Week 3 – Webinar with Sarah 13.02.20

Week 3 – Webinar with Sarah 13.02.20

On Thursday I had a really helpful webinar with Sarah and some other students, followed by a quick ten min chat on my own with Sarah to go over some things in more depth that I have been struggling with this module.

During the webinar I showed my two images I created of the map/chair and also the ones I did of Oska having dinner.

I discussed the context and concepts behind the two two images. Firstly the one of the shed in the garden, then the one of the map/chair/book in the freshly plastered room. The shot of the map/chair in the room was definitely the strong favourite. There were several pieces of really good constructive feedback about this image, and what direction I could take the project in.

The main consensus was that the other students really liked that the image created this feeling of having just missed something, the in-between moments, and the trace of people, like something has just happened, or is about to happen. Which goes very much with what we have been discussing over the past few weeks.

There was feedback that they liked that it showed what we do but from a different angle.

The idea was proposed of the same kind of thing I was thinking, of introducing these ‘quiet’ scenes in-between the more intimate scenes of our children involved in their education during the moment.

One student , interestingly, suggested the recreating scenes that have happened naturally but in a more staged way, which interestingly is what I had set out originally on this module to do.

I discussed the way it felt very odd to me to have not be physically creating something for so long. Which is strange, because it actually isn’t a long time, it is just after last module, which was so insane , with multiple photoshoots each week , that this not creating , seems so foreign, and out of my comfort zone. How, whilst I still like the idea of creating these scenes, that I need to continue with the documentary along the way so that I felt like I was still ‘doing’ something,I was still creating. Also, all this time I am not shooting I could be missing fabulous documentary images, that although they may not end up int he WIP for this module, may end up in the FMP , book, or exhibition. It , for me, is all about keeping the bigger picture in sight as well.

I really liked the insight of one attendee that the photograph of the room with the map/chair had actually been constructed over many days, and his words “it had been allowed the moment time to breath.”

The image was descried as intimate, perfect, non constructed, but bit of construction in there, it’s important [to show these moments] a sense of time to explore.

The images were then linked back to sally Mann, and how although her images appear as snap shots, she was actually using a big 10×8 camera, so they weren’t actually ‘snapshots’ at all.

It was then suggested that I just need to think more about what I want to portray, what I want to achieve, and how I want to do that, and then to plan it more. the link was made to the current Picasso exhibition which shows he made pages and pages of notes and sketches before committing to a final painting design.

It was really intriguing to hear that some of the attendees felt that the image was showing someone about to come in, whereas the others thought it showed someone had left. Psychologically, that is an intriguing concept to think about.

One of my fisher cohort that attended mentioned that all of the photographs he has seen me produce all the way through, they have all been about light and shadow all the way through. Ultimately, I totally 100% agree with him, my images , my personal images , are all about the struggle within my self as home educator, mother, woman, wife, student, and the balancing of these elements, and how they push against each other.

It was mentioned that the shed image wasn’t as strong because it was flatter than the others.

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After the main webinar finished I had a 5 min chat with Sarah on my own, where I discussed how I felt I was floundering a little bit this module. I came in with very strong ideas, and a very strong path of what I wanted to create this module, and how that fit into my project more broadly, where the more I have read, and consumed , the more torn I am. I love the ideas of these constructed scenes and tableau, but something isn’t working for me. I just can’t make myself start planning them. After taking with Sarah for some minuets it became apparent to me that the reason that I couldn’t do them was because I plain and simply, wasn’t comfortable with what I was wanting to do. My children have always been very much apart of the decision process when it comes to my images, they tell me if I can photograph them, or if I can’t, they tell me if I can post certain images , or not, I have always gained their permission at varying stages of my career & practice, both before, and during the MA. My problems have come in that, I have spoken to my children, and they are all more than happy to do these tableaux scenes, however I am not comfortable with it. I don’t think I had recognised that, until I started picking it apart with Sarah. I am not comfortable, with using my children in this way. When I photograph them in a documentary way, I am just recording our lives, there is no expectations on them, or pressure, however a tableaux scene feels different to me, it feels like I am asking something of them, that , although they have agreed to, they may not be happy with later. Sarah then explained that its very simple, if I am not comfortable, I just shouldn’t do it, to give myself permission to say I won’t do it, because *I* am not comfortable.

We then discussed potential ways of going forward being photographing an empty school rooms from a local school, maybe historical settings (theres an old classroom in helston museum for example) , or continuing along the theme of photographing constructed scenes in the empty room in my house from the map photograph. We discussed ways of photographing props associated with learning as a way to keep it a bit more light and playful.

I ended the webinar feeling much more positive about how I want to go forward.

ON REFLECTION THIS WILL BE COMBINING CONSTRUCTED SCENES IN THE ROOM IN MY HOUSE I USED FOR THE MAP SCENE, AS WELL AS CAPTUING CONTINUING DOCUMENTARY IMAGES OF MY CHILDREN AS WE GO ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES ON OUR HOME EDUCATING JOURNEY. I WILL THEN REFLECT IN A FEW WEEKS TO SEE IF A STRONGER THEME AND DIRECTION HAS NATURALLY EVOLVED FROM THIS EXPERIMENTATION.

 

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References

Helston Museum. available at https://museumofcornishlife.co.uk/learning/ (accessed 15.02.20)

 

T~F~:

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