It is great to be back in action with the next module. Perfect start to the week with a stimulating and inspiring visit to Unseen19 in Amsterdam. Showing works that have been produced in the last two years there was a lot of food for thought. Different perspectives and different materials (an outbreak of cyanotype this year versus canvas and thread two years ago). It also helped me look at the many ways of presenting a visual narrative.
There were two parts to this week. The first was reading and a wonderful podcast by Lydia Pang on the importance of researching for your work. The second was listening to the brief’s from Oxfam, City ID and Headstart for work they want to do and starting to understand our client.
For my project ‘The Truth & Beauty of Me’ I have been researching other photographers to see how they have approached the task of using self as the vehicle to tell a visual story. Sally Mann, Elena Brotherus and Nan Golding are amongst those I have looked at. I have also been interested in the work of David Heath and Alec Soth for the way they express mood and feelings. I have also been researching pyschological material through Daniel Khaneman and others to understand some of the mechanisms by which people project on to an image presented to them.
An idea that needs further work by me comes from Shirley Read’s question ‘what is the core of my work’? (Read, 219). Before the MA my core was trivial aesthetically pleasing derivative landscape and place photography. My short description of my current practice is ‘Seeking to explore the relationship between a surface image and what is going on beneath the surface. For images of faces this is understanding the emotional and sensory activity that goes with the surface image. For a place it is an exploration of the story behind the surface image.’
My project Forlorn on the Falmouth Landings exhibition is the latter and my project The Truth & Beauty of Me is the former. I have a lot more work to do to flesh out this core idea and relate it to what it’s audience is and what is authentic about my work. I also have a lot of work to do on what media I intend to use and why. Looking at work in Amsterdam and earlier this year Madrid and Arles is informing my own research process. At the moment there are many questions and the remaining months are the time to find answers.
I will look more at Georgina McNamara’s work as she describes her interest in ‘the gulf between who we are and how we want to be perceived by others…..and …..my current work revolves around ideas of revealing or concealment to explore how the mood of a person can be physically or metaphorically masked.’ (Read, 220).
In terms of where I am heading with the project I like the George Dyer quote ‘you don’t have to know what kind of book you are writing until you have written a good deal of it, maybe not until you have finished it – maybe not even then. All that matters is that at some point the book generates a form and style uniquely appropriate to its own needs.’ (Read, 222).
Lydia Pang’s podcast is a real pleasure to listen to. My bottom line for it is anything goes and this is the most exciting time to live for creative visual narrative. Some notes I took
- What am I about?
- Print has gone to digital (my own observation though is that print also has its place still)
- Personal projects
- Tactile experience…make things with your hands
- Brand yourself on multiple platforms
- Every link is created equal (love that one!)
- Point of view on the world
- Shoot something that nobody else can shoot
- Be brave look inwards
- Creatives collectives collaboration
- Aesthetic, mission, kpi’s audience…in ref to Refinery29 work
- Images give a stage
- Do not fear the landscape.
- Creativity for world change.
Researching the Client
I am in a great group for the pitch to Oxfam A. Hilde, Chris, James and Clodagh. Powerful and diverse team. I have read the briefs. I had some trouble with taking on Oxfam because of the bad press they have had over their handling of sexual abuse by members of their team. Part of my research will be to see the status of this and ensure I am comfortable they are handling the issue with integrity.
My approach to this pitch will be consistent with my own approach to anything in which I want to see change. Whatever we recommend in our pitch needs to be something I am willing to do myself.
- Author: Shirley Read And Mike Simmons. Pages: 289 Size: 28.94 MB Format: PDF Publisher: Focal Press Published: 19 December, 2016
- Lydia Pang podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/lydia-pang-on-commissioning/id1459128692?i=1000442904984 accessed sept 28th, 2019.