Friday, 22 May 2009

Away From The Flock

Well its all over for a week or two.  The work is submitted, the group dispersed after a drink at the pub round the corner.  Was I alone in feeling - Is That It?  But I guess that feeling of deflation is inevitable.  I, for one, and I suspect I'm not alone, am keenly awaiting the information with regard to the next assignment.  Of course we know roughly what's expected, the handbook tells us that, but one always has the feeling that the current info is needed before you start piling into the project.

I think I know what I want to do - but have sneeking feelings for one or two other ideas as well.  I am showing some prints in Germany in August and got quite a wry response to the idea that one of the pictures might be a sunset...  Its interesting how some subjects and treatments are so cliched that an honest response to them is virtually impossible?  I have looked at other work where what could easily be dismissed as hackneyed is lauded...  Context is o course everything I guess but nonetheless there are strange perspectives at work in the contemporary art environment.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Over and out

Thats it!  The project is complete...though I didn't quite make it with every one of my favoured subjects I did have thirteen from which to make the selection of ten.  Although I still feel dissatisfied - when is it otherwise? - I do think I've made quite a personal journey.  I now have some understanding of portraiture and a feeling for coherence in terms of a portfolio of images.  Some progress too with the use of equipment and processes that necessarily go with it.

I may even push on with the idea - not in terms of my studies on the MA, where I'm firmly thinking around landscape - but simply as a personal project.  Pushing onwards into other locations and subjects...who knows what might emerge from it.

For now though that blessed relief and euphoria when something is put to rest and one can move on!  This photograph is one of those that didn't make the final selection.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Steadying The Ship

I'm trying hard to keep some focus on my studies at a really difficult time.  I have taken a decision to leave my current role at the University of Derby and in part, at least, return to self-employment.  The upside of this ought to be more time to devote to my MA, the downside, for now, is that I'm working harder than ever.  There's just so much to do at present.  Yesterday however I did pull in two more sessions and so theoretically have enough material now to make a submission.  I am clinging onto the notion that focus in the essay will result from the production of the final images!  

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Diversionary tactics

In trying to complete a task I'm a terrible prevaricator - added to which a variety of other pressures to get things done - and the project that has to be completed and handed in exactly two weeks today is still a way off.  I'm shooting more subjects this week...and trying to set up several more for next.  Leaving a few days to make the prints and the final selection...oh, and the small matter of an essay that still consists of 70% unedited notes.

Ah not to worry or panic.  The materials for printing and submitting are now to hand.  There is at the least some clarity in the conception of the pictures and if I could just settle to it the essay should be relatively straightforward.  Though goodness knows what feedback I'll receive from the really rough draft I submitted last week.

So why was I in the painting studio this past Friday, Saturday, Sunday?  Because I needed to distance myself from the other - as well as complete the move from my previous space within the studio complex to the larger space I now inhabit.  I tend to work on a number of parallel themes/projects simultaneously and moving across allows me to do this more easily.  One project is a series of roughly 50x40 cms paintings on panels - entitled the 'Ivanhoe' series and each image (though they are entirely non-referential) named after a town/village/hamlet in North West Leicestershire - which used to style itself 'Ivanhoe Country' for tourism purposes!  This body of work had stalled in around 2006 when I had a period of enforced inactivity due to heart surgery and its only been this past weekend I've been able to stretch out and start work on these pictures again.  This one is no. 14 in the series (and its a bit weird that the project stalled at 13 images if you like that sort of coincidence!) - which place it will be named after is yet to be decided...