Monday, 2 December 2013

Assignment 0ne - Notes on Feedback

The feedback for this was mixed (very few issues technically but concern over my engagement) and there is one phrase that took my attention. "From the images you submitted I do get a sense of your neighbourhood but in quite a detached / almost brochure like way."  Although there is a hint of criticism and disapproval I am not surprised by my tutors reaction. I had taken an approach that would illustrate the area but had not explained my intentions in sufficient detail. I had concentrated on a small part of the town rather than the cliched modern townscape and the struggle to encapsulate nine square miles into 12 images. The results would have been similar to any market town in the UK, showing the result of a five year recession and the increase in urban decay. Illustrating the recession and urban decay would of course be open to interpretation and a number of metaphors are available to portray this.The intention was to show a small area in a style that reconstructed the images of Eugene Atget and his work in the old parts of Paris around 1897 - 1927. Atget's work is nowadays considered with the highest regard but at the time he was not offering his work as Art. It was commissioned by the authorities for record images prior to demolition and development and perhaps considered documentary.  His retail business was selling photographs to artists visiting Paris so that they could on their return home paint the scene he had taken. The sign above the door of his shop did not describe himself as a photographer, instead it read "Documents pour Artistes" and being curious about this Man Ray visited him one day and purchased prints and started a  small collection of work that today is kept in George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.

While considering the implications of the feedback I had time to shoot a few images much closer to home. The village has Common Land where "Commoners" have rights to graze cattle. The common is a mysterious place on the west side of the village and at the edge of the Fenland. It is a wet area that attracts mists and apart from the simplest of maintenance is generally unkempt.

Wild Wood




No Road #1

No Road #2


This assignment has not been easy. Following the completion of P2: Landscape I had a year away from The OCA and the result is that I have lost the rhythm and practice of academic photographic study. I have not been able to gauge the pace and the result is trying to work too quickly and get an assignment in, probably ahead of time. I am also finding myself acting too commercially in my thinking. My own business deals with time as a commodity, coupled to resources and a cost. 

My greatest hurdle is to think less literally and be less cautious. I need to experiment more with conceptual ideas and make images that are less predicable. 

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