My tutor provided written feedback for this assignment. As previously, she has commented on both Assignment 3 and the ongoing Assignment 6 Transitions Assignment so I will address each of those in separate posts.
Feedback on Assignment 3
Here are some extracts, with my comments in blue italics:-
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration
From the outset it is clear you are very attracted to this site and have enjoyed making this
work. There are some successful images here but I think you could re-think the edit somewhat
to really tighten it visually, to emphasize conceptual ideas and connotations. For example, the
algae and the apparent density of the water is a really interesting visual quality to this
pond/lake – it could be the time of year, but either way it is fascinating, the way it glows and
reflects surrounding foliage seems unusual – that level of abstraction… this to me conjures up
ideas of the surreal, phenomenological, ghostly, and mysterious goings on which you talk
about when researching its history. Also it focuses the viewer on the texture and tone of the
water, especially when set behind foreground foliage – allowing for contrast and shift in depth
through the image – we’re able to gaze into it and imagine what lies or laid beneath, it almost
has a hypnotic quality too which I think serves your subject very well. We’re able to compare
the real and the reflected, which is very engaging.
I was very pleased to read this as it shows that I was meeting my aims for this Assignment. The reflections are unusual which is why I was so attracted to the water and I have worked on the premise that it has always had this quality. I’ve also discovered additional reference material.
In the rest of this section my tutor provides a detailed analysis of my choices – the majority of which are approved but replacements are suggested for some of them (I have to acknowledge that with a couple of them I was aware there could be a problem with over-exposure but hung onto them!) and I will deal with this in a separate blog post. I had been concerned about including too many similar images, but my tutor actually suggested more images which show the algae and the light on the water. This just goes to show me that if I think I’m taking a risk with an edit then it could be a good idea to be even bolder about it.
It’s great to see the reflection post for the assignment, your presentation section discusses the
approach you will explore, including titles and captions. It is important to use your assignment
from your tutor before preparing for assessment. These kinds of decisions take a surprising
amount of trial and error and are all part of the core creative process.
I certainly found it useful doing this in more detail as it will be an aide-memoire at a future date.
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Comments here mainly relate to Assignment 6 and I will address these in a separate blog post, although advice to stick to one lens on a project is a good one to follow (I had referred to using a tilt-shift lens during my work on Assignment 6 and how this gave the photographs a different ‘look’ as this prime lens has a different effect.) which is an ongoing project, except for:-
Ex 3.3 stands out as an example of you engaging deeply with the materials and sources
provided. You introduce relevant independent research (Handful of Dust exhibition) to counter
and shape your opinion. You also conclude in an objective and open manner, seeing multiple
sides of the debate.
This is helpful feedback and provides a useful pointer towards Assignment 4 the Critical Review in terms of the use of relevant research to counter and shape my opinion and being objective.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
For this assignment you have undertaken a significant amount of research – from investigating
the site itself, it’s history and associated images, literature and ephemera to reading theory
around the land and the subject of ‘spaces and places’ and visual research, looking into the
likes of Naomie Goudal, Esther Teichmann and revisiting John Gossage’s The Pond. You should
really be proud with the breadth of this work Catherine. Though this is fantastic, your reflection
on photographic work here tends to offer an overview of the photographer’s general approach
(useful but make sure that you pull images as illustration and deconstruct them, just like you would a quote).
I thought I’d got the hang of reflecting on photographic work this time and being as succinct as possible as one of the areas for development for Assignment 2 was to try to keep the write-up concise. For Assignment 3 I divided contextual research into several sections (see below) and my draft for the section on photographic work was longer – for example I went into more detail in the way that John Gossage had set out the layout for his book – but I cut it down. Using actual images is more complicated due to copyright issues and the time needed to gain approval for use. This will be less of an issue for Assignment 6 as it spreads over a longer time period.
Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis
There is lengthy documentation of your process here Catherine, which is great to see. All posts
show that a lot of effort and consideration has gone into the making of your final work. The
reflection on your Thames Valley Group meeting was particularly well structured (perhaps a
little long at the start), recording what you took to the meeting, the ideas you were grappling
with and your feedback and critique is well documented, using images as illustration. It was
useful to break up the different posts as you have, this allows you to go into detail without
things becoming unwieldy and hard to follow.
I’m pleased that my idea of breaking up the different posts gained approval so, with that in mind, perhaps there’s now more leeway to go into more detail on photographic work. Regarding the comment on the start of my reflection on Thames Valley group meeting being ‘a little long’, I’m not sure I agree with that. My reflecting on the use of text, led me on to thinking about explanation (of which there often seems to be a lot now in relation to concept) and that’s why I decided on the mini-experiment.
The Heath – Andy Sewell, (re:A6) critique both the work and the design of the book, if considering book formats for assessment
Tessa Bunney – http://www.tessabunney.co.uk/project/farmerflorist/ The way Tessa publishes her projects and introduces them, how she uses different types of images to tell her stories and her way of representing communities who work with the land
I think you’d also enjoy reading about one or two of the films of Margaret Tait, especially The Drift Back and Land Makar, in relation to looking at how people live and work with the land and her exploration of the land around her. https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/newsbfi/lists/remembering-film-poet-margaret-tait
I think the suggested reading mainly applies to Assignment 6 – although Tessa Bunney’s work could be a useful reference if I decided to do more documentary style work on the Artisan sites around Silent Pool.
I have addressed Areas for Development in my responses above (I hope) but the summary is a good aide-memoire.
I’m particularly pleased on the ‘Strengths’ feedback and had certainly made efforts to streamline the historical research for focus and relevance and to make sure I documented the printing process and presentation ideas. I know that I can gain feedback on my prints from meeting of Thames Valley group when our attending tutor is present but still think it would be a good idea at some point for my tutor to actually see prints.