Fig.1: Gareth Phillips. 2015. Hiraeth.

I had a video meeting with Laura Hynd today, she suggested I look at; Gareth Phillips Hiraeth project, which I am familiar with Hiraeth having attended a video presentation recently with Phillips, and the Mapping project by Daan Zuijderwijk and Maaike Vergouwe, who I am not familiar with. Phillips' work is the result of a personal and emotional pilgrimage in his homeland, Zuijderwijk and Vergouwe's work seems to be concerned with human intervention in nature - whilst both works are very different visually and contextually, they are both about a relationship with the landscape. However, something interesting came out of looking at their work further... Faces, Pareidolia, like the Pikachu-ey thing in one of Phillip's images (Fig.1), or the John & Yono couple entwined (Fig.2) in Zuijderwijk and Vergouwe's Looking for Inua project in which other pareidolian objects feature such as frogs and archaic-looking sea-creatures.

Fig.2: Daan Zuijderwijk and Maaike Vergouwe. Looking For Inue.

Pareidolia is seeing faces, objects or patterns in things where is none, for example seeing faces or animal shapes in cloud formations. Perhaps a slightly trivial notion on first consideration and whilst nowadays considered a normal human fascination, it was historically considered a form of hallucinatory psychosis. I am thinking about the human element in my work. I have been considering whether I want a human presence and if it is appropriate or not given the work, as it stands now, is about my relationship with nature. The 'message' I want to give is universal but it is from my approximated viewpoint (more about that here) - I think the message is primary and the standpoint is secondary (photography is only ever from the photographer's standpoint so this is kind of given) and such think any human presence needs to be universally recognisable. Of course, there are many ways of hinting at human presence but I think pareidolia could be interesting as representative of the perception and lends itself to chance finding's on my trips out into nature. I don't want to make this a primary feature of the work, but even one image like this would add an interesting layer to the work.