graffiti. This type of graffiti makes good use of plain brick walls and gives something for people to look at while passing, as well as this it makes people think. It made me think about the gendering of many pieces of graffiti, while some are just shapes and patterns, others show gender in different ways. From the portrait of David Attenborough near Sheffield Hallam University to a slim mixed race cartoon girl with big eyes. So I decided to explore this in more detail through my photography portfolio.
WHO THE PRODUCTION IS AIMED AT…
My production was not actually made in order to aim it at a particular audience, rather to aim it at graffiti artists and the work they produce when it comes to gender. However I feel that my project would interest graffiti artists and perhaps make them think about the pieces of art they produce. It would also appeal to appreciators of art because as well as enjoying the graffiti they too may have thought about the gendering of graffiti in Sheffield city. Lastly, feminists may also find this project interesting because it explores the way in which women are represented in graffiti/
WHICH MEDIA TEXTS INSPIRED YOUR PRODUCTION AND HOW…
My inspiration first came from the book ‘Graffiti’ by Sandrine Pereira which featured many interesting pieces of graffiti with information on the culture of graffiti. After noticing the graffiti in Sheffield city I wanted to see how it differed from everywhere else to widen my research. Another book ‘Graffiti Girl’ by Kelly Parra was a good read because it showed it isn’t just men who are graffiti artists. In terms of gender, looking at The Genderbread Person model helped me analysis certain pieces of graffiti. I also looked into The Male Gaze theory by Laura Mulvey which helped with my analysis. Other than that I read books about gender and stereotypes, graffiti artists and looked into other theories on gender to help put together my project.
WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T WORK ABOUT THE FINISHED PIECE…
I am pleased with how my finished piece has gone, I’ve got ten pieces of graffiti in Sheffield that link in with gender and have used them to put together a photography portfolio. I feel that it would be a very interesting read for anyone interested in gender or graffiti. But what I did find is that while I was completing my portfolio, I would constantly come across new ideas on why this piece of graffiti was designed in such a way. On first glance a lot of the graffiti in Sheffield appears sexist but when I analysed it further a lot of the pieces are the opposite. Therefore rather than having a solid conclusion that graffiti in Sheffield is sexist, my conclusion is ‘Graffiti in Sheffield may appear sexist, but..’. If I was to do this project again I would probably consider choosing a wider area rather than just the city and analysing more pieces to finish with a more solid conclusion.
ETHICAL AND HEALTH & SAFETY…
Walking around Sheffield city with a camera can be dangerous so I ensured certain health and safety measures were taken. The photographs of the graffiti artists were taken from my bedroom window because the artists might have been angry if I’d taken the pictures too close to them. While exploring the city I always had someone with me due to safety in numbers. This allowed me to take pictures in alley ways etc. In terms of ethical issues, I made sure the pictures I took of the graffiti artists did not show their faces. If I would have wanted to show their faces then permission would need to have been granted.
HOW MY WORK CONNECTS TO THEORIES & RESEARCH ON THE MODULE
My work was based upon the gendering of graffiti in Sheffield which connects it to gender which we have learnt about in the module. We did a whole lecture and seminar on gender where we spoke about theories I have used in my project including The Genderbread Person and Male Gaze. These were very useful theories which helped me put together my photography portfolio and produce some of the conclusions I came to about the gendering of each piece of graffiti.
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