Exercise 5.2: Print Quotes

Project – Digital Printing Choices

This was an interesting exercise to do, especially after recently attending the recent Thames Valley Group Meeting where we looked at “Having a Relationship with your Printer”

I’ve used professional printing companies twice before when preparing for an Exhibition.  The first time was in 2017 when I used a local printer Surrounds who also do printing for students at UCA Farnham http://www.surrounds-art.co.uk/surrey/printing-services.htm.  I had two composite images framed and, as I’d been having problems with my new printer (an A3+ printer but I was repeatedly having black ink splashes on the edges when using A3+ photopaper) I had the two images printed by them. The quote includes the Giclee printing.

I had three of my own photographs professionally printed  for the Open Art Collective Exhibition. This time I used The Printspace. https://www.theprintspace.co.uk/art-printing-prices/ . To begin with I ordered a test print of one of them to make sure the colours were correct and there are full instructions on their website for this, including a really helpful video explaining how to go about this .  See here https://www.theprintspace.co.uk/guides/theprintspace-test-strips/  . The video is very helpful and having the test strip helped alleviate my anxiety about the whole operation. The test prints cost me a total of £13 – well worth the money .  I was also asked to upload the photographs using their own ICC profile for the paper I chose.

Each of the Giclee Epson Semi-Gloss A3+ size prints cost me £18.25 plus £3.65 VAT and delivery of all three cost me £14.39, including VAT for delivery by Overnight Courier.   When my printer works it does produce high quality prints, but it was worth paying for professional printing to get excellent quality at a larger size.  I’d certainly do this again.  All this was achieved online and one thing I would do differently would be to actually visit Printspace to get to know the staff there. I had the framing done by Surrounds though.

The video below explains the range of papers they use

https://youtu.be/SxRuAc2BDmU

I have obtained three up-to-date online quotes from The Printspace, London; Peak-Imaging, Sheffield (who offer a discount for OCA students) and The Artist’s Print Room, Bridgnorth, who also offer a discount to students.

Peak-Imaging, Sheffield :

Prices include VAT.

C-Type Prints. These can be Satin Matt; Gloss; Fujiflex or Metallic. Satin Matt A3 costs £7.25 for one which then reduces according to multiples. You can select for the prints to be Lab Optimised so that the image can be assessed and corrected if necessary by their technicians. JPEG, PNG and TIFF files can be uploaded although uploading Tiffs is not recommended due to the large size.

Giclee Prints. “Photo” or “Fine Art” papers are used (Hannemuhle) and printed using Ultrachrome HDR aqueous pigment inks. An A3 Print would cost £11.16 on Photo Paper or £13.14 on Fine Art Paper.

Custom sizes can be printed but you need to speak to them on the phone about these.

Their information on Monitor Calibration can be found here  https://www.peak-imaging.com/about/monitor.calibration    Their information states that calibrating your computer display to their calibration print (which is delivered free within the UK) is an effective way of ensuring that your digital images are printed the way you see them but this is not necessary if you’re happy for them to optimise the image before printing.  You order the calibration print online and also download the image filed used to create the calibration print.  Once you have both you open the image file in Photoshop, using working colour space of“sRGB” and Adobe Gamma preferably to match your on-screen calibration image with the print. The black (and white) areas on the monitor should match the black (and white) areas on the print, while the greys should be neutral with no discernible colour cast.  You can also gain a far more accurate match by using Advanced calibration, i.e. using their Output profiles with their “Guide to Soft Proofing in Photoshop”.

The Printspace, London:

Any size can be printed and the price charged will be for the smallest print size that your print fits into.  Sample packs are available. Prices given include VAT.

Giclee Prints. A3 costs £12.96.

C type. FujiCrystal Archive Matte or Gloss costs £9.85; Kodak Metallic £11.86 and Fuji Flex £12.83.

The Artist’s Print Room

I hadn’t heard of this company before which is based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.   They offer a !5% discount for students including printing, retouching and editing also a Free one-hour introductory meeting aimed directly at students including an introduction to Photoshop, colour management, calibration and portfolio printing. They describe themselves as the only professional bespoke giclee printing service in the UK to be accredited by Epson Digigraphie, Hannemuhle, Canson Infinity and Ilford. All prints produced on heavy-weight archival papers or canvas with the use of Epson HDX Ultrachrome archival pigment inks. See the information here.

They don’t have an actual price-list online but state that pricing is from just £7 per print. I filled in a form for an A3 print with an internal border, Matte Finish (Canson Infinity Rag Photographique 310 gsm, with print quality 2880 dpi . The price quoted is £26.82. If any reader has tried them I would love to hear a review. I’ve also put a query out on the OCA Photography FB page.

__________________________________

Can an inkjet be treated as a photograph?  Given that home printers can now use archival inks and high quality papers that last for years  I agree with the final sentence on page 154 of the Module Handbook –  If a photographer has painstakingly produced an inkjet print themselves, using their own printer and creating their own colour profiles, then this should be judged as part of their artistic process.

 

https://www.theartistsprintroom.co.uk

https://www.instagram.com/theartistsprintroom/

https://www.instagram.com/theprintspace/

https://www.peak-imaging.com

https://www.theprintspace.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Thames Valley Group Meeting: 18th January 2020

Print Workshop with John Umney – “Having a relationship with your printer”

 

John is an OCA Photography Graduate, currently studying for an MA with Oxford Brooks University.  He has many years of experience with printing his own work for Exhibitions and also ran a Print group which met monthly for a decade. Notes below on learning – all of which was achieved through discussion of prints we’d taken along with us – ones we were happy with or ones which didn’t turn out as we expected:-

  • Having a relationship with your printer includes a human printer as well and it’s important to get to know them; see how they work; explain the outcome you’d like to get and, if possible, show a test print to them.
  • Calibrate your monitor screen
  • Always clean the ink nozzles before you print
  • If you achieve a print you like you also need to know how you got there and how to reproduce it
  • The context for a print is important. How will it fit in a series; where will it be seen – book, gallery wall etc. Think about the distance from the viewer and also how it will be affected by lighting types
  • Re b+w – if the image has warm tones then it will show better on a more ivory coloured photo paper
  • If you have to have a margin on a print (e.g. for OCA assessment) bear in mind that the margin becomes a part of the print. I hadn’t thought of that before.
  • Use test prints which needn’t be on the exact same photopaper so long as you know they provide a good approximation of the final result.

Technical  aspects and practicalities

Consistency:-

  • Use genuine inks rather than compatible.
  • Always use the same paper for prints and the same paper for test prints. John uses Canson Infinity Baryta Photographique 310 gsm – Satin for prints and the HP Everyday photo paper 200 gsm gloss for test prints
  • Use ICC profiles for the paper you use
  • If you use a laptop have a separate screen for it so that calibration will be more constant

Effect on the viewer:

  • A high contrast print can be ‘didactic’ – is that because the brain links with the notion of either/or I’m wondering.
  • A low contrast print adds ‘ambiguity’ – illustrated very much by one of John’s prints from his BoW where the low contrast (which John prefers in his work) has a slightly ‘otherworld” sense to it. What always surprises me is that low contrast work appeals to me yet my eyes always seek clarity.
  • John showed us a large number of his prints before his Degree, which he regards as craft rather than ‘art’, and we discussed this distinction which is something I often tussle with. I decided to do a web search and the first  statements that came up were, “Art is for aesthetics. Craft is for function and they often criss-cross venues. So the answer can be quite subjective”. and, “Craft is about producing a product. Art is concerned with the process of making something and not the end product”. Looking at it another way it’s Art when someone says it is perhaps.

This was a really useful session for me good to meet up with everyone in the group again after the Christmas break and see how they were progressing.  It was also particularly good to see John as he was one of TVG’s founder members and attended from the start until he graduated.

 

Exercise 5.1: Origins of the White Cube

 General points to remember before reading the Thomas McEvilley writing.

  • The peculiarities of an art presentation space influence how we perceive/read images and also ‘demand’ a certain decorum from their visitors.
  • Contemporary galleries attempt to be’‘neutral’ spaces that can be manipulated with accommodate artworks.
  • Their requisite shade is white – hence the term ‘white cube’.
  • Two types of galleries. Commercial, selling and promoting artists’ work, and Public who support by exhibiting work, distributing funding for new commissions and sometimes publishing accompanying monographs/catalogues.
  • Aesthetic appeal crucial for Commercial galleries, less so for Public galleries, but the latter need to justify choices in terms of visitor attraction , show work with relevance to their wider community, plus sustain their reputation for both exhibiting works and reaching out to those who don’t normally visit
  • Group exhibitions can be important, influential and survey contemporary practice which acts as a barometer to gauge the contemporary climate
  • Remember that exhibition curators are subjective in their approach and some are authors in their own right e.g. David Campanay, Gerry Badger and Liz Wells

Key points on Thomas McEvilley’s introduction to Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space by Brian O’Doherty (1999). A collection of the essays which originally appeared in Artforum Magazine in 1976 and 1986.  Accessed at https://archive.org/stream/insidethewhitecube_201703/insidethewhitecube_djvu.txt on 14 January 2020.

I’m mainly quoting throughout but words in bold italics are ones particularly interesting for me.

(p.7) O’Doherty investigates what the context of the modernist gallery does to the art object and the viewing subject and how the context devours the object, becoming it.

I have written earlier regarding the view of Rosalind Krauss (1982) regarding the gallery wall as “the signifier of inclusion” and the way in which painting began to internalise and represent the exhibition wall (see here)

(p8) Comparison by providing examples of the roots of other classes of chambers constructed on similar principles all designed to eliminate awareness of the outside world and difficult to access.

This was an interesting connection for me as I hadn’t previously thought of Egyptian pyramids and surface paintings in paelothic caves in quite that way.

(p9) A kind of sympathetic magic in an attempt to obtain something by ritually presenting something else that is, in some way like the thing that is desired – to promote unchangingness in the real or non-ritual world; cast an appearance of eternality over the status quo in terms of social values, and also  in our modern instance, artistic values – artistic posterity, undying beauty, of the masterpiece. In this way, the white cube suggests the eternal ratification of the claims of the caste or group sharing that sensibility, a certain power structure.

Re the institutionalization of the white cube – we absent ourselves in favour of the Eye and the Spectator ……all that is left of someone who has “died” by entering into the white cube. We give up our humanness and become the cardboard Spectator with the disembodied Eye.  Examples given of things we do not do in classical modernist galleries, as in churches/religious sanctuaries.

Tracing the development of the white cube from the tradition of Western easel painting then redirecting attention to the anti-formalist tradition such as Duchamp’s installations which made the gallery space itself the primary material to be altered by art.

(p.11) The white cube was a transitional device that attempted to bleach out the past and at the same time control the future by appealing to supposedly transcendental modes of presence and power. O’Doherty links this with Plato’s vision of a higher metaphysical realm, utterly disconnected from the life of human experience; which he views as a hidden controlling structure behind modernist aesthetics. His essays are defences of the real life of the world against the sterilized operating room of the white cube – defences of time and change against the myth of the eternality and transcendence of pure form, and his essays both embody and express this defence, whilst illustrating how quickly the newest realizations of today become the classical insights of yesterday.

McEvilley ends by commenting that the rate of change or development continues and is increasing and that articles written today (i.e. 1986) will by 1990, either have been forgotten or have become classic.

Thoughts

I can understand the comparisons with the reverent atmosphere that can prevail, particularly in older Art Galleries with their porticoed entrances, marble columns, lofty ceilings and wood panelling.  The Royal Academy particularly always strikes me in this way with its hushed atmosphere. I’m also thinking of Tate Modern Gallery the size of it and the immensity of Turbine Hall. On the other hand, the Tate does encourage viewer participation in whatever is going on in the latter.

Re the cardboard spectator – Thomas Struth’s Museum Photographs  both illustrate this in their subject and size – dwarfing the human spectators who are viewing works of art, often of a religious nature. Another example is that of Andreas Gursky who exhibited his mammoth works in the Hayward Gallery in 2018 (I wrote about this Exhibition here ) .  The observe of this would be utilising a space so that miniatures works would challenge the space and invite viewers into a more intimate, individual viewing.

I was involved in the organisation and setting up of the Open Art Collective Exhibition in February 2019 https://catherinebankslnd.wordpress.com/category/exhibition-visits/2-andreas-gursky-april-2018/ .  Afterwards I reflected on the way in which the walls of the gallery could swallow up what I had originally thought of as quite large framed photographs.  The white walls and more formal aspect also seemed a constraint in terms of how the work could be presented.  Conversely, In my imagination there were installations on the floor space as well as artwork on the walls but, in fact, the space wasn’t large enough.

Thomas McEvilley also makes a very valid point in terms of rate of change and development of gallery spaces.  The anti-formalist tradition of artists still made use of the white cube by altering it but there are now many alternative, physical, methods of utilising spaces such as pop-up Exhibitions in various localities such as shops or using converted buildings such as defunct courthouses.  For example my colleague OCA graduate Anna Goodchild https://annasyp.wordpress.com/exhibition-2/  exhibited her work in the redundant cells of Devonport Guildhall which was such an appropriate space for her Project One Year which offers a different perspective on life in a UK prison. The small, separate spaces allowed her to present her work in a variety of ways.

 

Postscript 20th January 2020

I’ve had further thoughts upon reflection and responding to comments.

  • Re when we enter the White Cube, “We give up our humanness and become the cardboard Spectator with the disembodied Eye” – when I first read this I immediately thought of the photographer and their camera.  We look at the world through a camera lens and, therefore, distance ourselves from reality.
  • Although I think the metaphor of White Cub linked with ritual and the sanctity of the religion might be over-exaggerated here it did remind me of Mercae Eliade’s writings, e.g. “The man of the archaic society tends to live as much as possible in the sacred or in close proximity to consecrated objects. The sacred is equivalent to a power …..” (Eliade, M. (1957:05) (see here)

 

  

http://thomasstruth32.com/smallsize/photographs/museum_photographs_1/index.html

4. Submission to Tutor – Assignment 6: Transitions

Introduction

 Assignment 6 has been a long time in creation for me.  The idea for it took seed in September 2018 when I was considering possibilities for Assignment 1 (see here ) and followed a signpost in Ether Hill Woods pointing the way to “Viewpoint”.  If I had followed that idea then my title would have been “Disappointed Sublime” because the “Viewpoint” bench was there, but when I sat on it the only view was that of foliage and wispy shrubs straight in front of me. Even experimenting with a Claude mirror, prism and compositing the image with a dramatic waterfall didn’t provide an interesting point of view, so I shelved that idea for Assignment 1, although the “Viewpoint” as a concept itself still intrigued me.

After considering possible subjects for Assignment 6 (as here )  , I decided to focus on Ottershaw Memorial Fields which has paths up to the woods on the top of Ether Hill , especially as I had realised that views do emerge from the “Viewpoint” as the Seasons change and trees leave and unleave. (see here) .  I took many photographs,  also creating some small videos of activities in the Memorial Fields and events in the woods themselves, during which time I wrote three progress reports for my tutor, including thoughts on relevant photographers, and received much helpful feedback and suggestions. (see here)

Photographic Influences

My major conceptual influence has been the work of Simon Roberts, particularly his idea of landscape as a stage and his interest in human presence in a space – how we enact aspects of ourselves within it. Susan Trangmar’s project A Play in Time and her resulting book and video film gave me the encouragement to experiment with short videos.  Looking back at previous blog posts I’m reminded now of Trangmar’s comments on film which jumps backwards and forwards in non-linear fashion rather than following a chronological cycle and of her need, “to construct a piece of work which had its own internal rhythm and shape”.  This is what I have continued to tussle with in thinking of ways to edit my own work as there’s a strong part of me which wants to create a photobook which moves around in time.  Andy Sewell’s book The Heath  works in this way with a flow of images that initially appeared random but then sank into my consciousness as though I was walking alongside him and absorbing the landscape.  Jem Southam’s work focuses on place through time – the same scene through the seasons and tracking its changes as parts of it grow and decay.

The Brief

This was to respond to the idea of ‘transitions’ within the landscape, recording changes through an extended period of time and then to address the notion that the landscape is an evolving dynamic system. At an early stage my tutor encouraged me to take a wide view of my chosen area and this has very much suited the way I work. I do tend more towards lateral thinking and casting a wide net to begin with until some particular aspect becomes figural. Whilst this suits me I am slowly learning to control how I might get drawn into less relevant byways of contextual research.

I definitely think that landscape is an evolving dynamic system with its cycles and rhythms, both natural and man-made as humankind ‘intervenes’ in Nature; reshaping it for its own purposes.  Such shaping is fairly benign on the Memorial Fields and Ether Hill as the Council continue to follow their five year plan to enhance the area by improving paths and increasing the biodiversity of the site by removing non-indigenous invasive rhododendron bushes. I have been really fascinated to observe this happening as I have recorded my own relatively small area through around sixteen months.  I go there almost daily anyway with  my dogs but this Assignment has made me look more closely at what happens around me. Seasons come and go as the Earth rotates around, and tilts towards, the sun, creating the global cycle of fluctuations that we know as ‘Seasons’ and affix dates to,  although the Seasons themselves actually flow and merge with each other in their own slow cyclical rhythm, despite the fact that we suddenly become aware of blossom, thinking “It’s Spring”, or snow, thinking “It’s Winter”.

Alongside the Seasons I’ve taken note of shorter transitions, as users of the area perform their own short-lived interventions and enact their own rituals. Over the past few years I’ve become used to seeing ‘shelters’ built with available branches – some of them quite elaborate – from what I’ve gathered they’re now quite common in many places. I’ve observed them during the course of this Assignment but have also seen quite different interventions which have quickly appeared and disappeared. Around Christmas time 2018 a small tree on Ether Hill was decorated ‘in memorium’. Spring 2019 brought the scattering of memorial flowers in another area; these memento-mori contrasting with the later white Spring blossoms on trees.

The Assignment

My fifth edit of photographs resulted in 68 images   plus images set aside (benches and seasonal details) for potential inclusion as ‘punctuation’ in a future narrative. I’m still not entirely sure of my direction and so the images presented now are very much a ‘draft’ idea for discussion with my tutor.  As part of a current sixth edit I looked at Winter and Spring and printed small images of my choices so that I could move them around and see how they might fit together. These two small, separate series show the seasonal changes as each begins ,ends and link with each other through images of the “Viewpoint”, forked birch and different human interventions. I have also included one of the benches at the entrance to the hill and some small seasonal detail.

Winter and Spring on and around Ether Hill

Contact Sheets :

Images:

Winter

Spring

I’m not sure if these two series contain enough narrative coherence, or if the seasonal details work, but the knowing is in the doing so I feel as if I have taken a step further along the way.

I’m already thinking that another edit could be a set of series showing seasonal changes for the Viewpoint, entrance benches and particular trees but will await feedback from my tutor on this.

 

http://susantrangmar.com/about/biography.html

http://www.andysewell.com/the-heath-1

http://www.seesawmagazine.com/southam_pages/southam_interview.html

http://www.simoncroberts.com/

https://www.simoncroberts.com/tag/saatchi-gallery/

Trangmar, S. A Play in Time (2008) Brighton, Photoworks

 

 

3. Editing Process for Assignment 6

Looking back I see that I created a total of 29 contact sheets for the three sets of photographs taken between July 2018 and November 2019 and the total of images taken was 346.

Second Edit

I had taken many similar images to begin with on the basis that I might want to layer some into composites so knew decisions would have to be made on those at some point.  For the time being I kept them as they were for editing further down the process as I was hoping that, through the editing, I would gain a clearer idea of how I wanted to proceed.  What I mainly had in mind was presentation as a book but perhaps there could be other groupings of the same areas in different seasons – thinking here of the tree that became a Christmas Memorial tree for a few days; the Spring Memorial flowers; the ‘Viewpoint”; the forked birch tree and the area where a shelter was briefly constructed near to an installed bird box. Each of these are, after all, a chapter in the overall narrative of Ether Woods.

Other questions were should I include people or not and, if so, which people?  Should I allow photographs taken in the Memorial Fields below to merge with those in Ether Woods?  Where is the boundary between both those – the beginning of paths, the benches, or the division between mown grass and trees? I put those questions to one side for the moment whilst I proceeded to a third edit which involved deconstructing and reforming the monthly series into Seasons so I could see the changes in light, tones and hues more clearly.

Third Edit

The breakdown of Seasons and further pruning reduced the number of photographs to 228. I decided, for the time being, to begin with Summer as Summer 2018 was when I began with the Memorial Fields and Ether Woods as a subject. To keep a clearer focus on what was happening in the woods I then extracted images of playground and sporting activities. I also separated out a series of smaller seasonal details of leaves, blossom and chestnuts, most signposts and benches which could be used as appropriate ‘punctuation points’ for potential series.  Contact sheets of benches (there are two versions of image 3007) and smaller details are below

 

This left me now with 151 images within the woods.

Fourth Edit

This edit resulted in a further reduction to 90 images, still grouped in Seasons, some of which span two years, and I think that I will need to make a decision whether to separate Seasons into separate years, which I now feel inclined towards but will discuss with my tutor. Contact sheets below.

Fifth Edit

By the time of the fifth edit I had decided to prune images which were similar on the basis that I was unlikely to be considering multi-exposure/composites at this stage.  This reduced the images down to 68 – remembering though that this did not include any images I might use from the benches over the seasons and detail images. 

Summer :        12

 

Autumn:          27

 

Winter:            13

 

Spring:              16

 

The Seasons are bound together by images of the path; forked birch; benches on both the periphery and overlooking the viewpoint; the viewpoint; the memorial tree with and without decorations; the clearing with logs and signs – yet each Season is distinctive, particularly Autumn where the trees on the periphery flourish their colours.  I’m thinking that Autumn could form a separate series within itself, although of course, Winter has the memorial tree and snow; Spring has the memorial flowers and bird box clearing.  Summer, at least in my photographs plays much less a part.

At this point I decided to leave the editing until the next day with the hope that my thoughts might gel overnight as to which way to go next as I needed to produce at least one series for submission to my tutor. I will also reconsider the some of the benches and seasonal details that I extracted earlier.

Tutor Formative Feedback on Progress Report Assignment 6

 

My tutor’s Formative Feedback related to Assignments 4, 5 and 6.  Extract below in respect of Assignment 6 – Transitions.

Assignment 6/Transitions

Progressing well, keep pushing – you may need to shoot in conditions that are not within your comfort zone in order to complete the unit in time. Looking over your recent edits/ contacts, I am less drawn to the images of the occupied cricket pitch or spaces that are explicitly occupied or used for sport, and more to the images that chart some of the traces of human interference in the landscape, such as the strange branch sculptures and pathways etc. I’m not sure the notion of the ‘green man’ works as a concept when viewed cold so might need a bit more work to align and articulate. You’re thinking about different approaches to the edit – continue mining what you might mean by this green man idea, and use this as a guide for a wide selection that you can live with and revisit, questioning what it really is you want to say and using that, and technical quality, to inform the final edit.

 I’ve had consistent feedback from my tutor about her preference for images charting traces of human ‘interference’ in the landscape – my own term for this is ‘interrupted landscape’.  I’ve continued to include the sporting spaces and playground areas in case I do use them at some point and as part of tracking changes over time.  However, looking at this in a different way, sporting activities are pretty ubiquitous in parks and recreation grounds whereas human interaction with woods/trees is more idiosyncratic and, therefore, of more interest .  I have also continued to create short videos with my phone camera and so, potentially, I could use some of the still photographs within a compilation video –  not to submit for assessment but for my own pleasure and practice in video compilation.

 “Green man” Nîmes, France © Przemyslaw Sakraida 2010
from https://commons.wikimedia.org

Norwich cathedral cloisters roof boss
from https://commons.wikimedia.org

 The term ‘Green Man’ is thought to have been applied by Julia, Lady Raglan in her 1939  article about foliate heads or marks which can be found in some churches and graveyards. There is an interesting article here http://greenmanenigma.com/theories.html  which provides an overview of theories and interpretations of such features which can be found in many countries without coming to a specific conclusion as to their ‘meaning’ as symbols of life and nature; fertility; death and rebirth; demon or as artistic interpretation; survivor from other mythologies or primeval archetype central to our relationship with Nature.

However, “A common link in nearly all of the legends and myths which have been suggested as precursors of the Green Man is that of metamorphosis and transformation” and that fits for me with “Transitions” and also my own small green man who has sprouted with leaves all over since I first photographed him. Unfortunately, as he has grown in size it has become increasingly different to get a series of technically good photographs of him because he is slightly behind a larger tree which he has moved closer to as his branches and leaves have grown. I’ve adjusted as much as possible and converted to square format to show the change in growth.

Onwards now to the editing process. Thanks also to my tutor and OCA Support for agreeing to my suggestion that I submit Assignment 6 before Assignment 5, giving me more time to work on the latter during January.

 

 

http://greenmanenigma.com/theories.html

 

 

Tutor Formative Feedback on Proposal for Assignment 5 – Self-directed Project

My tutor provided feedback on Assignment 4 (Critical Review), my proposal for Assignment 5 (Self-directed Project) which was the subject of Coursework Exercise 4.6 and my progress report on Assignment 6 (Transitions).  The relevant extract relating to Assignment 5 Proposal is below:-

Ex 4.5: Assignment 5 Project proposal:

 A well-written proposal even showing test shots that have been discussed with peers (do write
up reflection on their feedback!). Some ambitious starting points but a really interesting basis
for a project. You’re right to see A5 as exploratory in this way as you are short of time –
however you will still need to submit a coherent set of pictures/rationale. Seeing your proposal and images led me to consider Well’s mindset in Woking and what he may have drawn on in the landscape – the strange natural occurrences in the ground beneath our (and perhaps his) feet – an imagined alternate world/space. I think images 1, 3, 4 (and even 5 to some extent) are really interesting in relation to this. I would keep your shoots as simple as possible – experiment but be mindful as it could cause the final outcome to be rushed.

 I’m pleased and relieved that my tutor picked up on consideration of Wells’s mindset whilst he was in Woking because this is what interests me – his reaction to the landscape there, particularly Horsell Common, and his thoughts on the World as it was then, e.g. his views on the behaviour of the British towards the indigenous people in Tasmania and his interest in science and technology – all of which became the seeds of War of the Worlds

 Suggested reading/viewing:
Context

I want to take your attention back to John Angerson’s English Journey, which I see echoes of in
your A5 tests. I think re-thinking this and his later work On This Day and 108.71 Acres would be
helpful. In terms of future research into more elaborate works that deal with fact/fiction and
alternate realities, see Joan Fontcuberta and also The Institute of Critical Zoologists.

I didn’t know of the work of John Angerson so am grateful for this suggestion as his work is most relevant and I will write further in another post.  I have previously written about Joan Fontcuberta and the Institute of Critical Zoologists and agree that this more complex work would be very appropriate should I decide to expand beyond the exploratory project in the future. Small steps though at this stage taking note of my tutor’s advice to “Focus energies and efforts as you reach your unit deadline, extended tangents in deep research or experimentation could be distracting”.  I will keep it simple, walk observe and photograph what draws my attention.