How do you feel about CCTV cameras?
Did you know the average Londoner is caught on camera at least 300 times a day?
There are CCTv camera's on public transport, shops, supermarkets, high streets, hospitals, private and public offices, cathedrals, restaurants, garages, bus, train and airport terminals, schools and colleges, hospitals and many other private and public places.
This got me thinking about privacy in public places and how the public deal with this. Who are the people watching the cameras watching us? Have programmes like Big Brother and other reality shows on television made watchers of all of us? Perhaps you don't like being watched but can't be bothered to do anything about it? Anyway..who do you complain to and would it do you any good ? These are just a few of the excuses l have heard.
These sort of questions and lots more interested me, on a social level but also they got my artist juices flowing. How would people react if they could see the person taking the pictures of them? Would they be terribly British and not say anytrhing or may be they would just refuse to look at the camera? Would they get angry and /or violent or may be call the police?
And my project began to take form.
Armed with my digital camera on a tripod, l set up position 3ft or so from a busy bus stop on Putney High Street and waited for someone to look at me and my camera! I decided to only take photographs of people who looked straight at me and l stayed in the same place for upto 3hours at a time. The reason for this was to give people time to talk to me, if they wanted to.
Then l waited........................................................................!