Fig. [of something] on hold or suspended temporarily
Backburner Journal is a project by Anna Taylor for experimenting with the relationship between writing and photography and which prioritises the experience and participation of viewers.
The project began as a way to carve out time to make work, with a strong social element – creating a peer group of people meeting to discuss ideas and encourage each other, support research and enjoy crossovers in process and thinking. I have been working in collaboration with a small group of artists/makers from different disciplines, both in the studio and on walks. This conversational way of working is very important to me, its about the work feeling grounded, but also has something to do with having to go out to come back in.
My recent work draws on recalled personal experience and, whilst informed and shaped by those around me, is taking me closer to what jolts and preoccupies me. The work focuses on a sense of being ‘in between’ states, the tension between the external and internal life – something that photography is and is not able to capture – it tests the limitations of the image, the text and images supporting one another to reveal a deeper, yet still incomplete narrative.
I chose the name ‘Backburner’ at first because it related to something that I wanted to do that kept being overlooked but quietly lingered. As time has gone on, I like the definition above, ‘of something on hold or temporarily suspended’. It also increasingly refers to those unconscious states of being, which emerge in sleeplessness or making, or looking intensely at the land and its surfaces, until the familiar falls away.
I am often asked which comes first – the writing or the photographs. I always say ‘neither’. What stands out either in sleeplessness or everyday situations, I record with what I have to hand – early on it tended to be that if my battery was dead I wrote, or I didn’t have a pencil so I took images as notes. As time has gone on I have created an archive of both, like memories or dreams that I draw on to make the stories that are inspired by internal life and a shared environment.
All work © 2017 Anna Taylor