Response to Tutor Feedback on Assignment 1

Initial feedback was via a Skype tutorial. I wasn’t too sure at first because I was worried that I might mishear/forget comments through concentrating too hard on the listening.  However, my tutor said right at the start not to make notes because she would be confirming her feedback to me in writing.  I felt immediately relaxed and engaged  in our conversation  so it was a brilliant start to this new relationship.


I will give you pointers on how to further develop your studio work (concentrating specifically on the aspects of your work that I think are most successful and/or promising. I’ll also give you recommendations on other artist photographers whose work is particularly relevant in the context of your work produced in support of assignment 1

References suggested:

Other photographers who use flowers in their work:

Use of archival material:

‘Queen and Country’ by Steve McQueen

Suggested reading/viewing:

“The Decisive Moment and Experimental Photography” (Aperture)

You have experimented widely with your images submitted in support of your final assignment, which is very much in the spirit of the course, which favours experimentation in the medium. For me, the images that work best and have the most potential are the ones in which you have mixed archival material (in this case, monochrome portraiture of a WW1 soldier) with real object (poppies). In this image I like the way that you begin to play with scale (the enormous flower heads set against the small portrait etc.) and I think that it might be worthwhile to pursue these experiments with a combination of found image and object. One small point, I would crop the image right in to the side of the image itself – no white border in other words and also experiment with perhaps using many more flowers to almost obliterate the image/meaning. Don’t feel afraid to experiment – almost to the point that the image collapses – as it is often only through this way of rigorously exploring all avenues – that good work emerges.

Your exercises are very well thought through and thorough, Catherine. Particularly good was your experimentation in support of Exercise 1.1, I think you’re moving in an interesting direction with your layered and infrared-infused landscapes.  Keep the experimentation going throughout. Consider keeping a sketch book for this course (if you don’t already) where you can re-copy, sample, appropriate, rescale, re-photograph, paste and play with images without needing to perfect them


I experienced the session as constructive, supportive and very encouraging. particularly the encouragement to continue to experiment with found images and objects. still-lifes and symbols.  I wrote a reflection on the first assignment process before the video session and experimentation was one of the areas I highlighted – that and the fact that I feel like a butterfly sometimes in trying something out and then moving swiftly on to something else instead of consolidating learning and experience. I was able to talk of how I always think I don’t know enough/haven’t enough skill so get frustrated to which my tutor’s response was along the lines of this is how artists develop and for every successful/creative Image one sees there are probably hundreds of failed experiments lying around the artist’s studio. So true and I still keep forgetting this.

I have now followed-up the references and a PDF of my notes is here, including Brendan Fowler, another interesting photographer.

Notes on artists referenced in Ass 1 feedback

It’s not so much the technique (although I am interested in this of course) but why a particular technique is being used. The references form a creative bridge between Part One and Part Two and I’m already thinking of strategies that could work.  My motto will be experiment widely but then use a technique in a focussed way for a specific purpose.

The feedback has reassured me that I’m on the right lines and I feel enthusiastic about continuing on to Part Two of this Module.








  1. I think the first lot of feedback from a new tutor is always the most hard to judge in some ways as your looking at the feedback and their angle and posture and seeing how it fits with you. This all looks positive.


  2. I found Skype tutorials on my TAOP course invaluable. It’s so helpful to have some form of human contact – it makes a massive difference. Well done. I think you’ve had good feedback and this looks like it will be a positive and supportive relationship.


    1. I was a bit anxious to begin with as it’s ages since I used Skype. However, it seemed a much better quality video call in terms of sound and image than the Google Hangouts that I’ve become used to.


    1. I’ve built up quite a list now and started to think of ways in which I can use the techniques. I know I want to work with my own archive but I do keep hankering after creating another fictional narrative.


  3. Very positive feedback Catherine. I was a bit disappointed that Russell doesn’t do live feedback like this but perhaps his situation is different. It doesn’t suit everyone. I picked up the link on experimental photography and will take a look. What I took away from this was the need to experiment more, it’s that “taking risks” thing again. I did my first walk around Pagham beach on Friday and brought home some images. I now have to get something from them. Did you listen to Radio 4 this morning. There was something on called “Playing the Skyline” where two musicians composed a piece inspired by a skyline of Newcastle. We are back to sounds in the landscape again and it got me thinking…….


    1. It’s certainly much more personal and being previously involved in Google hangouts has helped me to get used to any time-lag. It was certainly good to get the encouragement to experiment but I’ve learned that once I see how an experiment can work I then need to apply the concept with much thought as to “why”?
      I missed that programme on Radio 4 – will have a look and see if it’s on the website. Sounds in the landscape – made me think of being on the beach – a wild beach, hearing seagulls and the slap of waves crashing against rocks. Carry on thinking …..


  4. Good start, Catherine. It all sounds quite fascinating, and based on your current experiments, I’m looking forward to seeing how the course takes you. I only had one Skype with my tutor, right at the end. Finally, I understood where he was coming from. Having a video call right at the beginning is very helpful to your understanding of all the feedback you get during the module. I wish it was compulsory for all the tutors.


  5. Very positive feedback and great that you seem to be developing a good rapport with your tutor. First assignments with a new tutor are always nerve-racking so well done on getting such a good report. Looking forward to following future experiments.

    Liked by 1 person

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