12. 16th September 2017

OCA Thames Valley Group Meeting – 16th September 2017

With sixteen of us present, plus tutor Jayne Taylor, it was a packed programme of presentations and discussion. Below is a PDF of my summary meeting notes – prepared for the OCASA website.

final Version Notes for OCASA on 16.9.17.OCA Thames Valley Group Meeting

My thoughts have circled around:-

Aspects of collaboration in preparing an Exhibition – how many of the images does one make public beforehand; when and where? In talking about their individual contributions to their forthcoming Exhibition at Oxford House both Keith and Sarah-Jane talked about how they were linking in with the theme and also with each other’s work in considering details, specific parts of the building, use of light and colour.

We discussed the relationship between text and image on looking at Teresa’s work I was interested in the aspect of whose words to use – the photographer’s based on knowledge and observation of the subject or the subject’s words. What about handwritten text?  When is it more appropriate than print? Duane Michals has a singular writing style and I know I’ve queried before whether or not this is actually his own handwriting or that of someone else. Cig Harvey also uses a singular text print – printed capitals interspersed with occasional ‘handwritten’ words.

From Gardening at Night Cig Harvey (2015)

I do actually have a font of my own handwriting which I’ve used for journal entries and also experimented with as below but I don’t feel so sure about using it.


Staying with Teresa’s work  I also thought what a good idea it can be to use one image as the fulcrum around which the other images arrange themselves.

I don’t know why but David’s images of the pony drift (the annual health check and marking-up)  in the New Forest  reminded me of Appleby Horse Fair  and also the work of Joseph Koudelka. I immediately thought of Koudelka’s image of the Roma gypsy with his horse   plus there was some discussion around colour or black and white. I guess for me it’s more to do with the intention of the photographer now that there is a choice. I have always thought that the New Forest ponies were wild/free but they’re not – they’re owned by New Forest Commoners – those who live locally and have grazing rights. I think this could turn out to be a fascinating project if David develops it.

We exchanged some differing views on the value, or not, of looking at other people/s blogs and whether we could be too influenced into certain ways of working by doing that.  I couldn’t say I’m influenced in terms of being drawn towards ‘copying’ what I see but I’m certainly inspired by the work that other students create, e.g. Kate’s experiments with deconstructing polaroids and how the extracted transparency of the window in Lacock Abbey both looks like and acts as window.  Similarly, Jonathan’s mirror images where one could see subject/photographer and one’s self.  One comment made was that it was hard to know which face to pay attention to and I thought this made the work a most creative metaphor for human interaction and how much we might see ourselves in another person.

My own work presentation created some amusement when I termed it my portfolio of failed experiments! Polaroid prints where I had used colour and black/pink film; cyanotypes of scanned letters and also photographs from Egypt printed on parchment paper. I had used the different types of Polaroid film to see how they worked with different subjects.  Examples of these are on my Instagram site. On balance I prefer the colour film the black/pink film has an interesting effect but I can’t think what kind of subject to use this on at present.  I have decided that cyanotypes won’t work with the letter from Egypt and, am thinking of experimenting with parchment paper which reminds me of papyrus. I am also currently experimenting with layering old photographs and letters  onto more recent photographs of Egypt. Additionally, I began a project on the Copse which came to a surprising conclusion. In fairness to myself, I can’t count these various projects as ‘failed’ because, after all, they were experiments.  Will do a separate post soon.



Harvey, C (2015) Gardening at Night, London, Thames & Hudson Ltd