Assignment 4 Feedback and Reflection

Strengths

  • Good technical work – particularly lighting for this subject
  • Well-acquitted coursework

Areas for development

  • Expand research base to include other media
  • Log/evidence interaction with peers

Response to Feedback

Note assignment 4 at this point had been completed before assignment 3, owing to the lockdown

I think this is the point I thought, “Why am I doing this course?” – this was it I had reached my low point, after considering my options for this assignment, I had wanted to avoid another portrait shoot, even though part of my independent research was just that. I had chosen the subject of flower photography as an extension of work I had previously done some years back. In some ways I wanted to see how the two compared. In addition, it also linked in with my love of horticulture at large, although I’m still largely a beginner in this area. I had great expectations for this assignment and the reaction to it was lukewarm at best.

It was felt that the approach to the some of the exercises was rushed except for 4.4, where it seemed I had given this more consideration. In my mind this was the part I felt really engaged with and the more suited to the environment we were living in at the time. 4.3 I had played around with setting up a little makeshift studio for the egg or stone exercise.

But then my tutor gave some advice that made perfect sense to me and made me realise that the exercises are perfect opportunity to act as a precursor to the main assignment. They are each an assignment of their own, each one building on the one before and culminating in the main assignment. Something to take forward when I start the next part and subsequent units.

I think I sat for the longest time the day after, just reflecting on what my tutor had said, admittedly feeling a little under pressure and a little sorry for myself, but then I started to think about the exercises and how I felt about them. To be fair I can look back at a lot of work that I do in that context and have other ideas about how to execute them, That is the beauty of photography, there is always an opportunity to revisit, but more importantly learn lessons so you don’t repeat mistakes. It seems timing had a part to play in this being ever mindful of the scant amount of time I had remaining to complete the unit.

One of the other things highlighted was my use of social media to gauge feedback and in the context of this course may not be useful in generating the right responses in favour of peer feedback. I may not have made it clear at the time that there were a couple of responses from the initial images sent out and in response to the two assignments I had posted which were positive. In addition, I was advised that I could research by using 3 viewpoints to synthesize my findings using critic/curator responses, the artist and ultimately my own.

Finally, the research was lacking and there was a missed opportunity to explore other mediums as part of my research to this assignment, admittedly this is something I had not considered before. If there was a reason for lacking the emotional context needed, the answer was right there and funnily enough whilst I was reflecting an answer was staring me right in the face. My tutor also suggested some links that might be useful:

https://archives.rgnn.org/2018/06/08/chaotic-stillness-17th-century-dutch-still-life-paintings/

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nstl/hd_nstl.htm

Classical painting

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/past/dutch-flowers/dutch-flower-painting-in-detail

The suggested reading made me consider a slightly different approach. In response to this I got an idea from looking at a vase of dead flowers and started to consider the idea of life and death in the very short life cycle of a flower, the was a strange beauty in the aged nature of the bloom, which then started me looking at the idea of flora from a historical and mythological context. From there I started to consider presenting the images as diptychs which I have put an example of below. You can read more on my reworked assignment here.

https://archives.rgnn.org/2018/06/08/chaotic-stillness-17th-century-dutch-still-life-paintings/

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nstl/hd_nstl.htm

Classical painting

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/past/dutch-flowers/dutch-flower-painting-in-detail

In response to this I got an idea from looking at a vase of dead flowers and started to consider the idea of life and death, which then started me looking at the idea of flora from a historical and mythological context. From there I started to consider presenting the images as diptychs which I have put an example of below. You can read more on my reworked assignment here.

Suggested Resources and Reading

Allison Watkins

https://www.allisonwatkins.com/

Sarah Jones

https://aperture.org/blog/black-rose-garden-sarah-jones-anton-kern-gallery/

Robert Mapplethorpe’s flower images. (Note: there is some explicit adult content elsewhere on the site)

http://www.mapplethorpe.org/portfolios/flowers/?i=1

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