Week 8 Independent Reflection

This week has all been about moving forward with the Landings exhibition, producing a photobook, preparing a workshop and the deliverables of oral, CRJ and portfolio. It is a balancing act between maximising the learning from doing everything while keeping an eye on the time needed for the work that will be marked.

The photobook is done. I enjoyed producing it more than I thought I would. The number of choices of paper, binding, layout, flow, linkage, cover, curating and design are limitless. Even simple things like double sided printing were a lesson. I am glad I have got the first one out of the way but learnt so much producing it. It has made me interested in producing a photobook one day. I now realise I will go through many dummies before. I went back to look at Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississipi, Sally Mann’s One Thousand Crossings, Mathew Brandt’s Reservoirs and Lakes and Oliver Klink’s Cultures In Transition to look at great examples of beautifully produced photobooks that are a treasure to hold and to look at.

I have talked with a local printer who is also producing a simple printed A5 version of this book this week.

I am making good progress with an exhibition called ‘Forlorn’ for the Landings event. Link I have the images and the idea for the exhibition as in the link. I started with a link to my main project taking some images of me and using the windows of Susuz as a metaphor for inner states. I worked this with a number of people who quickly got engaged. The leap from the images of me to the windows was too big. However, as I assimilated all the inputs I got the idea came up of mentioning the emotional impact walking through this village had on me. Through this I have made the connection to my main project and produced a moving piece of work about the village of Susuz as was in its Turkish guise to Souskiou as is now with its Greek name but as I stood back I really felt the place is forlorn.

Tomorrow I go to the printers to see some test prints. Also going to the exhibition space to plan placements on the walls and discuss setting it up.

The workshop is structured and planned for September. I felt it too much to do this as well as the deliverables, exhibition and book all before August 19th. Link I am looking forward to doing this workshop as I have found people really engaging with the subject matter as I asked for inputs. I am excited about awakening the haptic pleasures of playing with printed photographs and inspiring people to get out there and have a go at a project.

Had a good portfolio review and exhibition review with Laura Hynd. There is a lot of work to do. Link In the link I had started to give some structure to my portfolio with images in classifications of Just Me, Alien Me and Conflicted Me. I now need to ruthlessly cull to the core for submission and consider whether to classify as above or pull together as a mix with surprises. Work to do.

I have also been out with my camera playing with some new ideas for a project around Gone in X Years. X can either be the Roman numeral for 10 or some indeterminate period. This was partly inspired by my experience of my local supermarket Mas Y Mas. I realise this place will probably not exist at all in La Xara in less than ten years. It is quaint, the staff are lovely and friendly but it will be crushed by Carrefour who have arrived. Carrefour will probably be crushed by Amazon or some equivalent as ‘progress’ marches on. I was found photographing shopping trolley’s in the supermarket as an example of something that will generally be gone very soon. I overcame the barrier of embarrassment at the quizical looks people gave me as I took my photographs.

Looked at Andy Sewell’s latest project as a link to this idea. ‘Known and Strange Things Pass’ looks at the internet as an example of something we imagine is out there in the cloud but actually is physical wires and connections across sea beds and criss crossing the planet. He got access to the pinch points where some of these wires land in the USA and UK and took some images that show how we thing of something is quite different to what it looks like. I am getting more and more interested in his work. A year ago it would have completely passed me by.

A lot going on.

Categories: Coursework, Surfaces and Strategies

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.