In considering this exercise I read both pieces of work and liked both for different reasons.
First the Country Doctor a photographic feature from “Life” magazine and secondly Bryony Campbell’s “The Dad Project” an extremely moving body of work.
Country Doctor is a pure documentary feature. Taken over a week to show the demands placed on a Doctor in the USA. Whilst enjoyable to look at particularly after time has passed since it was recorded. It showed many facets of work. From a child with a cut to a man who as suffered a heart attack. It is very matter of fact and didn’t draw me in. I didn’t feel any empathy with the patients as they just appeared as a result of the doctors work. It did do what it said at its outset. It showed the work a Country Doctor in the USA had to do in the 1950s. Full-stop
“The Dad Project” on the other hand was enthralling. It was very personal, I empathized totally with the subjects, I wanted to jump into the story to make all well for them all. Throughout I kept finding myself asking “How would I feel!” However my first reaction from the words and pictures presented in the courework was to cringe. The photo of the spilt liquid made me think of blood. Only after reading the full work did its context grip me, spilt nutritional drink. Moving! I found myself feeling the feelings I had experienced in family friends end of life journeys. Through this sad/happy journey I wanted to find out more about these people, especially Bryony’s Dad. Who was a special person to allow this project to exist. I can see me revisiting this work over and over for all kinds of reasons.
I think Bryony meant when she said “An ending without an ending” to say her Dad had come to an end but he carries on through the person he has helped Bryony become. Also the relationships he has forged with his wife and all the other people in his life. The Dad Project completing is just part of the start of the next journey.
It would be interesting to see the next part of Bryony’s journey!
W. Eugene Smith’s Landmark Portrait: ‘Country Doctor’. [online] Time.com. Available at: http://time.com/3456085/w-eugene-smiths-landmark-photo-essay-country-doctor/.
Campbell, B. (2013). The Dad Project. [online] Bryonycambell.com. Available at: http://www.brionycampbell.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/.