I concentrated on my making of new work for edit as is necessary for follow on activities such as Landings 2019 Exhibition and doing my Work in Progress Portfolio for assessment.
I managed quite late to get the first set of images together, and I built myself an exhibition in a box.
The exhibition in a box and my photobook dummy were taken to Arles for the crits. I benefited from this, and it has done the obvious and generated more work for me to complete! Should have stayed at home? No way, I’d have missed so much valuable input. However, progress on this front has been at the expense of teaching in a workshop.
Week 8 Independent Reflection
The exhibition I made in a box, and my photobook dummy was taken to Arles for the crits. I benefited from this, and it has done the obvious and generated more work for me to complete! Should have stayed at home? No way, I’d have missed so much valuable input. However, progress on this front has been at the expense of teaching in a workshop.
Week 8 Activity Teaching
My preferred approach is informal and takes place in a learning environment. I get to spend time with accomplished pros. It is excellent if an exchange is in response to being quizzed about my photography. When the opportunity arises, then there is already some buy-in, and from there it is down to me to respect others’ time. Similar questions might occur in different contexts, and so I get a chance to be challenged and work out a slick answer.
Another approach is to show interest in others and discover areas of interest that overlap, and then I may get the chance to ask the questions, and so the communication continues. At times I can take other learners particular challenges and relate them to my methods and compare notes, probably on technique. There is a specialist audience for abstract work, but at the same time, there is leeway if people are concerned with mindfulness or photography as therapy, both very popular at the moment.
The subject matter can range across, macro, art photography, portraiture, photographic projects, product photography, light painting, studio lighting, and more besides.
Week 8 Some Considerations
Week 8 Introduction Thinking About Helping Others
Working independently and collaboratively
Digital technologies including photoshop (Adobe qualified)
Interacting with people, in public and one to one.
Working with professionals and teams on set.
Practice at teaching outside the business and technical sphere
This is purely for practice as it relates to the earlier Ed Ruscha challenge.
I’m working on the page imposition.
An update: I completed the imposition in Photoshop, having made up a model for the signatures and numbered them by hand. The action gave me a double-sided printing sequence. It was then down to the practical steps of making, which turned out well enough, especially for my first printed book. I haven’t had the heart to slice into the pages to guillotine the edges by hand cutting with a sharp blade. I particularly enjoyed picture matching and have two more of these books to make: one on chains as they form lovely catenary lines and make interesting junctures; the other is of phone entry systems I started to document after poking around Leicester Square hotel night entrances. I’d eventually hope to make a boxed set, for a bit more experience of making. I have to halt myself and get on with the other learnings available to us.
Week 7 Some Considerations
Week 7 Forum Sorting Images
So here I have new work rather than a collection of everything. As I write this, I have a dummy practice book already made, and once my module edit is ready, I will repeat the making exercise. This is an A5 handmade book with kettle stitched signatures, case bound. For an A4 sized book, I would try perfect binding. This would be a good back up position, as it is easier to do the page sequencing (imposition).
My abstract images are halfway between photography and painting so take a while each to craft. This is the bottleneck I have had to contend with over the past several modules, but it has worked for me even if the project activity is backloaded. This can be quite pressured, of course.
Week 7 Introduction Thinking About Pages
Although I’m an advocate of the library online books and other eBooks, my photography pile library is currently taking up room on my studio sofa, leaving insufficient space for rest. Grief, three more outcrops of piled books surround me. There is nothing in these piles to compare with the sort of publication I would make as the constraints of the MA Photography course seem to limit me to pamphlet-sized books.
I came out of the webinar with a glow perhaps of having been let off lightly. It was a larger group, and all of the other students’ work came under critical scrutiny except mine. Maybe I felt relief. I also felt that there is more to benefit from with sharp critique. Perhaps it was easier to keep on time if the Tutor avoided causing me to respond or explain the visual motives, or maybe I already had been given the right advice in a previous session and needed more time to explore.
As I have come back from Week 7 to update Week 6, the tale did unfold. More of this in my Week 7 reflection.
Week 6 Independent Reflection
The way the course flows at this stage, I can plan the making of an installation/exhibition.
I can (then) take this work forward into the University-sponsored Landings 2019 Exhibition, plus by Week 12 have this flow into my Work in Progress WIP Portfolio.
Perhaps I make some assumptions in this, but I can see a logical flow of work from one activity into the next in an ideal manner.
So what is the issue I uncover here as there is indeed an issue?
First, to look inside where my perceptions and perspectives intervene. Maybe I seek out the ideal or have a strengthening desire to continue to improve my work. As I carry forward my abstraction into a third module, I feel I need to make progress, by refining the work. The abstracts I make need to be right, of course, but better than last time. My technique may have already reached a kind of pinnacle, and so I press for the unobtainable. At this point, factors arise like actually is it possible to keep turning out work I base on chance, on the data recorded in the original photograph. The presence of healing from more serious accidents or incidents would drive this, but for moral reasons cannot happen. There was a severe injury, but it did not manifest externally other than through puffing up. Ligament and cartilage do not have a steady blood supply. Healing is through adaption by building up strength in the surrounding and supporting muscle rather than through biological repair as we have here an example of slow healing.
With events being immediate and severe, my natural reaction triggered to protect and help, rather than act to make a photograph.
I turn to bodily impression as a fallback, where pressure marks react in a similar way to healing before quickly disappearing. My actions were over a spectacular and geometric pressure mark was frustrated. For whatever reason, perhaps to do with cooling of the area the subject matter was not traumatic, and any heat just dissipated. I processed the photo(s), but my technique failed to extract the heat or any signs of glow. Not always perceptible to the eye, a healing site does need to glow my method to work. I passed over this and reflect now on events.
This learning occurred, but time pressure would continue to build the demand for shareable results. Many other students are not displaying work in progress. Maybe my so-called Pareto based decision to engage with three surfaces is driving beyond what is genuinely feasible at Week 6.
Turning to external considerations, I perceive that critiques build in a natural assumption that we show finished work and so it is judged as finished work. What I have learned quite recently is that I need to be open and say what stage of development is with the second year yet to fully unfold.
We need to remain faithful to an expectation that our work ought to adapt and change with the various contexts of the MA Photography course.
The amount of photography I do each Module is slowing. The presence of healing dictates progress but so too does technique improvement.
I started with consistent lighting, then incorporated flash and improved focus of close-up low DoF constraints. On schedule, I have introduced the Focus Stacking technique.
My first attempt stacked 61 images, far too many. I adjusted my settings to get fully in focus results with 4 to 6 pictures stacked.
While it is still summer, I can flood the subject with natural lighting instead of using flash. The environment is something I have reacted to, and I now get to examine the consequences. In a shorter timeframe, a project’s set-ups would be more stable or consistent. With my work running over a two year period variables, in lighting have to be accommodated.
Events cause me to draw a comparison with the conditions of Vincent Van Gogh. He worked in the beautifully consistent light found in Arles. Van Gogh also was prolific, as he turned out vast quantities of paintings in a short period. There are many differences in our circumstances if we compare painting with photography or more precisely with healing glow photography.
Week 6 Activity Models
Rather than the computer of a constructed model, I looked at setting up a live venue. I’m thinking North West London location.
This environment could work as my practice emphasises the glow we emit in healing etc. I’m sure you‘ve me heard me describe this before. I need to explore and unwrap the requirements and benefits.
I have three elements set up here in the image above. There is more latitude than this for mounted print display, lightbox viewing and large screen presentation. Early thoughts are:
Mounted prints hanging from the top wire. Point lights shown can be on at the start, and be switched off for viewing. Maybe hang translucent prints. Already I’m going over the top but why not explore the possibility as the facility is there but try not to waste time on diversions.
IKEA tables and legs shown are in sets: hire lightboxes and lay these out on the tabletops. Print on translucent material – I’d have to check how effective or not this would be. Perhaps arrange tables to display photographs on lightboxes set out as a square (abstract fovea?); draw the cables together and tie in the centre (optic nerve like). Ignore the metaphors of seeing, getting carried away in this first exciting stage.
Large screen present/not present? If present, display related portfolio work or with permission of the Module Leader make a live link to the Landings site as a centrepiece.
Footfall – a drive might bring some folks in. However, as a display of art as an experience, something I aspire to, a video feed could be streamed to the web.
There is scope for an artists talk. Also, the scope must exist to invite a proposal from another student/lecturer. A positive is that alternative works that are taken together ought to enrich the experience.
There’s scope to build a display stand as there are other plain walls. Alternatively, I could contemplate the hire of a set of easels, to mount prints.
Enough for now as there are already many unanswered points to be addressed.
Draw up a plan/ to-do list is next.
Ps already I have some other ideas to try out / to simplify matters.
Week 6 Some Considerations
Week 6 Introduction Thinking About Spaces
It was impossible limiting myself to just one alternative space.
Immediately the mind turns to white wall exhibition spaces. But there is a suggestion of using the shoe – an off the wall suggestion (apologies for the pun)?
(A) What impressed me this last fortnight was the portable exhibition in a box. The idea is this. You make a box about the size of a lever arch folder.
Then inside, you include a collection of photographs and materials related to a project. An accordion fold exhibition of pictures would be the eye-catching piece. Then there might be a hand made book about the making of the show. Other artefacts you include are there to be picked up and examined. Here is a photo of the kind of thing.
(B) Another idea is related to the outside world – thinking outside of the box (stop the puns now). Galleries can be looked on as an exclusive preserve of the few. Why not print on a massive scale on weatherproof material. Hang the exhibition on the outside walls of buildings, such as around a university campus?
Come on Falmouth University, who do we approach for permission?
(C) The technically minded (and well off – I saw some recent costings), might be inclined to procure gallery space in a virtual world. Art curation takes place in Second Life an online space. Sales can be made (I heard somewhere).
(D) There is something starchy and rigid suggested by the term exhibition. Print on material and silk would be another choice. Then the images primarily if abstract, become much more portable and more manageable to store.
(E) Following on from (D) the silk or other material could be in the form of clothing or accessories like a scarf or shawl and of course could be worn.
(F) How about this thought, which I’ve already started to look at for some inexplicable reason. I took a cereal box containing wrapped Shredded Wheat. I carefully unwrapped the contents and gauged the printing area and folds and glue points. With this information, the cereal bars/biscuits can then be re-wrapped in a print jacket. We are talking one step up from tissue paper here. You have to question why and how applicable this is to a given project. I just liked the materiality but not so much the scale. When the exhibition is over, you can grab a bowl and some milk and eat the display contents!
I hope someone on the course takes inspiration from one of the suggestions or at least has fun reading this post.