Having received my tutor report for A4 from Robert, I must admit I felt reassured that the conceptual was well received going forward. The time gap between A3 and interventions for me made the assignment take on an added pressure to deliver after the big build up. This was compounded by the limited time I could undertake the work so overall I feel happy about the feedback and glad I continued to take risks. And now going on with A5, to continue producing a few more formations and interventions so I can select from a wider group of case studies is a clear enough brief.
I appreciated the initial point by Robert that I am confident and prepared to defend my work. I have come across other circumstances where ideas are given up on account of feedback. For me it is about dialogue, feedback is only feedback, you can choose to take it on board or leave it. But also I see it as a challenge to counter argue the case for ideas, if you believe in them or take a pleasure in what one does. For instance Robert points to my earlier Asian landscape work as something I have evolved from. But I wouldn’t dismiss them. Conceptually I believe far more depth and originality has gone into the theory of my BoW, but I still take aesthetic pleasure in the technical craft of manual camera work. It may in comparison be a more superficial image but my academic studies is not the forum I would present this work for review anymore.
For me the connection between all work I do, and have done, is about the arrangement of space. That is my area of interest in all types of photography I undertake, and carries over from my background in design. The research and dialogue I have had with Robert, and my other tutors has been one of enriching the ideas. At this level of study it is important to declare your passion and to find ways to engage with it rather than see the work as a chore. It is your practice after all!
I agree that the use of image and text, in my case the indexing of time hand-written on the print could be too authorial. Maybe that is something I can consider leaving out from the documentation images. I slightly disagree with Robert’s point about all art being political though. I carried out my interventions also in commercial spaces. Mann Island is private land and one of the first pieces to be removed, something noted in the documentation images. I exercised my right to act in the public space, and the autonomy to not depend on outside interests is more radical, linking with the role of the street artist desire to not ask permission. The trade-off being that I relinquish ownership and responsibility for its fate. But in terms of political connotations, I have no interest in that. Whether through inspiration from Bauhaus to Ma, which may have their own political background, my curiosity lies in how space is arranged in those different theories and synthesising this in my work. Perhaps connecting to my CS, this is the result of a globalised world. So maybe political in that sense, but a product of the world I live in and the period of art and art theory rather than a direct provocation.
Having come full cycle from A1 to A4, Robert suggests that I return to referencing the Eastern philosophies I quoted at the start. It is true that I have deviated from them during the module, however I would say that is more due to taking on board the various reading and research points to develop contextually. My own enjoyment of the subject, shadow and surface, hasn’t changed since A1, however the context has come from the additional theory and I hope demonstrates an element of contextual growth. But it is a good point because when I come to write my artist statement it should be more how and why I engage with shadows on a personal level and not bogged down in critical theory. During my interview recently with Sarah Fisher, director at Open Eye Gallery, she said the personal was present in the artwork, but doesn’t come across in the text (which was based on A3). She advised as a personal statement that I avoid the overuse of ‘art bollocks’, the theory is good to talk about later, but not to introduce yourself as it looks as though the work illustrates critical theory rather than something autonomous. It is relevant at the moment as I am starting the first exercises for SYP and a good reason I wanted the two modules to dovetail.
Robert suggested I look at Black Square (Malevich, 1913) previously in my tutor report back in September for A1. At the time it was more to do with me using the 1:1 crop factor on the image (see fig. 1). I can take this as my final research point outside of any remaining coursework in Part four.
Otherwise with the reassurance and confidence I take from this milestone I’m looking forward to concluding this body of work and consider how best to carry it forward.
List of illustrations
Figure 1. Malevich, K (1913) Black Square [Painting] At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/kazimir-malevich-1561/five-ways-look-malevichs-black-square (Accessed on 17.09.18)