|EYV was a significant challenge to me after FiP. I finished FiP feeling confident, inspired and capable. The exercises in the first two parts of EYV seemed to assume rather less experience and the result was that I felt completely wrong-footed and produced some remarkably unremarkable work. I still think that I produced rather better work for the FIP exercises than for EYV exercises, on the whole. Much as I would love to blame the course it’s more likely to be a reflection of me not being creative enough and not being brave enough to explore and exploit the exercise briefs to the same degree as I routinely did for the assignments. I really did struggle with motivation and believe I was rescued by a tutor who spotted my potential and who encouraged me to take risks with the assignments and to broaden my reading.
A1, although ok, didn’t feel right to me and felt less so as the course progressed. I could see a clear difference between it, and the following assignments in terms of creativity, competence, fulfilling the brief and successful rework. Rephotographing wasn’t possible due to a recalcitrant 9 year old. A refreshed edit (my tutor’s suggestion) didn’t improve things much, so I redid the entire assignment with a different subject that I felt to be a tighter fit to the brief and more consistent with the other work that I’m presenting.
A2 was a lot of fun. I enjoyed working with photobooth machines. My tutor’s suggestions for research and follow up reading blew me away and have genuinely changed the direction of my work. I followed a rework suggestion and we both agreed that doing so had spawned a whole new idea to develop in C&N.
A3 almost didn’t happen, I was very nervous about suggesting working with used pregnancy tests but Moira was enthusiastic and encouraged me to try it. That was a valuable lesson. There are still learning opportunities for me here in terms of technical consistency within a typology-type series, but the most fun was to be had considering the best way to present this work for assessment.
A4 also nearly didn’t happen. The ideas on my agreed shortlist just weren’t working, and I remember emailing Moira a couple of test shots of lit phone boxes at night. She encouraged me to continue. This work was far more static than I was used to, as well as much darker, wetter, colder, later and slower to shoot. It’s a fairly “straight” piece of work for me (along with the reworked A1) and I am proud of it, not least because at least two of the boxes that I photographed have since been removed by BT. It was my only assignment that needed no rework.
A5 also happened by accident but at least I was getting better at spotting the signs of serendipity. Following comments by my tutor I was playing with Polaroids and photobooth portraits. Following an idea from A2 I was trying to die-cut a Polaroid with limited success as the development fluid got squidged everywhere. Clive White on the forum spotted the potential, my tutor agreed and I started work. This work has significant potential for development (scans, jpgs of the blue developer before it turns white, images on older technology such as Nokia 3310s). For assessment however I chose to fine-tune the book – made entirely from Polaroid film, including the box and the protective slide. I included the emulsion lift of the Fox Talbot window as it allows anyone to look through that historic window.
Two courses in, my preference is to work with the familiar and the forgotten. I have a strong interest in exploring my feelings about gender, a continuing curiosity for altered physical formats, using the 2d within images and using my photographs as the start of my creative process rather than the end. I shall continue working with analogue formats such as Polaroid and Photobooth as well as improving my digital skills. I hope to start printing my own work. I am grateful to my tutor for her perception and her persistence in encouraging me to go further, even when I honestly thought I had nowhere left to go. I have also realised the value of rework, the comforting knowledge that the better and the best are still to come.