The Dressing Table - 1922
A Photography Project
A small photographic project exploring the theme of values and lifestyles, linking to the VALs consumer types. The brief was to capture a portrait of an individual by recording the objects they surround themselves with, without the use of their portrait. These items should describe their character and associated values.
Photography, Print and Creative Writing
The Full Caption
In a quiet, empty house lies a Dressing Table. A Dressing Table captured untouched, embellished with love and expressing evidence of life. The warmth of the light beats in through the adjacent window, outlining the curves of the 1990’s curtains, illuminating the room and encapsulating the Dressing Table like a cotton sheet. But, this isn’t any old Dressing Table, this is my Auntie Kath’s. Built in 1932 by Great Grandad Eastwood, this Dressing Table is a time capsule, handled by family members of the past and now living in the lifetime of a new generation. And that stool? That was my Grandma’s, Audrey Walton. She got it for her 21st Birthday back in 1949. The light almost highlights her existence, greeting the imagination of her sitting in that very position. My Auntie’s cordiality radiates within this photograph, her loving nature, her open arms, her sentimental personality, expressed in a single photograph. She isn’t one for expensive decorations, the up-to-date trends; she is an individual that appreciates family, love, functionality and is not afraid to show her “imperfections”. She is a Dentist, a University Tutor and a Student Supervisor. She is a Mother, a Sister, a Grandmother, an Auntie and just like the Dressing Table, she is timeless.
The Dressing Table captures a glimpse into her life. The two stuffed teddies hanging over the mirror, one being a Shepherd Dog, like her childhood dog, Rex, given from a patient in 2013, and the other; ‘Animal’ from the Muppets, gifted on her 40th Birthday, in 1994. Beneath the “old, but they still work” Pink Straighteners, 2008, are three off-white doilies, crotched by Great-Grandma Walton in 1922. Surrounding is a collection of small photographs, one standing out amongst the rest; the old, wrinkled, sepia-toned photograph of my Grandma, Audrey and Grandad, Allan, back when they owned a sweet shop in Burnley, in the 1950’s. This was the only photograph my Auntie owned of my Grandparents when she went to Dundee University in 1972, to study Dentistry and consequently met my Uncle Bob. Yes, “Bob is my Uncle”. A purple Dolly, an embroidered stone, both hand-crafted by her two Daughters, Claire and Rachel in 1992, a ‘Dental Nut’ ornament bought in Disney, in 1994 and a Golden Tooth trophy for winning Supervisor of the Year, two years in a row, in 2014/15.
This is where my Auntie Kath sits every day, this Dressing Table is not just any old Dressing Table, this is my Auntie Kath.