Sharon Boothroyd

21st November 2019

The photograph with text on the next page was inspired by a prayer found on an Internet forum where people ask others to pray for them. OCA tutor Sharon Boothroyd then visualised the picture from the prayer. you can see the ongoing series here: www.sharonboothroyd.com/index.php?/they-all-say-please/

OCA Foundations in Photography Course Folder pg 107
Please Strengthen My Heart, Sharon Boothroyd. From the series ‘They all say please.’

I found this project interesting on many levels but confusing on others. The confusion, for me is, at first glance anyway, that I couldn’t see a connection with the text and photograph for some of the images. I am wondering if my life experiences which are individual to me and lacking in many areas due to my mental health and extreme shyness as a child and teenager means I haven’t experienced certain things or felt certain things that many others have. bringing, circles we mix in. I personally think that this is because we all have different interpretations brought about by our own specific experiences, knowledge, thoughts and feelings, up bringing, values and the circles which we move within. That which works for one person and that which makes sense to them, may not make sense to another person.

Below are thumbnails of the work in the project, followed by the artists statement connected with the work, both taken from the website.

They all say please

After finding prayer cards in a church I became interested in other peoples’ prayers as a way of learning about our shared inner desires and wishes. I discovered online prayer forums where people post their prayers anonymously. I selected and edited some of these prayers down and created photographic interpretations for them. 

The virtual nature of these prayers signifies loneliness in contemporary society. The potential of the internet highlights our human need to connect; the screen offers an alternative community yet often results in arbitrary and isolated relations as is evidenced in these prayer forums where there are no responses, just requests. 

I realised that, at some point in my life, many of these prayers had subconsciously been my own.

‘They all say please,’ Sharon Boothroyd

I think that the initial idea is absolutely brilliant, such a starting point and follow up which takes someones prayer and deciphers it personally according to how Boothroyd perceives it as an individual.

There is actually quite a lot of scope to take this idea of how to start a series of work and remodel it into other projects. I am very happy we were asked to look at this within out course!


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