I created this piece thinking about how over many years, many different bands and artists have created songs and music about social issues they have seen around them. From Nirvana to Green Day, and in the more current time, BTS, through their songs and lyrics they have tried to bring about some kind of social change. I wanted to do something to acknowledge this effort of theirs.
In the back of my mind however, I couldn’t help but think about how much of an impact they had really had, and how many actually knew about what they had, or have done.
This thinking led me to the concept of change/no change.
I originally had one photo, which had my model walking away, fist raised in the symbol of rebellion. In the foreground was a stack of CD’s, all of which were ground-breaking at the time of their release, and with a rebellious theme to at least some of the songs. I used the CD’s to imply that fact that using music to bring about social change has been going on for a long time. In contrast to this, I had a iPhone, open to Spotify, playing American Idiot by Green Day, the most recent of the albums I used. I used the iPhone to demonstrate the fact that even in the current day, music can demonstrate rebellion. I timed the photo so that it was taken at sunset, as orange has always been viewed as a colour of rebellion, and sunsets can be interpreted as either an ending or a new beginning.
After reaching the ‘change/no change’ epiphany, I did more research, and chose to use spray paint, as graffiti has long been perceived as being used by ‘rebels’ or ‘outcasts’ of society. I used the spray paint to write the word NO. I used black, as it can represent both power and suppression. I used reds and orange in the background, as red can mean both power and courage, while orange, as I said above, means rebellion.
I decided to add this spray painted image to the background, and use it twice, to emphasise the word NO. I added it to the background to show my model walking to towards it. I had the model walking towards it to represent that we are trying to change the perception people have of the music: They are not just head-banger rock songs- they are far, far more than that.
I blurred the CD stack and the iPhone, so they are still recognisable, but not very obvious. I was inspired by the phrase ‘into the mists of time’ for this portion of my work. I blurred them to represent that many people seem to have either forgotten, or don’t know what the songs mean anymore, and how much of an impact they have.
When I was was selecting and editing certain parts of the first image to bring them over top of the second, I made the line between the two layers obvious if you looked close enough. I chose to do this to show a distinction between the mindset people generally have now, and the mindset I hope they will able to develop when listening to music.
My hope is that when people view this image, they will stop and think about all these bands and artists that have tried so hard to bring about change for all of us through their music, and have left such a brave legacy behind them.

Category: Photography

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