My initial thoughts when approaching the first pages of Sustaining Your Practice, was that there are many exercises I have undertaken in a professional capacity beforehand. So it is entirely feasible that I could be efficient in working though tasks such as writing an artist statement or building up a CV. In addition, having entered and been successful in professional awards and hold an Associateship in Fine Art with the British Institute of Professional Photography, I am used to presenting my work and receiving feedback. My experience in holding exhibitions and being published means I don’t have a primary ambition to have my work realised in such a way as may be under different circumstances.
So at first I wondered what is my goal/purpose in getting the most out of this module? My approach in the past towards being self-sustaining has always been that I work with a professionalism that enables me to pursue my own areas of research, creating projects and bodies of work that are a visual representation of my way of working. As a result, work and play are interdependent.
During my time in academia, I have undertaken fewer commercial assignments. And at this time I am also on sabbatical due to the birth of my daughter in April and subsequent relocation to Kuala Lumpur. As such I have noticed a disconnect from much of my previous experience. Having fewer distractions has in many ways helped me to make the most out of my study experience, and I have largely been able to enjoy the company of fellow students without my experience intruding on the discussions.
But now in the final module I see an opportunity to bring together my professional experience with what I have learnt in my academic studies. In someways I perceive SYP as a time of renewal, to relaunch/rebrand myself back into professional life. This means I can play around with the content of my portfolio and reconsider what kind of work I would like to undertake in future. Perhaps it will also be a way to reflect on how my Body of Work can continue to be a visual representation of my way of working.
I have been using my professional website as a Learning Log for Level 3 studies, contrasting with the LL in my previous module, Documentary 2, which for me is now obsolete. I see it as a fluid format that I can continue to work with once my assessment is complete. For assessment I can remove certain content that is not relevant, but later I can add contacts and services. I found my time working on Contextual Studies very rewarding, particularly in my current situation. So I intend to continue to read, write and research in areas of interest by later evolving my LL into a more general article style blog.
I believe the biggest challenge, apart from time, will be to manage my own expectations. In developing my BoW I have considered some bigger ideas for future project proposals, if the work is well received. However I need to be realistic in what is feasible for output in assessment, and what I can physically undertake in my current personal circumstances. This will be the primary subject of dialogue with my tutor throughout this module.