The inspiration behind my project was that of my late father, Mr. Stewart Ludlow, who committed suicide on the 25th of February 2010. My father and I never formed a flourishing relationship, despite sharing common interests and being quite alike as individuals, I never really knew my father. Stewart was absent for the majority of my childhood and so when he re-entered my life when I was twelve, I felt bitter at the prospect of having him in my life. I didn’t know him and I didn’t know where he was throughout my childhood. A part of me was worried to find out. After his death, I felt incredibly guilty about not trying to form a relationship with him, astonished that he committed suicide and saddened that I never got to know the man that was part of me.
Therefore, the inspiration guiding this project was that of investigation. I wanted to discover who my father was, or at least gage a better understanding whilst also finding out what truly happened on the 25th of February 2010. I created a short video, which retraced my father’s exact movements on the night of the suicide, having been inspired by the works of Sophie Calle and Alter Bahnhofs video walk.
I was tempted to include audio of myself in the video offering my own personal opinions of the event. However, after watching ‘Tarnation’ and the way Couette informed the audience through simple captions, I felt was a simple and effective way of informing the audience. I felt that a voice over would have been too overpowering or distracting to the viewer. I wanted my video clip to focus on my father’s final walk, not my own reflection. I used music which was copyright free so I could upload the videos to vimeo. I chose to have my father’s journey played alongside the song, ‘Creep’ by Radiohead, a cover version, as the lyrics to the song were used in my fathers suicide note to me.
To accompany the video I created an evidential type book available to view online, linking the video with it’s context effectively. The video would appear in the book near the beginning, so viewers could experience his final moments, then continue to read in order to discover the full context and to understand my fathers final act of suicide. The book outlines my father’s life of what I know, starting from his suicide and looking back.
Overall, I wanted to create a project that was personal to me after being introduced to artists who approach personal events and raw subjects. I made a digital book so I could connect the video to its context.
I created two versions of my video, one shorter then the other, just for experimentation.