Supervisor 1-2-1 Meeting 5 Pre Brief

Portfolio

Progress is being made to finalising the portfolio images that will be used in the exhibition and for the MA PDF submission. Two versions are given. The first was submitted to Dinu Li for the Guest Portfolio Review on September 30th and the second is Dinu’s response. Both have merit and will be considered with other possibilities. Selection is being worked with my curator Cemre Yesil, a network of artists and curators I have established with the The Photographers Gallery over the last year and Paul Clements and Gary McCloed from Falmouth University.

Submission to Dinu Li
Dinu Response

Exhibiting the Work

Espacio 14

The work ‘EVERY BIRD I SEE WILL BE PART OF YOU’ will be exhibited at Espacio14 in March/April 2021. Gata de Gorgos is a basket weaving centre attracting many tourists and holds a prestigious annual International Textile exhibition. The Gallery has invited me to exhibit in the premium footfall time at Easter (subject to travel being allowed!). The owner is very excited and energetic about the show. He is speaking to GQ, Vogue and Men magazines for press coverage in Spain. Work to do before handing in the MA is to show a plan of how the work will be exhibited. I am also going to work a storyboard with the gallery that complements their story.

MS Society

The MS Society has agreed to make a major press release on my work at the end of January. They are planning to use all of their channels to launch this as a major story in the national press in the UK. It will also be published in their magazine which has 26,000 readers and given web coverage. I meet with Lizzie Dowell (MS Society Press Manager) on November 19th to begin to work the detail for the press release. Several meetings have been held in which all are very complementary about the work and see the story as important help for those supporting people with the disease.

Dignity in Dying

Dignity in Dying also wanted to use the work in the research campaign to influence MP’s and the medical profession on the laws for assisted dying. Ellie Ball (Dignity in Dying Press and Campaigns Manager) saw my work as a powerful element in the current research into the number of suicides and failed suicides taking place as a result of the law as it is. Unfortunately the MS Society does not have a position on assisted suicide so they said I had to choose between the MS Society or Dignity in Dying. I chose the MS Society as my intent is to help those who are in the position I was in. Ellie was very impressive and I committed to talk to the Chairman of the MS Society Nick Winser and a Board member Iain Conn to encourage the Society to have a dialogue with Dignity in Dying. I know Iain and Nick very well. Once press is public I will also reconnect with her.

Tom Seymour

Tom gave a really insightful lecture at Falmouth on September 23rd on pitching your work. After the meeting I pitched my work to him using what I had learned from his lecture. He responded promptly and offered a commitment to pitch my work. We are in dialogue to give him what he needs and will work the detail as the project reaches its MA conclusion. A challenge I have is that the MS Society wants first mover on the story as Lizzie explained you only get one shot with a big release. I have agreed with Lizzie that when we get going with the detail I will put her together to work with Tom to see what they can do to coordinate their efforts. I have promised the MS Society first mover rights. I attach two elements of the pitch. The short description of my work and the longer write up based on Markoisan’s approach to her work ‘Recreating my Father.’

Short Statement –

‘Every bird I see will be part of you’ is an ongoing response to my experience over the last two years as my wife became almost totally paralysed with multiple sclerosis and chose to go to Switzerland in January this year for an assisted death.

Longer Statement –

EVERY BIRD I SEE WILL BE PART OF YOU

Remember how we laughed the first time we touched noses

I loved your hair

I loved your kiss

I loved your feet

You who made me tuck my shirt in

Then your legs went

You fought so hard

Remember that all night walk on Wimbledon Common

You wanted to know what love was

Then your lips felt nothing

I failed you

Then the doctors gave up

You screamed with spasms into the deaf dark night

I wanted to die

Then friends disappeared

I got angry with you for being ill

Then you lost sensations in your body

Only your pain remained

I cried and cried and cried

You wanted to die

To spread your wings and fly

Somehow you smiled still

Then you could not move

I adored you still

You made me say goodbye

You knew how much I loved you

I told you every bird I see will be part of you

You died

I live

Len Williamson 2019-2020

10 Minute Film

There are three levels of experience to my work. The first is the images themselves and the sequencing of them. The second is another layer of input in the form of written words as in the pitch above. It is not intended to explain the work but to stimulate a deeper experience of it. The third level is a combination of the images in a video with a voiceover. This is a heavy part of the current work in progress and is ambitious but achievable I believe. I append the storyboard. This contains the twenty core images and another twenty assembled in groupings which will have a voiceover. The voiceover and other sound effects will be completed by the first week of November.

Storyboard

Critical Review of Practice

I am working through a list of practitioners to position my own work. They include Pedro Meyar, Kimsooja, Nan Golding, Jo Spence, Raghu Rai, Wolfgang Tilmans, Eugene Richards, David Heath, Simon Norfolk, Alec Soth, Tom Hunter, Frances Kearney, Hannah Starkey, Laia Abril, Katherine Borse, Gabriel Orozco, Felix Gonzales Torres, Nigel Shafren, Utta Barth, Breda Beban and Jeff Wall.

Questions

• Will the twenty images plus evidence of gallery exhibition next year, evidence of the MS Society press launch end January, Tom Seymour commitment to pitch and the 10 minute film meet the requirements for a strong submission for the MA award?
• What must be included in the evidence?
• Anything else I am missing?

References

Markosian, Diana. 2014. Inventing my father. Available online at https://www.dianamarkosian.com/father [accessed on September 30th, 2020].

Categories: Final Major Project, Project Development FMP

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.