I received feedback very quickly (through a video meet, with written confirmation afterwards) which was much appreciated as I need to get on with Assignments 5 and 6 and complete before the end of February.
Summary of feedback:-
The Art of Bonsai
My tutor thought that the Bonsai idea has lots of potential – ‘…looking as it does at the idea of the hybrid – “….. as you say, the bonsai are ‘miniature replica …..but one very much controlled by its creator’”. Her suggestion was to go a step further, “perhaps intervening in the images in some way as I think you’re on to something interesting here and I can see why you’re enjoying doing this, which is really important too”. She also suggested I might want to experiment with re-shooting the images using studio lighting.
My tutor recommended looking at the work of both the Polish photographer Bownik and also Ruth Van Beek as well as buying the current issue of Foam magazine, Back to the Future. The 19th Century in the 21st Century which looks at the ways in which the artists appearing there are using contemporary, digital techniques whilst interpreting techniques, ideas etc from the 19th Century.
This further research and the further Bonsai images will be additional work for Assignment 4 – to be completed before formal Assessment
Exploring Second Life
My tutor wrote:-
You’ve also done lots of interesting research into Second Life and the motivations of those who visit this and similar sites. What I found most moving here was the ways in which you said that the behaviours you saw from yourself in Second Life was actually very similar to the behaviours you noted in the real world. I thought that this was very interesting and wondered if it might be interesting for you to condense this idea into a piece of writing – to make a script – possible in a diaristic voice -that you might read over your (lonely) travels around the various digital landscapes of Second Life? Again, lots of good research here that can be further developed as you move through your OCA studies beyond this course.
I’m very glad to hear that you’re enjoying the course and the pleasure that you’re taking in the research is evident Catherine. Your exercises are all relevant, thorough and well executed throughout.
Reflection on Feedback
I feel clearer now regarding the difference between Assignment 4 and Assignment 5 – in that Assignment 4 can be an entity in itself even though it leads towards Assignment 5.
I like the idea of developing the Bonsai project further before formal Assessment especially as, by that time, they will be in their Spring foliage. In addition to the Polaroids I also photographed them indoors with my Canon DSLR, using continuous lighting but will repeat this with flash. I also now have a flash bar which will fit both my polaroid cameras so will experiment there as well. I had been thinking that this is the type of work that I can continue in my next Module (Landscape) and feel encouraged that Wendy thinks this too – which is something we also discussed in the video meet. I have ordered the latest issue of Foam magazine and am looking forward to its arrival. I intend to make notes on artists whose ideas I find the most interesting (and maybe the least interesting), including Ruth Van Beek whose work I looked at earlier in the Module.
Regarding Second Life, I had a suspicion that Wendy might focus in on my comments around how I behave there and in the real world plus I had already set up a WordPress blog site in readiness for some form of visual diary after discussion with Wendy. I’m finding my exploration there fascinating and feeling relieved as well that I have already done a preparatory mind-map for Assignment 5 which I can now adjust following our discussion. I’ll write more fully, separately, on initial planning for Assignment 5.