Exercise: A grid of photographic images

Doors in Colchester's Dutch Quarter

Doors in Colchester’s Dutch Quarter

I am currently studying OCA’s Creative Arts Today 1 which is mostly theoretical but from time to time we get to have a go at a creative project. In Part 4 Photography  students are invited have a try at creating a grid of images.

The inspiration comes from husband and wife team Bernd and Hilla Hecher who are known for repetition of subject matter, often exhibited as a grid of images.. The images appear to be the same yet are all slightly different which has the effect of emphasising details. See Water Towers 1980.

This afternoon I photographed about 60 doors while wandering around Colchester. I snapped ancient doors, new doors, decorative doors, peeling paint doors, open doors, closed doors, every kind of door. It’s not as easy as it seems as doors are often close to the road so it’s easy to get run over and pedestrians get in the way too.

I wandered back through Colchester’s Dutch Quarter and realised that these doors would work better than the random collection I had photographed so far. Many of the Dutch Quarter’s doors share common features including a barred window, wooden slats running downwards, door knockers and letter boxes and many of them are painted red and green which I thought might be the colours of the Dutch flat but they are not. If any one can explain the red and green please do get in touch.*

While I am  pleased with the outcome of this project, which was assembled in Photoshop, I am conscious that to achieve a professional standard I would have needed to go back and photograph the doors in the best possible light and work at getting the viewpoint and size and positioning of the doors relative to each other much more consistent.

Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed this project immensely. It is something different that I haven’t tried before and I will definitely have a go at again.

Mystery solved! The word ‘Dutch’ was used in Colchester (the doors are in the Dutch Quarter) to describe all foreigners who arrived in the town in the 1500s when they fled religious persecution in what is now Belgium, Holland and France. So in fact, the refugees were mainly Flemish.

They built homes in a similar style to houses in Flanders in that period – with doors and other woodwork painted red and green, window frames painted white and rendered walls a light green.




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