Week 10 portfolio review with Roz & Bryony from mini clicks 01.04.20
A few days ago I saw on Jack Latham’s IG that the people who run Miniclick were running portfolio reviews so I signed myself up and yesterday evening I had my portfolio review with Roz Doherty and Bryony Good.
Hearing from people totally disconnected from the project and the MA was really helpful for me, and the insights they gave really helped me solidify what this module was about, what I was trying to capture, and where I had come up short this module in comparison to the past one.
Some interesting points we discussed in the review were my statement of intent. Roz commented on that she had to google a lot of the words, and although this may be because she isn’t involved int he community, she thought I should do a ‘very gentle dumbing down’ . Bryony commented on how she felt there was a little wording at the start of the coronavirus part whereeI just needed to alter the wording slightly just to tie it in together a bit more.
We discussed how coronavirus leading to home schooling for a lot of families meant that there would be many families could potentially be interested in this project that weren’t before, and the possibilities that presents with the project.
We discussed how Roz felt that the images from the past module of the other families showed something different, she felt like the images with my children there was a ‘gap’ between the children and myself, and she said she would of expected that to be the other way around. We discussed how this came about, technical decisions that have heightened it (the breaking of my 24-70 I think effected the feel of the images a lot) but also how I think it was in the back of my head, that someone had said I was exploiting my children for my own gain doing this project, and it created this kind of invisible protective barrier that I put between us, so as to not potentially hurt them. Both bryony and Roz said they thought this was ridiculous as quite obviously I am connected to my family, and they are involved in the process. Bryony had a really valid point here that surely if I someone was going to say I was exploiting anyone, it would of been the other families. The fact that I am including my own family shows I am involved in it, and going through the same experiences, so therefore it makes it less exploitative. Bryony felt that my images felt I was much more stepped back from the other families, so she felt the lens made a big difference , but disagreed with Roz on the fact it didn’t feel removed to her. But she felt the images of the traces possibly added to that, as it was more contemplative rather than portraits of people.
We also discussed the listening to too many people when you are surrounded by tutors, peers, other artists etc, and it becomes hard to separate yourself from all of it.
Bryony commented on the fact that they were beautiful images, and Roz felt that the lighting on the faces were brilliant.
It was commented that the images work together lots, but you wouldn’t necessarily pick up that the second set of images were post corona. It was this that helped feed into my idea to include the text , quotes and letters .
We also discussed that I didn’t include any images of my husband in the images. I explained that this was firstly due to how much my partner was working, and also because he doesn’t use social media at all, and tends not to have an online presence, so it feels wrong to include him a lot in these images, as that is obviously a choice he has made, that I respect.
We spoke about the images from last module and my portrayal of the mothers as a way to portray my own experiences. Bryony thought my work was really a reminder of Jenny Lewis’s one day young, due to families in their own environments, the natural light, but also because the images were taken in a “very touching and close way.” (Good, Bryony 31.03.2020) and also Thomas Duffield who’s work I hadn’t seen before, and how his quietly powerful images are very similar to my own. She also commented that I needed to follow my intuition a little more and cut out feedback a little more, and follow my own personal thoughts and intuition on where the project is going.
Roz commented that the passion in my work and the project was really obvious, and like bryony she felt I should block everything out and just concentrate on showing the deeper connection, and ignore that horrendous feedback I got back about the exploitation, that has obviously effected my work.
Bryony said as a teacher she found the project really interesting, so straight away she finds different educational approaches really interesting, and also the fact home education happens ‘behind closed doors’ no-one knows what it is like, so it is little windows into things that no-one really knows about unless you are in that community. She said that this was interesting ‘more than interesting’ on it’s own, but what made it even more interesting was that it was “quite touching, the emotions and relationships between these families.” Interestingly she talked about how if it was just an informative project, you would have reams and reams of writing with it, but because it is not just an informative project you don’t need that. She finished off by saying that because of this, I should definitely just ‘feel’ more what images I want to use, what I am trying to get across and communicate and then go with that.
Roz felt that the way the images were stopping a stereotype was also really interesting and anything that encompasses stereotypes and the breaking down of those ides is straight away interesting.
We finished off with discussing the potentials of concentrating the project within cornwall, like Jenny Lewis did in London with one day young. Bryony felt she was really enjoying seeing into the homes of these families, and maybe that should be separate to the educational institutes and practices, so they are almost two different projects.
This was such a helpful portfolio review, they were so generous with their time and feedback , and it really helped strengthen my project and final ideas.