Revisiting Assignment 3

Revisiting Assignment 3 : Putting myself in the Picture

The idea of putting myself in the picture was daunting even though I knew I didn’t actually have to create self-portraits as such. However, I decided to meet the challenge.  I played around with ideas including composites of myself as two sisters, including some wearing a wig here https://catherinebankscn.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/2-my-incomplete-self/.   This was interesting and I enjoyed the experiments but I had the sense of not knowing what kind of dialogue I would have and so I turned to my relationship with landscape in the form of the nearby Copse where I walk almost every day.

The Context & Research is outlined here   describing my readings on Psychogeography and Sense of Place; memories of childhood and photographic influences. My description of the process is here  where I also include a link to an experimental video. The chosen images and version 2 of the video are here

My tutor’s response was positive, encouraging and challenging. I had felt brave in taking the risk of setting-up self-portraits in woodland, on my own but my tutor suggested I go back onto the Copse and do something even more different and performative.  My response to this was a revised video with ambient sound together with  2 photographs of 3×3 grids (landscape format and square crop) of the landscape, myself in there creating pieces of art, and the final artwork. This is here .

I decided that the grid of square format images is the best for Assessment submission and this will be added to my portfolio box. The other grid will be included in my Assessment Preparation folder.

Subsequently I continued to develop this with a further project where I set up a mini exhibition in the Copse (write-up under Personal Project category here ) and I will be including a photograph of this in my Assessment portfolio box. Another result of this post was an invitation to join the blog the Elephant’s Journey a collaboration of urban artists who take photographs in the environment and then place these back within the environment. I now have two posts on that blog and the latest one is here .

Working on Assignment 3 gave me both much more confidence in self-portraits and a surer sense of my relationship with landscape – something I will continue to develop in my next Module. I owe thanks to my tutor as well for encouraging and challenged me to step even further outside my boundaries.

Assignment 3 Part 3 : Selected images and self-evaluation

Assignment 3
Part 3 : Assignment 3, Selected images and Self Evaluation

My Place in Landscape 

Bodies are both materially and socially constructed, always in a state of becoming, constantly (re)configured in relation to their environment.

(Morag Rose (2015) p. 159

The one thought that struck me upon reading the diary I kept as part of the Assignment brief was, “I lead a quiet life nowadays” enjoying looking at our garden and feeling the sun on my face. I decided to create a project around the garden. Surprisingly this ended up with some self-portraits there (although I moved indoors eventually) and I wrote about these as a potential Assignment here. I also had another idea concerning the old apple tree as metaphor and symbol. Time constraints have meant that the latter will now become a personal project rather than a potential Assignment 3.

Instead I decided to move my self -portraits into the Landscape. I feel different there, breathe more easily and use the opportunity for contemplation. The world with all its troubles feels a different place when I am surrounded by green.

I have explained the personal/artistic context and the process here and here. My intention has been to find a way to put myself into the frame, mainly facing the camera, whilst not entirely merging with the views or obstructing the viewer’s gaze. My relationship with landscape has been a continuing subject for exploration during this Module and that will continue.

I have chosen 14 images and also improved a video slideshow I created to show my ‘emergence’ from the landscape.

I am usually most interested in combining text with images but, on this occasion, have decided to let the still images speak for themselves.

The chosen images

Self-Evaluation

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

I had concerns regarding printing in my previous Assignment and eventually purchased a more up-to-date printer, so I hope prints are of a better quality. The creation of videos is new to me and I know I have much to learn. At present I am continuing to practise, using iMovie now with the aid of a book that is comprehensive yet fairly easy to understand. My next step will be to find a suitable workshop. Additionally I have become more proficient in using wireless remote shutter release. Creating self-portraits outdoors has been relatively easy but I need more practice in indoor work. The use of lighting rather than natural light will be my next step.

Quality of Outcome

I believe I have demonstrated a sound foundation of knowledge in respect of relevant artists and writers that has been assimilated from wider reading and research.. Similarly in respect of relating these to my practice and being able to communicate my ideas to others. Comments on my blog from fellow students and discussions with them have confirmed this.

Demonstration of Creativity

I don’t feel as if I have been as intellectually creative as in Assignment 2. However, I did challenge myself to make self-portraits (despite knowing I didn’t really have to) utilised a wig to give me confidence, and then translated the idea outwards to landscape. I took what seemed a large risk to me in taking my camera equipment outdoors and then walking some distance from it to create the self-portraits.

I do believe that I have found my own personal voice and continued to us it in expressing my approach to landscape.

Context

I have reflected on reading and research throughout and continually related this to my artistic practice. I particularly enjoyed this during this Module and, for the first time, with this Assignment, tried the experiment of not making notes at the time; creating images and then looking to see how I had assimilated all that I had viewed and read. This worked well for me on this occasion. It also meant that I looked again at books and images and this reinforced my learning.

One thing I have been particularly pleased about is that I have been able to more closely link my early experiences with present interests so that I have more understanding of the way in which they have affected my outlook on life.

 

2nd September 2015

 

References

Pogue, D & Miller, A (2014) iMovie : the missing manual. Revised 3rd ed. Canada: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Richardson T (Ed) (2015) Walking Inside Out : Contemporary British Psychogeography, London: Rowman & Littlefield
Rose, M (2015) Confessions of an Anarcho-Flâneuse in : Richardson, T (ed) Walking Inside Out : Contemporary British Psychogeography, London: Rowman & Littlefield.