As we head into Sustainable Prospects (Module 4), I felt it would be useful to review the previous module, Surfaces and Strategies.

My marks for the module were OK. Lower than I wanted but, as I lost engagement during the term, better than I expected. So room for improvement. I had started the module with the aim of understanding more about my own practice and place in photography.

The feedback from my tutor, Cemre Yesil focused on a number of aspects of my work and critical thinking. I feel that there were a number of specific observations that I can take into to the next year.

Work in Progress Portfolio

  • In my Work in Progress Portfolio there were strong images, but that the repetition of similar types images reduced / obstructed the photographic narrative
  • Cemre felt that there had been a breakthrough between the beginning and the end of the module, and that I was more open to experimentation by the time that the module you had ended
  • My work overall was successful but that I need a greater understanding of photographic narrative
  • There was a need to explore more photographic books and question and examine their narrative
  • That I had included some images throughout my CRJ which had not made the final WIPP, which demonstrated possibly a lack of understanding in my decision process
  • My current thinking is more cinematic / theatre narrative / story based rather than photographic in its structure and framework
Pinhole photography – August 2020 © Tim Stubbs Hughes

Oral Presentation (Pecha Kucha format)

The main observations from the Oral Presentation for Surfaces and Strategies was that I introduced some relevant and important concepts that were related to my work, but that I then either failed to demonstrate this within my work or expand on the ideas in my discussion. That each concept or idea that was raised, such as childhood, memory, Pessoa, Presence and Waiting; they were all interesting but were not then tied to my work, or reflected upon more deeply. To highlight:

  • I would introduce a subject but then not reflect further on its meaning
  • That I need to explore in greater depth my research and concepts
  • Need to link the meaning and context of my work to the ideas and concepts that I am raising
  • Again, there were strong individual images but they lacked an overall narrative cohesion

Critical Research Journal

It was felt that my CRJ was better at linking the concepts and academic thinking that I am exploring and was a times more considered. What was highlighted was a desire to see me deepen my thinking on my analysis and work on a more intimate and personal level. That I would introduce topics, such as the death of my father-in-law, but that I would not then go on to explain this in a more intimate manner, such as to the importance of taking the photograph, or the reason for picking up the camera in the first place. That I am introduction ideas and feelings but then shying away from actually articulating what the effect or outcome is on my work or process.

It was proposed that I should explore the reasons and drive behind such moments of illumination in my practice. Of course, there exists the danger of art photography being about therapy, but that I should aim to go deeper into the reasoning and connections within my work, and tie together more what I am seeing, creating and exploring. Topics such as:

  • Presence and waiting
  • The writings of Jessica Benjamin
  • The reasons behind photographing and then showing images of my father-in-law
  • Childhood: its memories and objects
  • Stage and performance

That through thinking about this concepts and ideas in a deeper and more personal sense I will be able to refine the ideas that are contained within

Throughout Cemre’s review of my work in Module 3, other thoughts seem to become more apparent:

  • Why the need to record anything through photography
  • The post about 10-years of glasses seemed connected an earlier idea of expanding the vision of the artist
  • The objects within my possession were becoming increasingly important within my work
  • That the work of Sophie Caller and Paul Auster in the project “Double Game” might be a useful key in examining the relationship between performer and writer, where the information and process is passed between each other
Pinhole photography – August 2020 © Tim Stubbs Hughes

Overview

Final thoughts from Cemre focused on examining my work and process within the arena of being a working photographer. To ask myself where I want to head, whether into a more 3-dimensional role of performer/ video/ installation rather than the 2-dimensional aspect of photography. What type of work do I want to produce and where to I place myself.

The review and feedback on the 3rd Sept 2020 have proved to be very useful for me, in my thinking about the next module and future direction of my work. I have spent the last few weeks dwelling on it, and completely agree with the fact that I draw upon critical or artistic thinking but then do not either delve deeper into this or attempt to demonstrate it within my photography practice. From this, through the next module and into the FMP, I feel I need to:

  • To delve more deeply and intimately into my relationship with photography
  • Ask myself why I am taking this photograph, and why I am getting my camera out at this specific moment

To basically ask myself why I feel that this would be of interest. To me or to anyone else.

Pinhole photography – August 2020 © Tim Stubbs Hughes