NOTE TO ASSESSORS

Niki South Student number: 514516

All of my work for Identity and Place is contained in this blog https://nkssite3.wordpress.com

THE BLOG is in the standard format of descending date order, however all entries can be accessed using the category tabs on the header bar.

The only work that is password protected is assignment 4, the password has been emailed to the OCA and is included in the instructions inside the physical submission.

To view my final work submitted for assessment click on the “Submissions” tab, select the relevant assignment from the drop down menu. This category also includes my final Analysis and reflections on formative feedback.

To view the draft assignment click on the “Assignments” tab, select the relevant assignment from on the drop down menu and then the horizontal “Assignment _ Draft” tab.

To view my Learning log Research and reflections click on the “Research and reflection” tab and chose from the drop down menu, either “Reflection, Research or Exhibitions and Books” tab and then the desired assignment horizontal tab.

To view all self-directed learning log work pertaining to an assignment click on the “Assignments” tab, select the relevant assignment on the drop down menu and then the horizontal “A_ Learning Log” tab.

To view Coursework click on the Coursework tab and select from the dropdown menu.

ITEMS SENT ADDITIONALLY TO THE ASSESSMENT TEAM:

GOOGLE DRIVE  This contains:

My Tutor reports.

The submission images and draft images for each assignment.

EMAIL: the password for assignment 4.

PHYSICAL SUBMISSIONS

Within the portfolio box are:

  • One Print box, containing the submission prints from all assignments in individual folders as well as my artist statements for assignments 2-5 and gallery plans for assignments 3-5.
  • One Tutor reports folder (Assignments 1-5).
  • One box containing hard copy PDF documents, replicated from the blog of the five submission assignments, draft assignments and my process notes (one folder per assignment).
  • One sketch/note book.
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IDENTITY AND PLACE: OVERALL REFLECTIONS

Identity and Place – Overall reflection

I have reflected on each course module after my draft and again after my tutor’s feedback: https://nkssite3.wordpress.com/category/learning-log-research-reflection/reflection/ however this is my reflection on the whole of identity and place.

My Learning journey

I have really enjoyed this course from the outset although it has felt like a very long year. Though I sometimes felt life was getting in the way of my work I now realise that my life imprints itself on my work, and this is how it should be. For me it has been an expansive course. The initial challenge of assignment 1 photographing strangers, quickly gave way to a fascination with portraits, learning from other photographers and lead into research about the gaze, relationships between subjects and photographers and various factors that influence outcomes. I have enjoyed broadening my research from books and exhibitions to curator talks, artist’s talks and collaborative working days.

There has been some introspection, namely assignments 3 and 4, but have learnt to make my work more inclusive by addressing universal themes to engage audiences. I have increasingly considered my viewers, making my artist intentions clear and anchoring meaning for them. From assignment 3 I included plans on how my work should be presented to an audience. I have enjoyed and learnt from collaborative projects such as assignments 1, 2 and 3. I am becoming better at trusting my instincts and developing themes and work that I feel is right rather than looking for immediate support and approval and am consequently taking more risks myself.

Formative feedback

My tutor encouraged me to be bolder, and take risks following assignment 1. I believe I have done this in particular with the projects and concepts I used, exploring and expanding my own ideas. He questioned my lack of clarity in communicating assignment 4 and this lead me to revaluate the process of a project, identify the importance of having a clear intention and concept, and prioritise the relationship between photographer, subject and audience. He encouraged me to give personal responses to exhibitions and research and this has forced me to also become more critical. I have also found sharing my work in progress with peers at the Thames Valley OCA group invaluable.

Reflecting on my best work and progress

I am particularly pleased with Assignment 2 “A presence?”, partly as it is the project I can best see in a gallery in a large format, it also moved me into many areas of new interest. I immersed myself in research about photographers, their relationships with subjects, how best to capture the essence of a person, and question whose presence is predominant – the subject or photographers? I learnt first-hand the benefits of relinquishing some control to my subject. This project on the gaze stimulated me to explore further visual awareness and different ways of seeing that I’ve immersed myself in Assignment 5.  The work was founded initially by the work of others, such as Uta Barth’s windows into photographic and visual perception, combining the descriptive clarity of photography with the haze of memory. I have increasingly learnt to take others work and research as springboards to my own creative ideas and have much greater confidence to develop and present these.

My own visual awareness has intensified throughout the course and I understand the importance of provoking visual curiosity, not only with composition and ascetics, but by playing with various elements such as metaphors memory and associations. Most importantly I can see my work has become both more exploratory and in particular more conceptually interesting as the course has progressed and hope that this continues to evolve organically.

Areas I would like to develop further

On a technical level I hope to purchase the equipment I need for my own printing so that I have greater control over this. I intend to move onto Level two Landscape to challenge myself with something completely different, but within this I hope to continue to grow my own way of looking through continued exploration and trusting my own instincts.

 

ASSIGNMENT 5 SUBMISSION; PLACE AND OUR PRESENCE IN IT

Nicola South                                  Student number: 514516

REFLECTIONS ON FORMATIVE FEEDBACK

TUTOR REPORT: Tutor report ass 5

This was a telephone feedback session, which covered not only assignment 5 but my progress throughout Identity and Place and preparations for assessment. As it was telephone feedback only the barest elements that we covered are reported in my Tutor’s report above.

STRENGTHS HIGHLIGHTED:

  • Progress in photographing conceptually.
  • Experimental working stimulated by other photographer’s work but with own interpretations.
  • Research and analysis.
  • Careful execution of the coursework exercises which enabled me to use them as spring boards to support my assignment ideas.

AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT:

  • Ensure in my overall course reflections that I reflect on my progress throughout the entire course.
  • Include an overall artist statement in my assessment presentation.

MY LEARNING POINTS:

  • That being able to follow and explore areas of my own photographic interest, as I did, enables a greater immersion, experimentation and creativity.
  • That even though I will be working to a brief, my work should not be about pleasing others but about following my creative instincts.
  • I carry over my learning from assignment 4 where I really learnt to consider the three way relationship between the subject, the image and the audience. I understand better now that if I am to be experimental and conceptual that I must at first be absolutely sure of the function of my photograph and then ensure that I communicate my intention clearly to my audience.

Link to learning log:  https://wordpress.com/post/nkssite3.wordpress.com/1678

These mind maps summarise the narrative of my planning, shooting and editing thoughts contained in the learning log:

Brainstorm:

I and P 5 brainstorm (1).pdf final

Shooting:

I and P ass 5 shooting.pdf final

Editing:

I and p ass 5 editing (1) (2).pdf final

ASSIGNMENT 5 SUBMISSION: PLACE AND OUR PRESENCE IN IT

NICOLA SOUTH                         STUDENT NUMBER: 514516

MY PRESENCE IN MY PLACE

ARTIST’S STATEMENT

In this work I am sharing elements of my presence in the place that I exist. These parts of my identity are shown as both their tangible elements and filtered essences, different ways of seeing – two parts that make up the whole. My intention in presenting both the tangible and the essences is that when interpreting them with their own visual skills viewers will both be able to both see and sense these fragments of myself.

 

 THE IMAGES

 Rowing #1                                (Image 55)

 Rowing #2                                   (Image  5)

 

___

 

 Sailing #1                                   (Image 74)

 Sailing #2                                    (Image 44)

 

___

Running #1                               (Image 49)

 Running #2                                 (Image 15)

 

___

Relaxing # 1                              (Image 66)

 Relaxing #2                                (Image 22)

 

___

 Socialising #1                            (Image 81)

 Socialising #2                            (Image 28)

 

___

Gallery view:

 

THE BRIEF:

Look back at the themes we’ve examined relating to place and our presence within it. What areas inspired you most?

The culmination of this course is a self-directed assignment where you have free rein to choose a subject that relates to any of the material discussed in the course. You may have gathered skills and insights through the projects that you want to revisit or you may have been inspired by other ideas. The only stipulation is that the final outcome must represent a notion of identity and place that you are personally inspired by. Make sure that your work is visually consistent, relevant to the subject matter you choose and holds together well as a set, both visually and conceptually.

Think carefully about your editing decisions: Which images need to be there? Which ones repeat other images? Are you holding on to a favourite that is no longer required? Do you need to re-shoot anything?

REFLECTIVE COMMENTARY

This work is intended to communicate my identity in the place I am in, through different ways of seeing. I am sharing activities that are important to me and have presented them in two different ways – two parts that make up a whole.

Various photographers have inspired me while developing this work, but overall I hold onto a view expressed by Robert Frank “there is one thing the photograph must contain; the humanity of the moment…realism is not enough – there has to be vision and the two together can make a good photograph. It is difficult to describe where matter ends and mind begins” (Rosenblum, 2007).

During this last part of Identity and place I have seen and experienced different ways of representing subjects, from clinical realism, to playful decontextualisation, to the implied intimacy of traces, to ascribed abstract meaning. A photograph is a constructed creation and its context affects the way it’s interpreted; viewers will most likely be searching for context and meaning when they look at it. Berger too talked about both the materiality and the spirituality in ways of seeing (Berger, 2008).  So using some of the different ways of seeing that I have learnt, I have presented both the objects and their essences to manifest the subjects that form my identity in my place.

I have presented these subjects in detail but stripped of their context, dehumanised apart from small traces so that the viewer will see them as objects but will be left searching for their meaning; why are they in front of the camera? Are they telling a story? What is their story?

I have also presented the filtered essence of these subjects. Those images represent the context of the subjects, but in a very personal way; as a snapshot of a field of vision, through a slow motion viewer finder, the physiological elements of a time and place and activity; the sights, sounds, smells noises and feelings.

When photographing the “essence of” images I was influenced by Shore and Barth, though his images are razor sharp and Barth’s appear out of focus, who both advocate there doesn’t need to be a central point of emphasis. I used techniques I developed when looking from a single viewpoint as Perec did (Perec and Lowenthal, 2010) as well as exploiting the natural fall of my gaze and the perspective it took. I was affected by Barth’s motivation to engage deeply in a moment in a Zen like manner, losing track of any narrative so the viewer becomes “immersed in looking and self-conscious of looking for its own sake” (Bombmagazine.org, 2018). For this I used her technique of focusing on nothing in particular in the foreground so the images appear out of focus.

As I photographed the “isolated” subjects I similarly immersed myself in the process, remembering how Shore describes taking a “hyperlucid” stare, and Soth’s description of deliberate shooting. In my makeshift studio I contemplated hard but in a different way, on the subject, about the composition, lighting, and relationships between objects, when there were more than one.

When editing I kept my intention to share parts of my identity in this place through different ways of seeing as foremost. I hope that by presenting my different representations of each of these subjects, the related object and their essence, I have helped the viewer to anchor more meaning, while using their own visual skills to interpret my images. Walker Evans said ‘The matter of art in photography may come down to this: it is the capture and projection of the delights of seeing; it is the defining of observation full and felt.’ (AMERICAN SUBURB X, 2018), I hope that it can be both felt and seen in this work.

References:

AMERICAN SUBURB X. (2018). STEPHEN SHORE:. [online] Available at: https://www.americansuburbx.com/2010/12/stephen-shore-uncommon-places-2004.html [Accessed 31 Jul. 2018].

Bombmagazine.org. (2018). Light, Looking: Uta Barth by Sabine Mirlesse – BOMB Magazine. [online] Available at: https://bombmagazine.org/articles/light-looking-uta-barth/ [Accessed 11 Aug. 2018].

Rosenblum, N. (2007). A world history of photography. New York: Abbeville Press.Frank, World history of photography Naomi Rosenblum Short C & N p 55 cited in Short, M. (2011). Context and Narrative. 1000 Lausanne: Ava Publishing SA.

Short, M. (2011). Context and Narrative. 1000 Lausanne: Ava Publishing SA.

Bibliography:

Berger, J. (2008). Ways of seeing. London: Penguin Books.

Perec, G. and Lowenthal, M. (2010). An attempt at exhausting a place in Paris. Cambridge, Mass.: Wakefield Press.

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENT 5 SUBMISSION: PLACE AND OUR PRESENCE IN IT

Niki South         Student number: 514516

 REFLECTIONS AGAINST COURSE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Assignment 5

 Demonstration of technical and visual skills

  • To execute this work I had to learn how to really observe in both a visual and mindful way.
  • The “isolated “shots were technically challenging, especially as I didn’t have all of my lighting equipment with me (large light box and stands) and had a confined space to shoot in, but I took this on as a challenge and adapted. As I was to be shooting a beer glass and sun glasses I was aware I would have challenges with reflected light from the external flashes (though with small diffusers); so chose to reduce the lightening for all of the “studio” photography to maintain consistency, knowing I would need to brighten the images a little post production.
  • I thought hard about the format I wanted to show them in and ultimately decided against a square crop choosing a 10 x 8 format as I felt it simulated best my field of vision – and the project was essentially about the way I see things. I was restricted when cropping the studio shots by the size of the longest item the radio, maybe I would have had more flexibility if I had taken this with more background around it, but it was difficult in the space I had.
  • The “essence” shots required a good degree of experimentation to achieve the out of focus effect that would be most effective, I wanted to leave some meaning in the image, but not too much. I deliberately tried not to worry too much about the highlights and exposure preferring to capture the honest feeling of the moment.

Quality of outcome

When planning shooting and editing I tried to keep foremost my intention: to communicate my identity in the place I am in, through different ways of seeing.

  • I applied my learning from other artists to help me to communicate this work in my own way by combining techniques in one project, and hope that by combining the object and its essence I am sharing more fully parts of my identity in this place.
  • I believe that by presenting a subject with and without context in this way they are more powerful.
  • I have considered at every stage the relationship between the subjects the photograph and the audience, and hope that I have improved on communicating my concept this time.
  • I hope that my technical execution has enabled my vision to be shared but am aware that both the isolated and essence photographs could be improved with more experience. I do however believe I’ve achieved the consistency in each set that I strived for.
  • I wondered now whether some of the objects, the radio and the sunglasses should have had more traces on them (as the gloves, shoe and beer glass do), because they are and appear rigid compared to the others – but then this is how they are. After reflecting I realise the radio has evidence as it is tuned to a channel (which though deliberate I had forgotten about). The sun glasses did have some fluff on them which I cleaned post production, should I reshoot with a finger mark on them and leave any dust showing?
  • I am also going to consider whether they would be better in black and white (See my notes at the end of the learning log entry: https://nkssite3.wordpress.com/category/learning-log-assignments/assignment-5-place-and-our-presence-in-it/a5-learning-log/), or the objects in black and white and the essences in colour, though I think then latter would be distracting.
  • I considered before shooting how I to present my concept to help viewers make meaning of them.
  • I intend there to be some ambiguity and to encourage the viewer to really look themselves.

  Demonstration of creativity

  • I learnt to use my imagination when shooting much more than I ever had before, for both types of shots I really looked and thought how it would appear to others.
  • I experimented a lot in particular to capture the “essence images”.
  • My concept of presenting two parts the object and the essence to manifest the subject was my own invention.
  • I hope my personal voice is evident in both the concept and the way I have communicated this to the audience.

Context

  • The coursework led me to explore a huge variety of possible avenues: I went with the flow and then channelled my project when and where my interest alighted.
  • I was really inspired by photographers and work I researched and hope this has filtered into my projects concept and narrative.
  • I believe I’ve thought critically at all stages of this work, but could continue and continue on with this.

ASSIGNMENT 5 DRAFT: PLACE AND OUR PRESENCE IN IT

Niki South         Student number: 514516

 REFLECTIONS AGAINST COURSE ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Assignment 5

 Demonstration of technical and visual skills

  • To execute this work I had to learn how to really observe in both a visual and mindful way.
  • The “isolated “shots were technically challenging, especially as I didn’t have all of my lighting equipment with me (large light box and stands) and had a confined space to shoot in, but I took this on as a challenge and adapted. As I was to be shooting a beer glass and sun glasses I was aware I would have challenges with reflected light from the external flashes (though with small diffusers); so chose to reduce the lightening for all of the “studio” photography to maintain consistency, knowing I would need to brighten the images a little post production.
  • I thought hard about the format I wanted to show them in and ultimately decided against a square crop choosing a 10 x 8 format as I felt it simulated best my field of vision – and the project was essentially about the way I see things. I was restricted when cropping the studio shots by the size of the longest item the radio, maybe I would have had more flexibility if I had taken this with more background around it, but it was difficult in the space I had.
  • The “essence” shots required a good degree of experimentation to achieve the out of focus effect that would be most effective, I wanted to leave some meaning in the image, but not too much. I deliberately tried not to worry too much about the highlights and exposure preferring to capture the honest feeling of the moment.

Quality of outcome

When planning shooting and editing I tried to keep foremost my intention: to communicate my identity in the place I am in, through different ways of seeing.

  • I applied my learning from other artists to help me to communicate this work in my own way by combining techniques in one project, and hope that by combining the object and its essence I am sharing more fully parts of my identity in this place.
  • I believe that by presenting a subject with and without context in this way they are more powerful.
  • I have considered at every stage the relationship between the subjects the photograph and the audience, and hope that I have improved on communicating my concept this time.
  • I hope that my technical execution has enabled my vision to be shared but am aware that both the isolated and essence photographs could be improved with more experience. I do however believe I’ve achieved the consistency in each set that I strived for.
  • I wondered now whether some of the objects, the radio and the sunglasses should have had more traces on them (as the gloves, shoe and beer glass do), because they are and appear rigid compared to the others – but then this is how they are. After reflecting I realise the radio has evidence as it is tuned to a channel (which though deliberate I had forgotten about). The sun glasses did have some fluff on them which I cleaned post production, should I reshoot with a finger mark on them and leave any dust showing?
  • I am also going to consider whether they would be better in black and white (See my notes at the end of the learning log entry: https://nkssite3.wordpress.com/category/learning-log-assignments/assignment-5-place-and-our-presence-in-it/a5-learning-log/), or the objects in black and white and the essences in colour, though I think then latter would be distracting.
  • I considered before shooting how I to present my concept to help viewers make meaning of them.
  • I intend there to be some ambiguity and to encourage the viewer to really look themselves.

  Demonstration of creativity

  • I learnt to use my imagination when shooting much more than I ever had before, for both types of shots I really looked and thought how it would appear to others.
  • I experimented a lot in particular to capture the “essence images”.
  • My concept of presenting two parts the object and the essence to manifest the subject was my own invention.
  • I hope my personal voice is evident in both the concept and the way I have communicated this to the audience.

Context

  • The coursework led me to explore a huge variety of possible avenues: I went with the flow and then channelled my project when and where my interest alighted.
  • I was really inspired by photographers and work I researched and hope this has filtered into my projects concept and narrative.
  • I believe I’ve thought critically at all stages of this work, but could continue and continue on with this.