Having spent a great deal of time doing a large amount of research into the intense and sprawling live of Josephine, I found myself a bit over faced with the shear amount of things that I could cover. If Josephine’s where to be translated into any art form, I feel it would work best as a musical, the events of her life lend themselves to this dramatic style enough with very little needing to be done to it bring her life to the stage; Josephine lead a very fast-paced and life, in which a lot happened. A lot thats pretty much all interesting enough to warrant illustrating, but is far too big a task to cover in it’s entirety. Her character, the way she manipulates and conducts herself around the incredibly volatile Parisian social scene, is such a big part of her life and how the events in it play out, that I feel it needs to shine through it my work. Though I’m still playing with a way in which to effectively do this.
In the work that I have been producing at the moment has been focused the aspect of her life that makes it quite theatrical. So far this is what I have most tried to emulate, the works that I was done so far are focused in the idea of making a sort of set or stage for Josephine’s life.
When setting up these photos I wanted to play around with the perspective and deliberately alter the way in which the two basic paper caricatures show the contrast in both stages of Josephine’s life. To do I played with both the positioning of the two figures in the photo and also used my cameras’ focus to further draw attention to this. I wanted to use the back drop, which shows a section of the Prison des Carmes (where Josephine was held after Alexandre de Beauharnais’ -her then estranged husband- arrest), like a stage set for the two figures of past and feature Josephine.
Most recently I’ve been giving serious thought to what period of her life I’d like to cover, and in how much detail I can do that; having such a broad experience to document, I feel like I’d be able to show more of her character though a more detailed account of a smaller period in Josephine’s life than to cover a larger period in little detail. So I started by looking at her arrival in France, her arrival into the Parisian social scene and the build up to her stay in the La Prison Des Carmes; so far this first section of her life seems to be both the lest documented and the most logical place to start, as these are the experiences that space Josephine’s future the most.
During this time, she has her first and most harsh lessons in the social expectations of Paris, she grows up very quickly as a woman to face these expectations and then goes through the most traumatic period in her life in which she is forced to face her own mortality for crimes her estranged husband committed. Josephine comes out of this forever changed and it’s this change that I think I’d like to focus on next. Though I feel as though I’d like to change my format a little, I like the back drops that I have but they are quite flat and am not quite setting across the atmosphere that I’d like to achieve.