Term break – Surfaces and strategies week 0 29.04.2020
Over the module break I have done so much thinking, and evaluating about my practice and project. I have taken part in the ‘research’ and ‘connectivity’ workshops with Natasha Caruana of @workshowgrow, attending talks at ICP and MOCP with Justine Kurland , as well as several talks online with selfpublishbehappy .
I have been taking complete and utter advantage of all of the free IG lives that photographers, publishers, and artists have been doing, listening regularly to people / institutions like Hoxton mini press, Tate, and the photographers gallery amongst others.
I have learnt so much from the things being offered during this lockdown, I have to admit, I am feeling slightly guilty over how much I have been taking in and absorbing and growing, from such a terrible situation for so many.
I also booked on to the 6 week Elinor Carucci workshop with the ICP on ‘finding intimacy’ , where I have been focusing on photographing my daughter and I spending time together to help us to be able to gain some connection time on our own during lockdown. This has been a really interesting ‘experiment’ as I very rarely photograph myself , and it’s not often I photograph myself with my children individually either. It has produced some really positive results, that have pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and has inevitably done what the course was meant too, it helped my daughter and I ‘find intimacy’ during lockdown through the medium of photography. Learning from Carucci, and hearing her insights has been absolutely invaluable though, and I am so glad that I made the decision to invest in myself and my practice as such a difficult time financially. Underneath are a few of the images that I have produced during the sessions.
Two of the workshops I did with Natasha Caruana, of work show grow, have been invaluable to my growth as an artist.
The first one focussing on research , the how and why of researching our projects, and the different methods and methodologies we utilise in our practices.
The second workshop was all about connectivity . Why we form connections within the art industry, how and where to do this, and how that can help us in our practice moving forward.
The research workshop was really helpful to me as an artist, but the connectivity workshop was a whole other level, full of helpful information I had never even considered, despite having been a practicing photographer for years, and having a successful business. I started implementing these things straight away, in little ways like on my instagram page making sure that my bio was up to date, and focussed on my current work. Something that is so obvious, but gets left behind when you are so busy.
Both of these were two part workshops, but I only booked on part one of both. After completing them I booked on both of the part two’s as I felt that there was so much helpful information on both, and they were such good value for money that it would be silly to pass them up. Off the back of this I also booked on the work show grow money workshop which is a four part workshop that is designed to teach you how to successfully apply for grants and funding amongst other money matter connected to your practice.
All 6 of these workshops take place this month.
On Friday I completed a workshop with school of social , on how to best implement using instagram stories to drive traffic through my instagram page, and then onto my website. This is something that fitted in with the connectivity workshop with Natasha really well, as although it isn’t all about social media, both workshops did a really good job of explaining how our social media presence will help with connecting with the people we want too throughout our careers.
After the financial effect of coronavirus , Hoxton mini press started a kickstarter campaign offering various gifts/pledges. One of the pledges available was to purchase a portfolio review with Martin who founded HMP. I purchased this for two reasons, firstly I believe we all have a responsibility to help keep publishing houses like this going during such times, but also as well , much less selflessly it meant that I could get a publisher to give me feedback on my work. I have two end goals for my FMP, and that is to collate the individual bodies of work throughout the MA into 1) a photobook showing the varying styles and practices of alternative education (home education, alternative schools, coops. and world schooling) and 2) to create an immersive interactive family exhibition of the same. I was of the opinion that it was a brilliant opportunity to get my work infant of a publisher, and to hear their feedback on if they think the project would translate to a photobook, if it should be one, or many books for each sphere of alternative education, and if they can recommend anyone in the industry that may be interested in looking at my project.
Over the break I also had a portfolio review/mentoring session with Jenny Lewis. I approached Jenny as over the course of the MA my work has been compared to hers by many of the tutors. I had looked at her work a lot over the previous three modules and really connected to her style of working and connecting with her subjects, her use of natural light, as well as her subjects. I wanted to speak to someone who I thought would really connect with my work and what I was trying to say, and achieve. She gave some really helpful feedback on possibilities of where and how the work could be disseminated and how it could work. She had lots of ideas about using the Cornwall part of my project as a collection of interviews. We then discussed my project from last module, which discusses the current issues surrounding elective home education and the exam season of 2020 , and how it was impacted by coronavirus. Jenny was extremely positive about the project from last module and thought there was really good scope for getting it published by newspapers or magazines because of the current climate we are in, and how this is a story that only a few people can tell and the political nature of it makes it not only a visually interesting project, but narrative wise it is also really intriguing as well. I am currently in the process of writing to a selection of the newspapers to see if I can get any interest in the project.
Since the last module I have also achieved the following which I was write about separately.
* I won one of 10 places at FAR AND WILD GALLERY ‘s 2020 open call exhibition for people studying or recently completed courses in Cornwall. The exhibition which was due to be houses in the gallery in Perranporth , was instead run online from May 21st-31st 2020.
* On May 30th 2020, I recorded a podcast with 80% awesome, where I discussed home education , parenting and my MA project on alternative education
* On 8th May 2020, I gave a paid talk at Newlyn art gallery and The exchange on my practice and home education as part of their lunchtime school , which is running alongside their exhibition hippo campus that looks at the way we learn.