Monthly Archives: October 2015

Assignment Five Submitted

My final assignment submission has gone off to Clive today!  A draft set of Introductory Notes for Assessment, covering the two BoW projects; PDF/video versions of the Textbook book; the ‘Stanley Quest’ website; A4 prints of all the ‘Portraits’ and some of the ‘Textbook’ images; and an ‘Evaluation’ for my Body of Work module – there’s plenty for him to get his teeth into!!  The ‘Evaluation’ is a normal experience at this stage in most OCA modules, but it feels particularly significant for this module and we’re required to write 1500-2000 words.  I did wonder whether to make mine ‘public’ here, but perhaps a more appropriate approach would be to draw out some of the main points from it.

  • There is no question about my overall response – ‘positive’.  The module has worked well for me and I have made significant progress, gaining a great deal of confidence.  That’s confidence in the work and confidence in presenting or talking about it; something that comes as much from Contextual Studies as the development within this module, I must add.  There was one stage where I was struggling to articulate the link between the two, but I got there, and the experience made me more confident in what I was doing.
  • I came out of L2 feeling that a creative ‘voice’ was developing, based around constructed, largely studio-based image-making, and that is the way things have continued.  I originally expressed some concerns about being wholly ‘studio-based’; and also about a tendency to get into ‘over-intellectualising’ the work.  In the end, like it or not, I have produced two projects which, although certainly able to be appreciated in all sorts of ways, are essentially conceptual and highly constructed. C’est la vie!
  • There is a slight regret/concern that the work lacks what I can best describe as emotional resonance!  I set off on a mini ‘personal journey’ early in the module and found no inspiration.  I played around a little with constructing images that ‘responded to events’, but took it no further.  My projects could be interpreted as somewhat cold, detached, at times light-hearted.  So much of what my fellow students produce is about personal responses – mine is not.  I’m not sure whether that matters or is of significance in assessing what I’ve done, but it is worth noting!
  • One question that I reflected in early in this blog has certainly been resolved.  I am not; possible never have been; and maybe never will be ‘a photographer’!  Well, that depends on definition, of course (and tongue is in cheek as I write); but I would describe myself as a contemporary artist who works with photographic images.  And if I am going to make anything of my work in Sustaining Your Practice, that is the cloak I will put on.
  • The ‘Evaluation’ covers influences, which are well enough covered previously in here, so I won’t repeat; and also asks about plans for the work.  ‘Textbook’ is emerging as a book, as expected, and I can see the potential to self-publish within SYP, maybe.  ‘Portraits’ is a little more complicated, as I’ve also discussed in here before – and may end up side-lined after assessment.  By far the most important ‘plan’ must be to find ways for a lot more people to see the work.  I’ll never know whether the confidence expressed earlier is well-founded until the work has been exposed to more ‘criticism’ and I’ve had significantly more feedback.  Which, conveniently, is the whole point of SYP – so, onwards and upwards with that!

… and on that note; I have just set up a Blog for SYP.  There is nothing there as yet, but if anyone reading this is interested (and patient – nothing much may happen for a while), it is here stansocasyp!

‘Textbook’–the book!

Textbook Book

A few weeks ago, I posted a piece about the planning of a ‘dummy book’ for Assignment Five.  This is the outcome.  I’m not going to record all the process of planning, printing, binding etc here; it’s all in a notebook that I’ve kept.  But this is an entirely hand-made, home-printed/bound/backed ‘dummy’.  You can see a video of me turning through the pages here ‘Textbook’ Book on YouTube or a PDF slideshow that shows off the images rather better here ‘Textbook’ Book Slideshow.

It isn’t perfect, by any means.  I used a paper that I like but which is way too heavy.  That has meant a compromise in the way I’ve done the binding and results in some ‘gaps’ here and there where the signatures meet (see below).  It may look quite charming, in a hand-made sort of way, but I’d prefer to avoid it in a final version.

Textbook Book-10

There is one print misalignment across a double-spread that I didn’t spot until it was bound (damn!).  The backing is a bit piecemeal, just to get something presentable for the assignment submission – and I might still bind the final version into the original cover of the book itself, who knows.

However, overall, I’m actually quite pleased with it as an ‘outcome’ for the project.  I haven’t edited out many images in the end because, as I’ve said in this blog before, I feel that all of them have been created to contribute to the project and, I think, the book stands up as a lengthy format that gives the viewer plenty to look at and think about. I sense that, if I was browsing photo-books and picked this up, it would intrigue and interest me; I would want to spend some time looking through it.  It is certainly possible to drop into it at any point and find something that may seduce the viewer to want more.  But the overall sequencing is something that I’ve thought about and planned – as discussed in the previous post about planning.  I hope that there are rises and falls; calms and crescendos; occasional surprises; and enough to interest the viewer as well as making them think. Deliberately late in the book – around image 62 in the slideshow – there is a sort of artists statement (see below).  I prefer that the viewer sees most of the images before reading this but I think some form of statement is required.  It isn’t right at the end, but is followed by a kind of postscript of further images that might add another twist.

Textbook Book-62

So – broadly happy with the outcome and the pdf slideshow will form part of my Assignment Five submission.  I’m hoping I might get the opportunity to show the actual book to a few people for feedback as well.