154mc – A critical reflection of the summer task

This was a challenging first project. I like most people felt highly reluctant to open up my personal life in this way and with the expectation being an intimate theme I admit I was really quite worried on how to best interpret and complete this task.

The Facebook group set up by the university was a great help, most other new students were in the same boat and one the current first years, Charlie was a great help in explaining more about what was expected. She mostly assured people that the interpretation was our own and we should not worry too much about what we produce. It was also great that it got conversation going amongst many of us and I found my self often being asked questions by other members of the group. This is something I am used to from College and I suspect will continue during university.

The books we needed to buy were a surprise but I am glad I did. I admit that it is rare that I actually enjoy looking at other peoples work, not because it is boring but I normally just do not understand the artistic intent. I am hoping that will develop over the next 3 years and that I emerge with a much stronger appreciation of artistic photography and art in general. It is also worth noting that the book by Charlotte Cotton ‘the photograph as contemporary art’ was a much better than I previously thought. I still think it has an over complex writing style which can only have a negative impact on its goal but if you persevere with it there is a lot of interesting information. I think this book will become a good reference source during the course.

Getting a better understanding of intimate really helped and Elinor Carucci’s book ‘Closer’ showed me that something so deeply personal could be a body scar, or a sentimental object or sometimes just something which is uniquely me.

Already I was beginning to think differently about the images and this simple challenge had made me look at image creation in a different way.

Overall I was happy with my body of work. I felt my parents made interesting characters and this demonstrated an intimate part of my life. I drew heavily on the work or Elinor Carucci, Nan Golding and Richard Billingham and I was pleased with my reading of their images and believe I came to a good understanding of what they achieved. I am also happy that I experimented with other techniques and photographic styles and although quite different I was happy with my Thomas Ruff and Gregory Crewdson inspired images. On the critical side I do think there were too many mages and that I could have achieved the same effect from just 6 or 7 but I wanted to demonstrate my experimentation and the influences from photographers that I had found through research. Going forward I think ill begin to be more selective and try to choose the strongest images from any sets.

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