Peer to peer meetings, 1-2-1 with Wendy & evening group critique

Supervision log from meeting 5 with Wendy on 03.02.2021 , discussion and action points.

Date of Supervision Meeting03.02.2021
Start time of Meeting9:30am
Length of Meeting in minutes30mins
Meeting Notes & Action Points*yesterdays peer-to-peer meeting and advice given from ilya, raeann, hilde , isabelle and jasmin over the past week on my website.

*parent that wanted to remove consent and how I handled it. W, gave advice on additional consent forms to back up telephone call, which went in line with what I had done (new adapted consent form). Additional parent who I thought may remove permission if I asked them again, how I dealt with this and the outcome (positive)

*discussed this happening again potentially in the future at a more critical time.

*ethical approval during PhD’s and the ‘practice’ this gives for if I go through this.

*I have done an additional /secondary consent form to include my use of video and audio and how I will offer them veto on those portions of the project (this is because I never originally intended to use the audio recordings I made for this purpose.). 

*secondary consent forms once the projects are finalised. (ACTION POINT – COLLECT ALL THESE IN)

* did website walk through with wendy. Explained choices on hosting, domain name , prophoto etc

* Artist statement. (ACTION POINT – work on 300 word summary of the work) good start but keep working on it. Especially last sentence. (ACTION POINT – Clearer language, consider what I am trying to say and explain more , do I want to use the word collaboration ? )

* the power of imagery in quantifiable academic research

*PDF and how to narrow it down & distill to most powerful parts  (ACTION POINT CREATE A FIRST PDF MOCK) *w, advised synopsis, selection of images, screenshot, hyperlink, couple of interviews embedded/links for final PDF. 

*w, liked the video with my voice over, thought it was effected *likes layout of video and sound is good *keep it simple, tiling is good for this

*Discussed falmouth art gallery exhibition, and doing a mock up of exhibition as it wont be open before end of MA. 

*w, sees the work working very well in a gallery. select 6 of best / key images from each project and display as a grid on the pdf, then a gallery owner/curator would be able to see how they could display the work.

*Don’t let the photography collapse under the weight of the project and the research.

* I think your work is eminently adaptable.  Grid of images, text and wall text , 

* edit a series of the interviews together that can be seen on a screen/monitor together  

*ACTION DO MOCKUPS OF FALMOUTH EXHIBITION on pdf along with grids 

*”visual research in a gallery is a really exciting thing to do”

*How do I express each project on one page     (ACTION POINT ADD GOVERNMENT QUOTES/LEGISTALATION TO ADD CONTEXT TO THE WEBPAGES)    
Date of Next Proposed Meeting03.03.2021 9:30am

Following this meeting I thought for a long time about how to work through this issue of my displaying of the work not putting enough emphasis on the photography. Wendy discussed her thoughts around this for a while, about not loosing sight of the photography, that the research was important, but to not loose sight of what I was doing.

Interestingly we also discussed not doing something straight away when somebody suggests it, but waiting first, and sitting with it.

Wendy’s comments only echoed my own thoughts and concerns about the presenting in slideshows and videos . I love the slideshows, but I needed a more impactful way to present them, to give them the limelight , I think they deserve.

After thinking about this for a couple of days I decided to weave larger single images, into the pages of slideshows. The pages now consist of large full size images (as big as they can get on the website) alongside video slideshows showing combinations of images, parents talking, me reading the participants quotes and interview statements, written quotes and audio of the children working, playing, and discussing their education and lives as home educators.

In addition to the above, because the research IS important, the reasoning behind what I am doing is the backbone of the project, I have started including screenshots of sections of legislation from the department of education, ofqual, the government, the children’s commissioner, and gov.uk . The purpose of this is to give clear concise information around the legalities of home education, whilst drawing attention to the fact that these are at very often at odds with the treatment individual families get from local authorities and government workers of all kinds, as well as professionals and the general public.

The work is about educating , in every sense.

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EVENING CRIT WITH WENDY (was meant to be Dinu) 3.2.2021

Evening crit today was with Wendy as Dinu was poorly. I nearly didn’t go as I did think that given I had had a meeting with Wendy that morning the time could be given to someone else, but Wendy advised me to go still so I did. It was really helpful for me to talk about my project again and refine what I say when I talk about it. Also to sort some more thoughts out in my head.

Firstly Wendy asked me to talk about my audience, as I have a very specific audience in mind for my work. I obviously already knew the answer to this question, but just being asked the question and haven’t to articulate it, is a really good exercise. I spoke firstly, and fore mostly about the home educating community. Representing a wide variety of pedagogical practices and beliefs for both practicing home educators, as well as potential home educators. The idea behind this being, that this is almost a visual guide for these families of what it looks like for many people, and how many successful ways there are of educating. It is about taking down barriers to seeing what home education looks like, where the family remains in control of that all the time. Unlike when a local authority tries to encroach on your families private, personal, safe space – your home, this project enabled home educators to show the intricacies and beauty of their lives, under no pressure or coercion .

I then discussed my second audience, working with the academics , with an interest in alternative education, and our presentation to the education select committee, and the local authorities.

Here I went on a bit of a tangent as I explained the rights of citizens to not have anyone enter your home without just cause (the LA regularly tries to do home visits with families, this is fine where a family wants this, but many families do not, but are pressured into it with threats of school attendance orders if they don’t comply) , even the police cannot enter your home without a legal reason. So, when the education select committee chair is stating that he believes home-educators should be mandated to be attached to a school , their child’s work accessed by a registered teacher, and for the council elective home education staff to be allowed to enter our homes and inspect them, there is a huge potential problem looming for our community. A lot of this is driven by fear and ignorance, fear of the unknown, ignorance of the reality of home education and what it looks like.

It is this my work attempts to break down. Whilst academics such as Jo Merrett at Exeter university and Amber Fenshem-Smith of the Open University are supplying quantifiable research in the form of research papers and surveys, I instead am producing a visual representation to use alongside these other forms of research, to add both accessibility and strength to them, just as their research adds strength to my own.

We then briefly discussed ethics, and discussing this in the proposal (and CRoP as well).

Wendy then went on to say “a really interesting and very complex and personal project, that clearly has ethical issues which Bekkie has had to explore, even in her proposal, because there is clearly an ethical component to this project, which she addressed” and discuss how important it is to discuss consent and ethics if this is a part on your work.

“but I think a really interesting project, that Bekkie has developed and identified these communities, especially in the academic collaborations as well. You know, the work is going to have real promise of influence. “Bekkie I really think an interesting example of a project where you are coming together with others, to really lobby I think, and effect change.” – Wendy McMurdo 03.02.2021 –

***

PEER TO PEER COHORT CRITTonights peer-to peer meeting was so useful and informative. When I first joined noone else had got there apart from Hilde and I so I had time to really show her my work and website in depth. As I was going through my work we were joined by three others.

PEER TO PEER FULL COHORT CRIT / PEER TO PEER CRIT WITH I & R

Tonights peer-to peer meeting (and the earlier one with I & R ) was so useful and informative. When I first joined noone else had got there apart from Hilde and I so I had time to really show her my work and website in depth. As I was going through my work we were joined by three others.

I explained my reservations about the way people had been reacting to it, and if I wasn’t explaining my work properly, and that was the issue.

We discussed lots of things, and I made quite a few minor alterations off the back of this meeting, that I think have hugely improved the look and feel of the website, as well as peoples understanding of my project.

The first thing is, this isn’t a ‘website’ in the traditional sense, it is not a portfolio of my best work. It is a full and true representation of all the work I have produced in the last two years, edited down into an in depth, cohesive study into home education. The main points that were made and the actions I took from them –

*The text was hard to read in places due to centre alignment and the font I was using was one that only used capitals.

(ACTION – I converted all text to a more traditional , easier to read font, increased the line break size to give the words and lines more room and left centred everything)

  • The title of the main projects, should they be studies, stories, or work? I & R thought studies, (but that was an issue as the whole project is ‘ A Heuristic Study’ and it may be confusing) H & J in the peer to peer thought it should be stories.

( ACTION – I tried both and in the end went for VISUAL-STUDIES , as it showed that it was where the photography was kept in the menu, but also retained the academic purposes of the project as well)

  • The drop down menu for the main projects is confusing, it keeps them separate and that doesn’t make sense.

(ACTION – I moved the three spheres – heuristic interlude, heutagogical home and heuristic spaces – out of the menu bar and then created a new ‘page’ entitled ‘ visual studies’. In this page I placed a three by one grid of the three projects where you could get a 1/2 line summary of the work and a picture from each project than then linked into each individual project. On this page I also put my artist statement for the overall project in both written text and audio format for accessibility purposes.)

  • The exhibition page was showing too much , it was overkill.

(ACTION – I deleted all but the best 2/3 images from each exhibition and resized them to make them all the same size and therefore more uniform and less cluttered)

  • The last suggestion/comment, was by far the most helpful, and probably should of been the hardest to hear. However, I was genuinely happy and respected the fact that H had been so honest. Her feedback was that the images were great, the videos were brilliant and made total sense. The artist statement was good and made sense, BUT , the two didn’t add up, the one thing didn’t equate to the other. She said she could hear what I was trying to say, but what I was showing them visually, wasn’t saying what I was saying in the artist statement. This was probably one of the most useful, and truthful pieces of feedback anyone has ever given me on the MA, but it didn’t offend me, upset me, or disappoint me . I respected the fact that H had given what must of been a quite hard piece of feedback to give, and I valued her opinion and respected her for giving it, as well as trusted her outside judgement. That night I edited my artist statement for hours. I couldn’t alter the project or the images, so for me, it was a case of needing to alter my artist statement to correctly and clearly show what I could see in these videos and in these families lives. I believe I have acted on this feedback superbly , as my artist statement has evolved a few times since, in a really short amount of time. It was also part of the catalyst to me including the DfE , Ofqual and LA screenshots to further contextualise the work.

There were also suggestions that I took on board but didn’t act on for various reasons, these were –

To put the full projects on a different website and only one video of each project on this website – I didn’t do this because it defeats my purpose of having a full indepth study all in one place. If it were a portfolio, this would make sense, but it isn’t.

To delete the summaries and titles off the grids and only have one line information such as ‘about the artists family’ . I didn’t do this as I think it is important that people can identify which project is which from the main grid page, but I want it to be personal, and too little information will have the opposite effect.

To change visual-studies , to visual-stories. I did actually do this but then changed it back again. As although these works are stories, they are so much more than that as well, and stories sells short what I have done and created.

To delete the audio of the artist statement. I haven’t done this as I believe hearing someone’s voice is good, it connects you, in a way that is hard digitally. This is a profoundly personal project, I want to ‘talk’ to the people looking at it. BUT it is much more than that, it is about accessibility. My project was a project about education, that in turn became an education in itself. Education should be accessible to ALL.

REFERECES

Wendy McMurdo, 03.02.2021 . Evening group critique, teams.

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This blog is written as part of my studies on the Falmouth University photography ma, an accredited educational programme.