People. Indents on the carpet. Objects.
Jessica Bishopp is a storyteller. Through the camera’s lens she evokes the poetic happenings of everyday life that tend to let go unnoticed or undiscovered; they fall into the lowest parts of our oceans and build up the firm ground we then call the ‘living’. Thus, we, with our butterfly hunters’ hats, chase summer sky clouds without noticing the big white elephants standing next to us.
Speed, Jessica’s recent documentary, looks at open dialogues between our belongings – physical proofs of our existence – and us performing our day-to-day routine among them.
Objects, once we are not there to tell our own stories, fill in the gap of our absence. We imprint souls into our surroundings. What happens after we leave? Boxes of stills, the way we did our bed, where we kept butter: it all witnesses our existence. It also contributes to the speed of our memory fading away.
“I began looking at what happens when something is removed (object or person), how time changes after the incident, how you can see and measure this change. How to portray the passing of time and what role speed plays in our lives were questions I attempted to answer throughout the filmmaking process. I focused on the missing: people, objects, and the feeling of speed and time being suspended and disjointed. However, the physical clues to time moving on are still there, such as a build up of dust, indents on carpets from heavy furniture.”
What do we really recover from? The absence or us being left here with less friends to guard us?
Speed is about people discussing moments personal to them and how they recovered and whether recovery has a ‘speed’.
“To remember something does not mean it happened the way it is remembered, or even happened at all”, fellow LCC photojournalist Lewis Bush once wrote on his blog.
Hi, what’s your name? is another of Jessica’s documentaries looking at people’s relationship; the way perception is constructed and us following the rules of attraction.
“Hi, what’s your name? was an exploration into the ways in which we generate information, through all sources – digital and analogue. How people can influence the information they generate and what information they want to find out about other people inspired the project. I think Hi, what’s your name? is not finished and it could be developed further in the future. I re-edit and alter a lot of my projects. If you want to continue a project and keep developing it and it continues to interest you, then it is worth developing deeper.”
Jessica has also started a beautiful project about sharing creativity and culture.
“In 2012 I went to Gambia and launched The Gambia Media and Design Project. I taught 18 students between the ages of 16 and 20 from Gambia High School in Banjul the basics of photography in relation to themselves and their environment. At the end of the workshop I gave each of the students an open brief and a disposable camera to use up over 4 days. In between teaching the workshops I travelled 4 hours up country to a remote area around Tendaba and interviewed several people about their everyday lives and in particular their work. Including a group of women who are part of a sewing cooperative business, the Alkalo (village leader) of Bambako and the head of Kwinella Medical Heath Centre and I am in the process of making a short documentary.
The project was shortlisted for the Creative Enterprise Award for Ethical or Social Enterprise. I aim to produce and publish a book or magazine of the Gambian students’ photographs and then have an exhibition of the photographs in both Gambia and London.”
Jessica’s work is full of summer night romance: she picks up on small details we normally pass by and shares stories we already know, however that we might not yet have thought off.