Feedback from Tutor on Workplan for Advanced Course

Posted on February 24, 2012


I have now had feedback from Moira Lovell my tutor on my proposals for the programme of study for the Advanced course. Broadly Moira is happy with my chosen genre of Portraits in Series with my I am an Ironman project being the centrepiece of my portfolio of work. The principle objectives of the Advanced module are pretty open ended. Briefly they are as follows:

  1. Design an extended programme of personal study in discussion with your tutor
  2. Produce a strong portfolio of photography in your chosen genre
  3. Carry out appropriate research
  4. Read extensively in your genre
  5. Complete an extended written assignment (5,000 words).
So in summary at the moment the body of work I am contemplating looks like this:
  1. A critical review on the subject of ‘Portraits in Series’
  2. A candid portrait series of London’s Market Traders
  3. A candid portrait series of ‘Museum’ portraits
  4. ‘I am an Ironman’ series
  5. Self portraiture series (to be defined)

I have one more idea that I am pursuing and I guess it is possible that others will emerge and that is to complete a series of portraits of ‘street’ artists in Bristol. My nephew is an artist and he and his colleagues are often commissioned to complete mural art works in public spaces and commercial locations. They also hold ‘live’ painting events. I have suggested to him that I would like to make a series of portraits of him and his colleagues and he is very happy with this idea. Pinning him down may however be tricky so until I have been to one of their events and made some contacts I will keep on open mind on this one. Essentially the series is a typology of ‘street’ artists and the portraits will seek to show the subjects alongside their art. I am visiting him and two of his colleagues on Monday…they are completing murals on the walls of a barbershop….hoping for some interesting portraits, murals and great light!

As regards the self portrait series, I am musing over a  number of ideas. I am fascinated by the idea of self portraiture and whether it is possible to produce a self portrait which is not posed. On the face of it this seems unlikely as I would be both the photographer and subject and would know exactly when the shutter is to be pressed – it is hard to catch oneself unawares. One of the ideas I am working on is whether I could use long exposures (possibly with a pinhole camera) as a means of introducing candour. It is hard to pose continuously for a couple of minutes. Another idea is to complete the work as an extension of the I am an Ironman series by making portraits of myself immediately after I have finished different workouts. At these times I would be distracted, exhausted, maybe elated or demoralised not to mention sweaty, tired and muddy! We shall see.

I have already started on the I am an Ironman and Museum series and will continue to progress these alongside undertaking the critical review, which I plan to start now. It is possible that my review will lead me down other avenues….

I was in London yesterday concentrating on the Museum work….here is one of my better photographs.

British Museum, London