Assignment 5 self assessment

Note – this was written after I followed up my tutor’s feedback comments and hence covers two iterations of the work.

a5 self assessment

I spent a lot of time on A5 and I believe doing so has paid dividends. I am very grateful to my tutor who helped me to find direction and focus when it looked like extending too far beyond the “Photography is simple” brief. Paradoxically, this was achieved by exploring yet more areas which guided me back to what mattered for this submission.

Technical and Visual Skills

I started out with working with Polaroids, with no clear subject in mind other than simply to explore. Over the weeks and months I continued to work with Polaroids, deconstructing and tampering with them, but I also added in macro work with my DSLR to record temporary moments of colour change, floating emulsions in water, mounting work in acrylic, and scanning and displaying images on other obsolete technology (a Nokia 3310 as part of the rework). Always in my mind was the need to make something that was visually appealing, that was interesting. This set used different skills to those in A4 – using a Polaroid camera and exploring a range of manual and digital processes that were new to me.


Quality of outcome

I explored a range of outcomes and settled on a book and an acrylic block containing a translucent emulsion of the Fox Talbot window. I was also very happy with my other outcomes – digital macro shots, scans of Polaroid fronts and backs and then these scans transferred onto a phone, but took on board my tutor’s comment about not taking too many formats forward to assessment. Everything else remains open for further development of course.


Demonstration of creativity

I was thrilled with my work here. I wanted to explore the Polaroid format extensively, and felt I did so, credibly. Tutor feedback led to me exploring it further still, something which at first, I didn’t think I had in me. I am thrilled that what started out as a disappointing attempt to die-cut a Polaroid has turned into a credible and interesting piece of work that to some small degree pays tribute to William Fox Talbot. Credit and thanks are due to Clive on the OCA discussion board who spotted the potential in what I considered to be a bit of a damp squib. This led to a subject – Lacock Abbey windows – and the creativity ballooned from then on.


There was plenty of context available on the various Polaroid manipulations and manipulators out there, although I did not find any work that included embossing. Equally, there’s a raft of work and writing about Fox Talbot. My first submission, as my tutor commented, was very strong on theoretical context but rather less so on visual context. Following up her suggestions helped to fire my creativity and continue to work with a surer footing in terms of where my work sits within the contemporary canon.


5 thoughts on “Assignment 5 self assessment

  1. sarahdandrews August 24, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    Hi Kate, Looks good. Have you been hard on yourself in the domain of creativity? Best Sarah

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate August 24, 2017 / 8:32 pm

      Hi Sarah, thank you! Quite possibly, you are not the first to suggest that my assessments are out 🙂 My tutor is always very measured in her praise so I follow her lead. I’ll know after assessment!


  2. Catherine August 25, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Well, I’d move each one of them along to the left! Definitely think you’re being a bit hard on yourself Kate.


  3. Stefan J Schaffeld August 26, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Kate, you are surely into experimental stuff and trying to transgress boundaries what I like. Perhaps not everybody cup of tea. Will be well perceived in assessment I think. I find you visual self evaluation on the matrix always a bit ‘scary’ but also scrupulous open. Wondering where you wish to be….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate August 27, 2017 / 3:17 pm

      Stefan, thank you, and thank you for your thoughtful comments both here, on the forum and on Instagram. I think I see the world with fewer boundaries, and it’s interesting to photograph it that way. “scary” is a good word, however hard the photography gets, the self-reflective writing and assessment is always harder. In a way I am looking forward to the “calibration” of my work that assessment will provide. I’m not sure exactly where I want to be – good question! I do know that I want to be a practising artist with a photographic bent to my work. I want to work with the normal and the everyday. Beyond that, who knows?


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