Rest of the World Hangout – 14 August 2022

Present: MU, LJ, AB, RK, EP, MK and myself

AB is thinking about switching to a B&M collage in Ottawa after completing L2. He has no Canadian network and feels that this might be beneficial, but he hasn’t made up his mind yet. He showed his A2 for his Landscape module which was a metaphorical memory journey in the style of Duane Michels featuring Google street view images of the houses he had lived in during his youth. He removed all the Google artefacts and straightened the distortions, and added handwritten memory captions to the photos. I particularly liked the way that the images had a bit of a polaroid feel to them which added another layer to the memories.

Elina is busy with her essay about Memory and Time. I mentioned that Martha Langford’s Suspended Conversations might be a handy reference.

Mary showed us a comparison of portraits of Albert Sweitzer taken by Karsh and W. Eugene Smith. Both renditions have Sweitzer looking down, but the group felt that the Eugene Smith image was more powerful and had more of a narrative to it than Karsh’s studio portrait.

RK who is on the Foundations of Photography module mentioned that he wants to explore disruptive collages combined with text as this is well out of his comfort zone.

Linda has been travelling so her creative work is on hold at the moment. She has had a trip to both the UK and Australia. She mentioned attending Cornelia Parker’s exhibition at the Tate Britain. Parker makes use of negative/positive which Linda does as well. What interested her was the way she made negatives of words and sound. For the words she used filings of silver engravings as the negatives and for sound the filings from vinyl records. She also mentioned that her artist statement was very simple – no art-speak whatsoever. Linda also attended an exhibition at the Centre of Photography in Perth, but found it wasn’t very good. While in the UK she also went to the Martin Parr gallery in Bristol as well as the RPS gallery.

MU mentioned that her SYP tutor has suggested a few changes to her foreword. She also needs to comment on options on the layouts for her exhibitions and has some matting to do for her platinum and palladium prints.

Next meeting 18 September 2022.

L3SG hangout – 10 August 2022

Just a quick catch up from the group this month.

Sue brought up the question of file names for images. She and I both share the same BOW tutor and he has certain preferences in file naming conventions. While we can both see that this methodology would be handy in a production environment, we are both retired and will probably not need to refer to our images ten years down the road. However, for the sake of assessment we will probably oblige.

Sue G is looking at Westdene College as they offer a course on alternative wyas of printing – lumen, anthrotype, etc. MU mentioned a Facebook group by the name of Lux et Libera which she has joined and found very interesting.

Sarah G is doing some darkroom work, learning how to make prints. She has found a space that is rented for £195/year all inclusive except the photo paper. She is also trying out for competitions.

MU is considering doing a practise-based PhD at Sunderland University, but might take a year off first.

HR has sent her SYP A1 off to the tutor and is waiting for the feedback chat. She needs to find a printer for the book costs, and look into crowd-funding. She is considering Vika Publishing as one of her options. She is going to Arles this month. She has been reading, but feels that she hasn’t got to grips with SYP yet. She has also started teaching – youth engagement – a 2 hour photo workshop for 16 year olds on harnessing the power of photography. She is trying to diversify her talents and keeping other irons in the fire.

NS is working towards her A3s. She is tinkering with the Lit Review, but feels she needs to watch her timing. BOW is about community – view of community around her – 2nd home owners and original woodlands are a metaphor for that. CS – looking at whether you can show the invisible in photography along the line of equivalents – semiotics and symbolism.

MU mentioned it is important to state who your audience is. It could well just be you and that is fine.

HR mentioned she had a brilliant portfolio review from Ania Dabrowska. The reviews were offered through the London Independent Photography group. One of the things that came out in her review was to think about creating mini-narratives when submitting work to portfolio reviews or competitions where you have to reduce the number of images to present. This is something I realised after my LensCulture Critics Choice review, so its good to have this reinforced. She then gave Sue and myself some tips on presenting learning outcomes for assessment.

Next meeting 21 September 2022.

Evaluation for Body of Work

My Body of Work evolved from my Level 2 modules which were based on the landscape and underlying  history of First Nations people near Shuswap Lake where I live. Shuswap Lake has a shoreline of over 1,400 km and my original intention was to create a project based solely on the landscape of this area. However, as I researched the various communities around the lake, I realised that there was interesting latent history that was worth exploring. Covid-19 restricted my access to the First Nations (Indigenous) communities, so I focused on delving into the history of the original homesteaders and settlers to this area. I put out an open call on social media to contact descendants of the homesteaders and received a few responses. I conducted interviews via Zoom and in- person and each interviewee provided archival photographs of their families and shared many entertaining stories imparting their oral history. It may be helpful for me to join a local historical society with the aim of presenting my work to a broader audience.

Fig. 1 Descendants of original homesteaders – my interviewees. From left to right: Pat Ogden, Faye Cassia via Zoom, Heather Lessard.

Using archival images contrasting with my own Landscape images I wanted to create a dialogue between the settlers and myself. As a relative newcomer to this area I would be inviting the viewer to join me in this encounter with the gaze of the past looking back at us.

I experimented using various backgrounds for my photomontages  – water , icicles, and even burying photographs in the snow to achieve this effect (before settling on the water/ice combination as these conveyed the passage of time that I was trying to achieve. Some had a wet-plate collodion feel to them which seemed to emphasis the passage of time and history. I further extended this concept by incorporating last century newspaper cuttings of the area.

Fig. 2 Collage of photomontages showing different backgrounds

These Individual family memories are shaped and perpetuated through stories, rituals and images that are passed down generationally forming the most important site of communicative memory. These are the memories we share with friends and family, and they have a time horizon of approximately 80 years before fading into obscurity (Erll, 2011). This notion of collaborating and injecting my work with other voices forms an ongoing conversation between the descendants, ourselves, and future generations, tying into my contextual studies regarding the concept of heteroglossia (the different ways people express themselves and their varying points of view on the world) (Bakhtin, 1981).


Looking Back

  • Where have you come from?

Initial intentions were to create a multimodal project with sound and/or video concentrating on the latent history of the First Nations and settler communities. While I did not end up using sound or video, the project is still multimodal in that I have used different modes (Kress, 2009), i.e. photos, text, news clippings and photomontages to communicate my ideas.

  • What have you learned?

Life will throw you a curve ball. Covid lockdowns effectively blocked my access to the First Nations communities. Also it takes a long time to transcribe interviews. Having some help doing this would have been nice.

  • What mistakes did you make?

I didn’t manage to shoot all the areas around the lake that I had intended to due to impassable roads during winter and extremely bad visibility during the wild fire season in summer. I also lost momentum and took too long in doing the transcripts. Juggling my time between BOW and CS was difficult and I frequently missed my own deadlines. This led to a lack of motivation towards the latter half of both modules.

  • What were the low points? High points? Who influenced you?

Low points: my increasing lack of mobility due to hip arthritis and subsequent hip replacement surgery.
High points: receiving positive feedback from the LensCulture  Art Photography portfolio reviewer on my photomontages which I submitted towards the end of 2021.
Who influenced you? The list would be very long, but as a shortlist I would single out Aaron Schuman’s work Slant. His strategy of using newspaper cuttings played a huge role in my choice of text. The photos don’t overwhelm the text and the text doesn’t overwhelm the photos. The photos don’t illustrate the text, nor does the text anchor the photographs, but there is some sort of relationship between the two. I hope I have achieved a similar relationship with my newspaper cuttings and captions.

My BOW is tied to the concept of a journey around the Shuswap Lake and therefore I studied the work of Alec Soth (Sleeping by the Mississippi) whose work provided a stepping stone to my CS as Soth regards photography as a language that is full of dialects, which in turn refers to heteroglossia, my main theme in my dissertation. I was also interested in how Soth sequenced his images following a specific colour palette flow. Frank Watson and Freya Najade also provided inspiration around bodies of work around water. Both included elements of climate change and pollution in their projects.

For my photomontage work I drew inspiration from Gilvan Barretto who uses archival imagery, documents, poetry to create his photomontages. I was very drawn to the fact that he also used a single background colour in his work creating a unifying narrative which imparts a symbolic connotation. Lorie Novak’s work also resonated with me as her process was quite similar to mine, allowing the landscape image to bleed through to the forefront of the archival image.

  • How are you critically positioned within photography as a result of your work on this course?

My work is a mix of landscape and conceptual photography and I explore abstract concepts such as memory, language and latent history. The archival photographs of the Shuswap Lake ancestors function as signifiers of time looking back at us into the present. The collaboration with the descendants via their photographs and narratives has added extra layers to my authorial voice. My contextual studies research into heteroglossia, memory and the archive have given me a greater insight into how interlinked these three themes can be.

  • How might what you’ve produced impact on your future projects?

While I could easily expand this project by putting out for a few more open calls for descendants to come forward with their stories and photos, and this is something I am thinking of doing, I would really like to explore my own family archive and create a project around pre-emigration/post immigration using similar techniques and perhaps a few new techniques that I discovered during various artists’ talks I attended.

  • Have you found a personal voice that you’d like to develop?

Looking back over my OCA modules I believe my voice has steadily developed to address issues of immigration, identity, memory and language.

  • How did your technical decisions impact on, or impair the final outcome?

The most difficult decisions were choosing the appropriate unifying backgrounds for the photomontages. I feel the water/ice backgrounds with their added texture of grasses and twigs and presence of water and ice allowed for more depth to convey a passage of time than the water or icicle backgrounds I experimented with. I was careful to choose elements or lines in the background images that matched or echoed the archival images so that the photomontage was more integrated. Based on some feedback I received during a LensCulture Critics Choice portfolio review I elected to substitute a few photo collages and standalone archival images to create more variety.

  • Were you true to your artistic intentions?

Yes. I did set out to explore the communities around the Shuswap Lake, but what changed was that I delved more into the latent history of the area and accompanying memories contributed by the descendants. This was a result of my contextual studies research into heteroglossia.

  • What did you learn from the editing process?

That the editing process never ends. It is dynamic and fluid and is a subjective process based on form, line, colour and content.

  • What are the main lessons you will take away as a result of this course?

One of the main lessons I would take away is to experiment more widely. Looking back there could have been opportunities where I could have experimented more with Chlorophyll prints (had we not been inundated with 4 months of wild fire smoke) and possibly night photography too.

Looking Forward

How would you like your audience to experience your body of work? Do you have any ideas for venues or production formats ?

My original thoughts were to create a multimodal presentation with sound and video. However, as my research progressed and Covid lockdown continued, I decided on presenting my body of work in a book format. I think it lends itself well to this format as it allows the viewer to spend time examining the photos and reading the text. I will be exploring various book formats in SYP. I also plan on creating a website for my BOW. I will be presenting each of my interviewees with a copy of the book, sustainably wrapped in a scarf featuring a photomontage of one of their ancestral images they provided for the project.

What do you need for this to happen ?

I need to source printers here in Canada that will do short runs or bespoke books or self- publishing as well as looking at different formats.

Do you need to make any changes to your portfolio ?

I view my portfolio as a dynamic document, and it will always be subject to changes depending on the context in which it is used. I may have to edit down drastically for a portfolio review or gallery submission, or it could expand as a result of extra work done on the project. It will always be a work in progress.

Bibliography

Bakhtin, M. (1981) ‘Discourse in the Novel’ In: Holquist, M. (ed.) The Dialogic Imagination | Four Essays. Austin: University of Texas Press. pp.259–422.

Erll, A. (2011) Memory in Culture. Translated by Young, S. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kress, G. (2009) Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London, UNITED KINGDOM: Taylor & Francis Group. At: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ucreative-ebooks/detail.action?docID=465511 (Accessed  29/04/2022).


[BOW LO4 critically review your own work and evaluate it against desired outcomes]

LensCulture Portfolio Reviews

This amalgamated post is for assessment purposes and contains consecutive links to the LensCulture Portfolio Reviews I requested.


[BOW LO5 demonstrate management, leadership and communication skills and have deployed them during the negotiation and production of the final body of work with your tutor and third parties.]

Chance Discovery

Recommended by Michal Siarek: Tonks’ work focuses on telling stories about people’s lives shaped by history and geography. Ideally I would like to have my book cover image debossed (i.e. indented) for added texture. Here Tonks wraps his book in a hand stitched UK flag, which are then placed into a wooden presentation box with a slide-off lid. My plan is to simply wrap my book in a scarf featuring a photomontage in the Japanese Furoshiki style.

Fig. 1 Tonks, J (2014) Empire – Book Cover
Fig. 2 Tonks, J (2014) Limited edition – book wrapped in hand stitched flag

It would seem my idea of applying a Furoshiki style wrapper to my book also has reference to the way certain ancient documents are stored in India. So apart from being eco-friendly, it would seem that my wrapper idea carries a metaphor of the archive as well, which simply adds to the layers of latent history in my body of work. What a wonderful chance discovery!

Fig. 3 Singh, D Fabric covered archives
Bibliography

Estrin, J. (2018) ‘The Photo Book as Art Object’ In: The New York Times 08/10/2018 At: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/lens/dayanita-singh-photo-books.html (Accessed  15/08/2022).

Invaluable (2020) Furoshiki: The Art of Japanese Fabric Wrapping – Invaluable. At: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/furoshiki/ (Accessed  15/08/2022).

Pramod Kumar, K.G. (2017) ‘Pramod Kumar K.G. on the vast Indian archives that are given remarkable short shrift’ In: The Hindu 12/08/2017 At: https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/we-dont-know-how-to-use-our-archives/article19474766.ece (Accessed  15/08/2022).

Tonks, J. (2014) Empire – Jon Tonks. At: https://www.jontonks.com/books/ (Accessed  15/08/2022).

Artist Talks Index Page

This page serves as an index page to all the artists I have researched, talks and workshops I have attended during the course of my BOW and CS modules.

Mini-write ups

Assignment 4 – Major Project Edit: Rework

I have restructured the presentation of this assignment so that images appear first, followed by contextualisation with my CS and my background process, as well as a few minor tweaks to text for clarity. No other changes have been made.

For this assignment I need to produce a tightly edited sequenced series, paying attention to how I use words alongside my images (captions, titles or additional ‘relay’ type text) and re-frame the images accordingly. I also have to include a short commentary outlining the development of my ideas for this part of the course.

(Boothroyd, 2020:74)

My assignment is laid out in as two page spread book in PDF format below. I have also included an updated Proposal, Contextual Background which provides the link between my dissertation and Body of Work, my thoughts on the Editing and Sequencing exercise as well as my rationale on the use of text. My Self-reflection concludes the presentation.


Assignment 4 – Shuswap Lake Tales

My assignment can be seen here in PDF format as a book showing two-page spreads.


Revised Proposal

Shuswap Lake Tales

The Shuswap Lake in the province of British Columbia, Canada has a shoreline circumference of over 1,000 kilometres with various small communities scattered around it. The population ranges from 87 in the smallest community to 17,706 in the largest. The landscape surrounding the lake mainly consists of dense forests and is largely untamed. It is a landscape that has experienced three short-lived gold rushes, meriting scant mention in history books and tracings of miners’ log cabins can be found deep in the forests.  Paddleboat ferries used to transport people and goods across the lake; today automobiles make the journey along the Trans-Canada Highway on the southern side or on dirt roads on the north shore. Even so, some areas are impossible to reach during the winter as the roads are unnavigable due to snowpacks. The Canadian Pacific trains no longer stop to pick up passengers at the stations along the southern side of the lake. Instead, they pass right by with their 80+ cars in length carrying goods to and from Asia.

It’s a space that has hidden conscription dodgers since World War I through the Vietnam War, necessitating those men to learn to live off the land in hostile terrain. As the gold rush dwindled, settlers turned to farming. These communities settled with many hopes and dreams, some envisioning their community as becoming the greatest summer resort along the Canadian Pacific rail line. I am interested in this space and the latent history of the immigrant settlers and homesteaders who chose to live in this beautiful yet harsh terrain. I hint at the physical transformations of the landscape as it changes seasonally as well as the passage of time through my photomontages. By using archival images provided by the settlers’ and homesteaders’ descendants juxtaposed with my own landscape images I create a dialogue between the settlers, descendants, and myself as newcomer to this area, and invite the viewer to encounter the gaze of the past looking back at us. This notion of collaborating and injecting my work with other voices, forms an ongoing conversation between the descendants, ourselves and future generations.


Contextual Background

The concept of heteroglossia[1] (the different ways people express themselves and their varying points of view on the world) forms a core theme in my body of work. Heteroglossia is often mentioned in literary terms but is usually overlooked in the visual arts. Everything we encounter in the world is in a dialogic relationship with something else and we can therefore apply the discourse of language to photography. We do not read a photograph in isolation, but consider it in communication with other structures, i.e. text, captions, titles or even other photographs. The photograph speaks to the text and the text answers the photograph. There is an ongoing and never-ending conversation taking place between the photographer, subject, the photograph and the viewer; if we introduce archival images into the conversation, we then add the element of time into our conversations. Our work will always be subject to different interpretations depending on the viewer’s culture and social background.

My interest in the Shuswap Lake area in the province of British Columbia, Canada began when I moved to this area in 2018. As I began to explore the communities surround the lake, I became intrigued with the hidden history of the early homesteaders and settlers of this place. While photographs act as prompts for memory recollection, our memories are sparked by our interaction “between past and present, spectator and image, and between all these and cultural contexts, historical moments” (Kuhn, 2003:397). I explore this notion of conversation through time and others via photomontage, and collage. My photomontages were influenced by Lorie Novak (Kuit, 2022b), Claudia Ruiz Gustafson (Kuit, 2021a), and Gilvan Barreto (Kuit, 2021b). Similarly to Barreto I elected to use a uniform colour in the photomontages. The colour brown symbolises strength, resilience, loneliness, comfort, fertility and history (Kuit, 2021d) which reflects the type of people, and the type of life the early homesteaders would have led.


Editing and Sequencing

I initially blue-tacked my images to the wall closest to my desk to do the editing and sequencing exercise but found reshuffling the order on a wall rather overwhelming and time-consuming. I transferred the images to my dining room table which allowed for a more fluid interaction with the images.

LK-03-Row5-v1

Sequencing photographic work is quite similar to writing an essay. Following Ingrid Sundberg and Jörg Colberg’s advice (Colberg, 2016a and b) (see Kuit, 2021e) my first criteria was to decide whether I would follow a narrative or story sequence. As stories have a sequence of events and a narrative only requires an implication to the events, it was an easy decision to use a narrative sequence as my work definitely doesn’t follow the classic beginning/middle/peripetia-climax/end format. A narrative sequence also suits photo collages or montages as the placement of images allows the viewer to create their own story through the connections they make, i.e. their own plot. This is described as the Polyphoic or Ensemble Plot by Sundberg and I found this tied in with heteroglossia as there are “multiple protagonists in a single location which is ‘characterized’ by the interaction of several voices, consciousness, or world views, none of which unifies or is superior to the others” (Sundberg, 2011). Structure is where the organization and arrangement of photographs takes place and here I followed Jörg Colberg’s method of using form before content and looked for similar patterns, lines, shapes and hues to do this segment of the exercise. This allows the viewer to be drawn into the conversation without having background knowledge. Initially I only sequenced my landscape images as this helped to edit them down. I found that a few of my favourites didn’t make the cull as they didn’t follow the form and content, and other less favourite ones did. I found this to be quite an enlightening exercise. As I added the photomontage and archival images, I had to consider timeframe as the sequencing would be bouncing backwards and forwards between past and present and the plot would therefore be non-linear. An added complication is also the fact that I have multiple viewpoints in my work resulting from the collaboration with my interviewees. As I edited, I kept the following points in mind:

  • Is this image strong enough as a visual piece without the rest of the series?
  • Is this image adding anything new or emphasising a point that I want it to?
  • Is it detracting from or contradicting the rest of the series?
  • Am I overlooking any less striking work because of aesthetic concerns that may be secondary to the impact the piece will have on the final reading?

In preparation for the book presentation I experimented with silk wrappings for the book. The idea being to present each interviewee with a book, that is wrapped in a silk scarf that has a photomontage of one of their photographs that they contributed to the project. I sourced two companies, Contrado and ArtFabrics and ordered from both. Upon receipt I made videos to show the size, material and translucency options that I am considering (Kuit, 2022d). These fabrics would also create an interesting en plein air exhibition.

Using Text

I decided to use snippets from the interviews I had with the descendants as text alongside some of the images to create a multi-layered approach. I also sourced archival newspapers and newsletters in the Shuswap Lake ranging from 1906 – 1949 which provided valuable background and historical information. I found many intriguing stories but decided to try and keep my selection down to those that directly had relevance to the homesteaders, or to some of the stories that the interviewees related. The approach that I have take for the text is that of relay, as it is more ambiguous, and I want to allow the viewer to work to make the connections. Placement of the captions and newspaper snippets are deliberate and could relate to the images before or after the text, or to other images in the series. The viewpoint that I want to convey to my viewers is that the history of everyday people is just as important and engaging as that of the official sanctioned government history that is taught in schools, and that this landscape has been shaped by the homesteaders/settlers who initially set up these communities around Shuswap Lake.


Self-Reflection

This assignment has been a long time coming due to circumstances beyond my control. Our province experienced the worst wildfire season in history in the summer of 2021, beginning in May and ending mid to late September. An 84 km2 wildfire too close for comfort for most of that time had me monitoring wild fire statuses and evacuation alerts. Family matters needed my attention for a lengthy period after this. But I’m pleased to say that I should be back on track now. Thankfully my photomontage backgrounds were made during the winter.

I submitted a selection of my photomontage images to the LensCulture Art Photography Awards (Kuit, 2021f) with a request for a portfolio review. I received good feedback and now know that the photomontages can work well as a standalone series. I also submitted ten image of the landscape and photomontages to the LensCulture Critics Choice Awards (Kuit, 2022b), also with a request for a portfolio review. It was difficult to choose only 10 images and I tried to create a balance between photomontage and landscape images. I realised from the feedback that my choices were not quite right for such an edited down version of my work and this is a valuable lesson to bear in mind going forward. I have also taken on board some of the comments to mix up the archival images or create collages instead of just using the photomontages. The feedback I received from my peers regarding my initial landscape sequencing (Kuit, 2021c) and the initial book mock-up (Kuit, 2022a) was also invaluable. Aspects such as relevant background information that was missing, formatting issues and layout preferences were highlighted. It was felt that the inclusion of the interviewees’ stories and the newspaper snippets worked well and contributed to a very multi-layered narrative. I also found that this has been the point where my Contextual Studies and Body of Work have come together. The recent research I have done on family photography, memory and heteroglossia have helped with the sequence and layout of the book.

Considerations to move the work forward

I need to make a book dummy and will probably need to perform a further edit on the work to tighten up the narrative. I have a couple more locations that I want to shoot and will consider whether they make the cut or not for inclusion. I will also start gathering ideas for SYP on how best to publish it.


[1] First coined by Mikhail Bakhtin in 1934.

Bibliography

Boothroyd, S. (2020) Body of Work | Photography 3 Course Manual. Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Colberg, J. (2016a) Photography and Narrative (part 1) | Conscientious Photography Magazine. At: https://cphmag.com/narrative-1/ (Accessed  28/06/2021).

Colberg, J. (2016b) Photography and Narrative (part 2) | Conscientious Photography Magazine. At: https://cphmag.com/narrative-2/ (Accessed  28/06/2021).

Kuhn, A. (2003) ‘Remembrance: The Child I Never Was’ In: Wells, L. (ed.) The photography reader. London: Routledge. pp.395–401.

Kuit, L. (2021a) Claudia Ruiz Gustafson. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/claudia-ruiz-gustafson/ (Accessed  02/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2021b) Gilvan Barreto – Little Moscow. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/gilvan-barreto-little-moscow/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021c) L3SG Peer Feedback on Sequencing. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/l3sg-peer-feedback-on-sequencing/  (Accessed  03/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2021d) Metaphors in my work. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/07/22/metaphors-in-my-work/ (Accessed  02/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2021e) Narrative, Story, Plot & Structure. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/06/28/narrative-story-plot-structure/ (Accessed  03/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2021f) LensCulture Art Photography 2022 Reviewer Portfolio Feedback. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/12/28/lensculture-art-photography-2022-reviewer-portfolio-feedback/ (Accessed  03/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2022a) LensCulture Critics Choice Awards 2022 – Portfolio Review. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2022/03/28/lensculture-critics-choice-awards-2022-portfolio-review/ (Accessed  03/04/2022).

Kuit, L. (2022b) Lorie Novak. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2022/01/11/lorie-novak/ (Accessed  02/04/2022).

Sundberg, I. (2011) TO PLOT OR NOT TO PLOT: Part 4 – Types of Plot – Ingrid’s Notes. At: https://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/to-plot-or-not-to-plot-part-4-types-of-plot/ (Accessed  28/06/2021).


[1] First coined by Mikhail Bakhtin in 1934.

L3/Documentary Hangout – 4 August 2022

This was a very productive session for our group. As our original date for this meeting clashed with the OU/UCA/OCA transition meeting we postponed it for this week. Needless to say we had some discussion about the whole transition process which I will not report on.

Alan Bulley had joined the group and is in the process of finalizing Level 2 and wanted to know if anyone had any thoughts about doing Level 3 in less than 3 years. Bob who was the only one on the new 3.1 system thought that he might run into problems with tutor response time as there are 10 assignments to work through. Consensus was that it also depended on the research for CS, and subject matter of the BOW. Of course unknown factors always get in the way. In general I think we felt that rushing through might not be beneficial.

The group then did some collective brainstorming on the BOW and CS learning outcomes, trying to erase some of ambiguity around the wording.

BOW LO1: “unfamiliar environment” – could be learning or physical environments. Testing new techniques you are unfamiliar with. Taking portraits of people if you have never done it before. New challenges that lead you to produce photos and explain how this was achieved without tutor supervision.

BOW LO2: contextualize against other artists. Group felt this was quite straight forward.

BOW LO3: Neil described it quite succinctly: start with some ideas that on its own sounds even off the wall or bizarre because you don’t have anything there to back it up and then what you’re doing is through your BOW you’re bringing stuff together which then becomes into this narrative. And then that narrative is transferred into your final images. Its trying to show that link. In other words turning ideas into outcomes.

BOW LO4: We felt this could be written in the self reflection or course evaluation.

BOW LO5: Look at peer feedback, hangouts, portfolio reviews for content.

CS LO1: Make the connection between BOW & CS.

CS LO2: provide evidence of research, how does it relate to BOW.

CS LO3: How your research supports your hypothesis and how you prove it. How you funnel down your research focus.

CS LO4: how you manage your research and what your process is.

HE6 Tutorial with Ariadne Xenou – 25 July 2022

In this session we discussed how to approach the Learning Outcomes. Brief notes below.

Present a proposal for what you have done (reflective commentary) Guide assessors through work with examples on both BOW & CS. Intertwine BOW & CS. Helps articulate the LOs and assessment criteria.

How to deal with LOs and the relationship between assessment criteria.

  • why are we given learning outcomes?
    – What you should be aiming towards
    – Objectives, criteria & LOS are all related.
  • Aims and outcomes = target we aim at.
  • Importance of outcomes:
    – Consider LOs each time when submitting an exercise or assignment.
    – Way to ensure staying on track and evaluate expectations.
    – Qualitative approach.
    – Way to engage with level, quality & context at each stage.
  • What do LOs offer you?
    – ask critical questions of yourself.

LO1undertaken research and study demonstrating comprehensive knowledge of your area of specialisation and built a theoretical framework for your creative practice

  1. Decide what you are looking for.
  2. What is your research question.
  3. What is your subject.

Articulate your work/research in terms of broad concepts. This forces us to shift perspective from work – not talking from inside – looking from broad outside perspectives.

Before looking for assessment LOs – keep a record – it will change. Articulate through broad prism – should be easy to find evidence of LOs.

The way we articulate is particular.
– what are you summarizing when you articulate LOs
– consider how
– what kind of evidence. Dissertation = key evidence.
– where in your research does your evidence come in – not explicitly in dissertation or obvious one.

LO2synthesised and articulated your critical, contextual and conceptual knowledge and understanding into a coherent critique of advanced academic standard

Important words: synthesise, articulated, contextualize, critical/conceptual knowledge and understanding, advanced academic standards.

  • synthesise = pull ideas together (evidence). Don’t let assessors infer – be straight forward, show process.
  • critical – forming judgment
  • contextual – relates to BOW. Allows you to show how contextualized written and visual work. Draw links with other module.
  • conceptual – overall concept that you have fulfilled and has a concept.
  • knowledge & understanding = assessment criteria

How showcasing knowledge & understanding through synthesise, articulation, etc.

4-5 log entries needed.

Reflective Commentary

Use LOs to do reflective commentary. Process, LOs and assessment criteria. Consider how development fulfilled keywords from LOs = articulation of research topic and keywords.

Lit Review/dissertation = interrelated. Don’t separate.

  • Figure out keywords of LOs
  • Consider LOs as questions – critical questions to pose to yourself
  • Become direct questions

“How have I …?” break it down.

Theoretical frameworks “in arguments” comes in dissertation – synthesis and practice – how BOW & CS are synthesised.

When you decode LOs – they are no longer abstract.

Consider within broad terms of academia and creative practise.

LOs are part of process – way in to research for assessors.

LOs – break down and analyse, then find evidence, make it solid.

Make LOS into questions and break them down. Do for both units and then target response.

This session was extremely helpful and would have been even more helpful if such a session was made available at the start of Level 3 so that one could apply the learning outcomes to each exercise and assignment. It is rather daunting to have to figure them out right at the end of the module with the pressure of a looming assessment on the horizon.

Assignment 2: Genre Development (Rework)

Based on tutor formative feedback I have restructured the presentation of this assignment so that images appear first, followed by background process and contextualisation with my CS. I have also separated out my reflections on assessment criteria into a separate post.

For this assignment I have to produce a series of carefully considered images that will hopefully move my BOW idea forward. Because British Columbia initiated a more stringent lockdown than our first one, I have concentrated on the archival images that were kindly provided by my interviewees, as well as landscape images.


Archival Images

For context, I have looked at the following:

  • Little Moscow by Brazilian photographer, Gilvan Barrato, whose work also references history and identity through use of historical documents, poetry and archival images (Kuit, 2021c). Barrato also uses a single colour in his set of images which create a unifying effect in a body of work.
  • La Cantuta No Olvida by Claudia Ruiz Gustafson whose work is about stories of her ancestors and her immigrant and liminal experiences (Kuit, 2021i). Of particular interest in this body of work is her use of superimposing identity portraits over the national flower of Peru, which creates a unifying element throughout the set of portraits.
  • Photomontage and collage – Peter Kennard, Elizabeth Zvonar and Scott Mutter. Both Kennard and Zvonar use hard edges and repetition to create their narratives addressing political or social issues. Zvonar also uses scale to make her impact by enlarging portions of her collages to convey a sense of power in relation to the other elements she uses. In addition, her work is displayed on billboards. Mutter by contrast creates fictional worlds with poetic narratives (Kuit 2021e). I feel that my work aligns more closely with Mutter’s than with Zvonar and Kennard. I followed a conceptual strategy for the archival images. A brief background follows.

Please click to open the photomontage gallery below.

Background and Process for Archival Images

Since I began this project, I have felt that I need to find some kind of “common ground” to present the archival images in. I experimented with various backgrounds for my photo montages – the ever changing water surface tones of the lake, icicles, burying the photos in snow and even trying to weave the archival image into the landscape image.

Overall the water-ice photomontages work more effectively to relay a message of time past, of ancestors speaking through the landscape and evoking memory through hauntological layers. The first layer (the past) is obscured by the second layer which allows for the ghostly appearance of the ancestors. Quite a few of the photomontages have a wet-plate colloidan feel to them, which adds to the concept of a forgotten time or the latent history that I am trying to convey – a sense of place where local historical events occurred that include the social memory and stories of the early settlers and a sense of rupture or fragmentation from the past breaking into the present.

Landscape Images

For context I have looked at:

Please click to open the landscape gallery below.

Process – Landscape Images

On the landscape front, I continued to use a psychogeographic strategy to explore other communities along the lake by driving and stopping at random spots to photograph, continuing the strand that I began during Assignment 1. I’ve had to take a more planned approach as there is only one way that one can get around the lake during the off season, either by the Trans Canada Highway or by shoreline and forestry roads as the lake ices up during the winter. I continued to shoot where the local communities go to play, or gather, but have included a few images of local industry as well. Due to weather conditions and Covid restrictions there were not many people out and about. I have been trying to incorporate some land images, as well as locations that were mentioned by my interviewees that I’ve been able to identify. My contact sheets and some of my rationale for my picks are on my Landscape Picks for A2 post.


Links with Contextual Studies

I am following three themes in my Contextual Studies which influence my Body of Work, i.e. communicative and cultural memory; heteroglossia/dialogism/authorship, and the archive. How are these themes applicable to my Body of Work?

According to Bakhtin, art and life are answerable to each other in the same way that humans are answerable to each other over time and space).

“… Nearly all art is answerable in the sense that it evolves in relation to history and historical artifacts, to personal experience and reflection, and to identifiable formal issues”.

(Haynes, 2007:296)

In other words, we can interpret art not only from a dialogic perspective, but also in relation to time, duration and change. This involves memory, specifically communicative and cultural memory when looking at my practise. Communicative memories usually last no longer than three generations or 80 years. These are the memories that are passed down from our grandparents and parents. It is these kind of memories that I am harnessing with my interviewees’ stories and their archival photos by adding their voices to my BOW. If these memories are remembered beyond the three generations, in other words, among the broader community, they pass into our cultural memory and become institutionalised and then such photos may end up in museums.

How do communicative and cultural memory correlate with photography as language? Memory relies on dialogue and heteroglossia (i.e. different voices, different social groups offering different points of view on the world). We cannot pass on our memories without speaking about them, or showing images to explain them and we do this through our personal archives. The archive straddles the past and the future, providing evidence of lived experiences. It’s a place where exchanges occur and these help to shape our own internal landscapes.

Bibliography

Haynes, D. (2007) ‘Bakhtin and the Visual Arts’ In: Smith, P. and Wilde, C. (eds.) A Companion to Art Theory. Chichester, UNITED KINGDOM: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. pp.292–302. At: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ucreative-ebooks/detail.action?docID=242431 (Accessed  15/09/2020).

Kuit, L. (2021a) Collage or Photomontage? At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/01/27/collage-or-photomontage/ (Accessed  27/01/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021b) Donovan Wylie & Jim Goldberg: Candy & A Good and Spacious Land Interview. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/donovan-wylie-jim-goldberg-candy-a-good-and-spacious-land-interview/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021c) Gilvan Barreto – Little Moscow. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/gilvan-barreto-little-moscow/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021d) Landscape Picks for A2. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/15/landscape-picks-for-a2/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021e) Photographers using Photomontage. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/16/photographers-using-photomontage/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021f) Photographers working around large bodies of water. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/02/27/photographers-working-around-large-bodies-of-water/ (Accessed  15/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021g) Prelude to Assignment 2. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/11/prelude-to-assignment-2/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021h) What Collages Do: 4 Lessons and a Timeline. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/02/22/what-collages-do-4-lessons-and-a-timeline/ (Accessed  16/03/2021).

Kuit, L. (2021i) Claudia Ruiz Gustafson. At: https://lyndakuitphotographylevel3.wordpress.com/2021/03/24/claudia-ruiz-gustafson/ (Accessed  24/03/2021).

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