Reflection: Feedback networks

Although at this stage my BoW is not completely resolved, I have shared the latest assignment and discussed the way of seeing with various peers and professionals I know. Below is a selection of those I have discussed the work with, asking for their own interpretation and how it can be viewed in the world.

Daniel Noon - Creative director

Daniel is a long time friend and founder of Hauss, a creative studio in Malmö, Sweden. He works on graphic design and way-finding projects for commercial clients, along with opening his studio to events and exhibitions. Dan’s way of seeing space distribution is via a different media but says that:

“Hauss is open to trying different things, it is a space rather than a gallery. We run monthly events with many disciplines, from performance art to multidisciplinary work. Recently we had an artist make a mural on our front window during a vernissage with drinks and a DJ.

Your concept has rules and conditions so it is not something that can work year round, especially in a place like Malmö! But in summer we have the light coming through all afternoon. So you could start a mosaic and see the day evolve into a event. It is not a traditional media concept you are working with, not just hanging a frame on a wall. And that is the kind of thing that Hauss is interested in collaborating with.”

Gina Lundy - OCA tutor

Gina is my tutor for the final module, Sustaining your Practice. While my tutor for BoW, Robert gives me the official feedback for interventions, I shared the outline of the work with Gina as I have enrolled in SYP now to dovetail with my other modules. She says:

“I enjoy the wider process shots but my concern would be that including too many may dilute the final images, the mystery is gone and everything has been explained to me as viewer. A few clues are helpful, however. I’m less keen on the bike shadows - too visually cluttered compared with the earlier images. The strongest set for me are where the geometry and shadow play are congruent.”

Jenny Porter - Project manager

Before I left Liverpool I caught up with Jenny Porter, project manager at Metal in Liverpool. The art space acts as a catalyst for art and artists to create innovative societal change. I first worked with Jenny on a Liverpool Council art project back in 2013 and I interviewed her as part of receiving professional feedback for A1 in SYP. She says:

“Well I definitely think it has a relationship to architecture. Commissions in the public space I could see in places like waiting rooms and atriums of an office building where you want to create a point of contemplation that would lend itself well to.

It has a place in the contemporary art cannon because of some of the references you are talking about. It feels that in the public sector it could have a place in a space like ours which offers residencies. Residencies are an interesting one. The typical nature of them are about responding to new surroundings. It would also be interesting to approach institutions with the idea of collaborating with another artist.

There’s lots of different ways you could take it. It’s quite interesting just the interventions within the street. It would work in a biennial if it fit the theme. Or by your own invitation if you weren't looking to profit in any way they are a unique take on street art coming across these fragments of time.”

More detailed feedback on the BoW and the kinds of challenges I would likely encounter I will present in A1.

Johnathan Hall - OCA student

Of all my OCA peers, I asked specifically Johnathan to give his input on interventions because we have had a constructive dialogue during much of my studies. In Documentary 2 we joined the same study group and are very familiar with the work each has produced, together with our critical thinking. Johnathan and I have discussed the public space in a case study during our last module and he has recently joined L3 while I have been on a break. Johnathan says:

“I see it as a genius progression of taking your shadowgrams concept into the world. I think you have integrated it into the 'real' world really well, for example with your first image the incidental chewing gum on the ground especially adds depth towards your concept. Also the leaf on the ground. For me there was a moment of inertia where I could see the shadowgram came from the same world but of course the shadows have since changed. I feel the reference to Richard Long's A Line Made By Walking (1967) is particularly relevant as your work is very ephemeral and wouldn't really exist without the aid of a camera to document it.”

Jonathan Hall - MA graduate in media studies

Not to be confused with OCA student J Hall, Jonathan is a friend of mine who is a freelancer in video production and just completed his masters in media studies at Liverpool Hope University. He collaborated on my major project on James Turrell last year. Jonathan is a theoretical sounding board for me and due to his academic experience is one of my first point of contacts when proofreading my written work. He commented on the interventions, saying:

“This looks great! The strong shadow line, in context with the object that casts it, allows your mind to create the connections and fill in the gaps. The viewer sees both the memory of the past, and the present, as fragmentary parts of one whole image. The shadowgrams have the appearance of real-life glitches, the one by Mann Island especially! I enjoyed reading your thought-processes, I think all are valid and multifaceted!”

Sara Porter - Professional photographer

My friend Sara Porter is a successful commercial photographer in the North West of England. She works on assignments of both people and place.  The creative play in her artwork is seen to feed into the commissions because her passion for her clients extends to making simple assignments more fun. Working with her partner Gordon, Sara knows that in order to do more of what you want, you need to show you care about what you do and make things happen. She says:

“As a photographer the interest for me is twofold, my initial interest is taken by the technical process involved in creating the shadowgram. There is a great degree of satisfaction to be had from appreciating the thought process and time taken in creating these images, as opposed to the quick click and upload of the digital world. Then there is the appreciation of the actual image itself. As the shadowgrams don’t have a definitive focal point within the image, it actually encourages you to take in the full space that the print covers rather than a fleeting glance.

This style of photography creates a sense of non-urgency, they are pieces that you feel you need to take the time to take in and you need to take in the whole image not just a part. As an art series I can see how this series could develop, especially with the more geometrical designs.”

Stuart Coady - Client

Stuart is a friend and director of RiseUp CiC, a community interest group who work in prisons, specialising in art therapy across the North West of England, encouraging participants to express their emotions through literature, performance and art instead of violence and crime. Last year I was commissioned by them to create a portfolio that was used in their training programme, which I also utilised my design skills in producing. I asked Stuart about the social utility of my interventions work to which he said:

“We tend to work a lot within prisons and having this restrictive environment to deliver a photography workshop would be limited. But this restriction I feel would be the challenge, it would represent the confined nature of the regime in which the individuals are subject to on a daily basis and would give them the chance to experience it from a new perspective. 

It may not be feasible as a practical exercise, but the abstract nature of Bryn’s work and his deep understanding and relationship with the visual image would provide an inspirational session if it were viable. Our programmes are designed to make use of the VAK model, Visual, Audible and Kinaesthetic, and that’s why photography would work very well with our delivery model and style. I think Bryn’s abilities are perfect for this challenge.”

While the general feedback is positive, my main take from both Jenny and Stuart is that the interventions itself may not be commercially viable, but it demonstrates a greater awareness of space and time that can appeal to clients in the fields of architecture and education. While Daniel’s thoughts on combining a demonstration with an event in a creative space suggests areas of performing the process can also be viable income streams and opportunities to promote myself.