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
Other photographers who use flowers in their work:
Use of archival material:
‘Queen and Country’ by Steve McQueen
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.
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.