Test_240411_Image 2_Me, 2011

The role of panoramic photography in communicating the relevance of place in the formation of identity
Heike’s field of enquiry is photography concerned with meaning of place and representation of identity. Her practice-based research pursues the impact of an environment upon the formation of identity and the self. She focuses on panoramic photography as a tool that can aid communication of this context.

The role of space and place are central to her research. The work of human geographers Ti-Fu Yuan and Doreen Massey, landscape architect Ann Whiston-Spirn, philosophical theories on space and time, sociological theories on identity and memory, the history and context of the panorama and photography theory are analysed critically and inform the visual work. Composition, perspective, narrative, semiotics and form and scale of presentation have formal and conceptual significance in the making of the visual. Multimedia tools connecting individuals, communities and areas represented through the facilitation of the networking of images are being considered alongside other presentation methods, also allowing for the use of text and audio.

The project will be exhibited or shown in book and/or electronic format. Most recently Heike has shown her work at Ostrale '012, the 2011 GSA PhD Show and in New York. Test_240411_Image 2_Me above is one trial in developing and testing a method to ascertain the connection for a subject between a place and their identity and to create narratives and use signs in the staged image that relate to that connection. She has used herself as testing ground, not least to acknowledge that the understanding of her own identity informs the process.

Currently Heike is photographing the coastal community of Shingle Street in Suffolk, UK. The group of approximately 20 houses, formerly a fishing village, is now inhabited by a mixture of intelligentsia, indigenous folk and people who have come here because they appreciate the isolated location and landscape.
The community seems unique in its make up and location, in particular in relation to its exposure to coastal erosion and the effects of climate change, and thus provides a suitable subject for the study.