Assignment Two Tutor Feedback

Posted on May 15, 2014


I have now received feedback from Sharon on my last assignment. We followed up her written report with a telephone conversation in which I updated her on my change of direction with the East London work. I am pleased to say that she was happy with how I now plan to take the work forward.

Sharon’s report is shown in the pdf below:

Feedback Assignment Two

Sharon like the East London image/texts. Most of her comments surrounded how to position the work through my accompanying statement. She felt that  as presented it came across as ‘a factual almost historic revisit of Brick Lane’. I have to agree that this is a concern and as I have now repositioned my work being about ‘place, memory and the passage of time and how photography can mediate in this space’. I need to be conscious of not making the work appear like a travelogue. She stressed the importance of developing my statement in tandem with the work as it progresses. This I have been doing – in fact I sometimes wonder if I am being too fluid and indecisive! She liked the photographs and the effect at shooting at times of day which create evocative lighting. She felt I could make more of this in my statement. She wondered if the photograph of the door in Princelet Street fitted with the street scenes shown in the other photographs. (Rachel Wakefield also made this point). On reflection I think I will keep the work the street scenes rather than details or interiors – consistency generally strengthens work. She wasn’t so keen on the starred street lamp in the Cable Street image….this image in fact does not fit with my new approach (I can’t find a suitable Booth reference). For the most part she was happy with the texts, although she acknowledged that these can be played around with. She felt it important that I reference the texts to show the viewer that they can rely on what they are reading…this I am now doing through the use of a singe source, Booth’s survey. She was very keen on the idea of posters in some form of temporary installation. She wondered if I might post them around the area and re-photograph them as they fade away over time, reinforcing the idea of transience.

With regards to the project on experiments in key, she felt it was a worthwhile exercise and liked my conclusion that ‘I wanted to present the photographs [from the East End work] as images from the present day, but at the same time I wanted viewers to be psychologically engaged.’

With regards to the critical review she felt it was very good. She made quite a few comments. These are on the attached pdf below. I will revisit the essay soon to improve it for Assessment submission.

SBComments on critical text

During my telephone conversation with Sharon I went through my new approach to the East End work as set out in my previous post here.

She was very supportive and could see why I had decided not to go with the ‘Umbra Sumus/We are Shadows’ approach as this is very cliche in East London. Also she understood that I wanted my work to be conceptually based and not a polemic with regards to immigration and racial intolerance. In terms of my priorities going forward we agreed that I should concentrate on ‘finishing off’ the photography for the East End work aiming to submit something close to the final set for Assignment Four [due end October 2014]. For the final assignment I should try to mount an exhibition of the work. Here I am thinking that I would like to do this in collaboration with Toynbee Hall who were helped Booth to undertake his survey work. I am still thinking of a temporary ‘Pop Up’ gallery with posters and possibly a inexpensive soft cover book. I have yet to work this out but I do like the idea of putting up posters and re-photographing them whilst they fade. This new plan means that the portraits work will be put on the back burner for now, although I still want to do this and plan to make a start in any event. I now see this project as a follow on the the urban landscape work, another chapter in the story of East London. I will certainly continue to pursue contacts such as Toynbee Hall in this regard.

I also discussed with Sharon the scope of the submission for assessment. As I see this as follows:

  • An overview of the submission
  • A reflective account of my learning (no more than 2000 words)
  • For the East London work, I am now thinking my submission would comprise of my statement, large c-prints of image/texts (size to be determined), a copy of a softcover book, copies of the posters, photographs of the installation, photographs of fading posters, tearsheets with copy from exhibition publicity. My plan is to stage an exhibition in the form of a Pop Up gallery showing prints of my work with sales of posters and a softcover book. I expect the book to have 16 pages plus the cover. This will allow a front page for a brief statement, 14 two page spreads of image/text combinations and a final page for credits. This being the case the exhibition would also feature 14 photographs/texts. Prints, posters and books would be on sale at the exhibition with monies going to charity (hopefully Toynbee Hall).
  • For the ‘Portraits in Context’ work I plan to submit a statement, 8-10 20×24 inch c-prints, and a mock up of an installation.
  • A copy of my Critical Review

Onwards to my next deadline which is the end of July. The main thrust of this is my work with Landscape Photographers, but I also want to represent the state of play on the East London work.