The grades are in, the comments received. I’m surprised. Pleasantly so.
Last year I received a couple more marks than this, initially I was disappointed until I thought further, thought deeper about what that meant. The first year grade was some way off from my degree grade, but then my degree was in photography, the MA is fine art. They’re different things (although it can be argued as being part of the same due to my approach). There’s also a step up in level.
This year I was worried about my input. I didn’t want to submit any of the Le Loup work in case I needed it next year, so I relied on a couple of other projects that were the product of far less work. I expected, no, I hoped to scrape though, but as I said, it was only a couple of marks down from last year. Perhaps I should’ve been more disappointed last year...?
Anyway, in terms of feedback:
Well done on a professionally presented submission.
Your themes of journeying/travel are developing into a consistent voice for your enquiries, and with the Le Loup series that you have started to develop a more personally referenced approach.
Your contextual research is very good, but be cautious this does not over determine your making. This is now time to step outside your comfort zone, to push your ideas and be more experimental in your making practice.
Your thoughtful contributions are always valued in group sessions.
Professionally presented - I wouldn’t want it to be anything else. Without the presentation, it would seem like nothing. Or that I didn’t care.
Time to step outside my comfort zone? I’ve been doing that all year! Well, I thought I had anyway!! Making images that use technologies other than a camera, exhibiting in a foreign land... not my comfort zone at all! How do I become more experimental in my making though, now that is something truly to ponder. Can I become more experimental?
In the resolution of Drive you have submitted both the book and the large scale prints in the archival box, we wonder what role the prints play when the book seems to be a more successful realisation of the idea, and to an extent the prints could be seen to undermine the book.
In the work After Stephen Shore II might there have been a way of presenting these ideas that was more of an imaginative transformation from his originals by making more of the way the images had been obtained by you.
Fair play, the prints from Drive didn’t feel like they were what should have been the end result, but the truth is I wasn’t sure about the book. I liked it, but others didn’t. I was trying to hedge my bets, and in doing so it appears I’ve shot my foot off a little. More faith required... As for ASSII, hmm. I’m not sure where I should’ve gone with that then. I deliberately left street names in, I left in the GSV irregularities. Others have photographed their screen to get display artefacts, but these don’t appear to be as obvious on an Apple retina screen, and I’ll be honest I didn’t have the time to try this due to the house move. Maybe I can give it a go soon - my office is close to being sorted now (bookcase arrives on Tuesday, whoop whoop). ASSII was a making day exercise that I’ve elevated - it has potential I believe, even if it is overly indulgent and reliant on knowing Shore’s originals.
Your practice is very well informed by your knowledge and understanding of photography and its contemporary context; we encourage you to bring in more of your own voice and experiences such as those you mention in your journal. Thinking about your first year submission we encourage you to have a broader critical engagement with what photographs might be and how they might be materialised.
So where will photography be heading? It looks like Arles and other recent curatorial attempts are exploring this. OK, let’s look into that.
Contextual Study – you have a deep knowledge of your form and subject matter, this study brings together historical and contemporary perspectives and amply demonstrates the themes and interests behind your work. You might you have made much more mention of videos, blogging, GoPros and Webcams? This well constructed and fluently written, with good use of own voice and citations well integrated. A good selection of illustrations. The conclusion is a bit weak.
TYB evaluation athoughtful and thorough reflection on project in progress.
Your presentations are well executed and well researched.
You have ensured the presentation of work is professional.
Moving forwards with an exhibition to work towards at the end of the course, you will need to think carefully about the communication of concepts and content through display and consideration of audience engagement.
My conclusion a bit weak? I have to acknowledge that the conclusion was a bit rushed. I wrote most of the essay prior to moving house, then things ran away with me and I lost my train of thought in the push to the finish. I won’t be moving home again this coming year (I hope!), so I can deal with that. The exploration of other technologies can take place in the final year, see what I can do with that.
So, there we go - happy and relieved, although I know I could do better if I allowed myself to push and to take the time to look beyond the sphere of photography.