Thames Valley Group Meeting
In terms of numbers wanting to attend this fourth meeting of Thames Valley Group it’s been our most successful ever, with Carol Street attending for the first time. Ten people signed up to attend and one person unfortunately had to be declined because of the time we have available for showing and discussing work in progress. No-one was particularly happy about this state of affairs and so to manage the numbers in future the organising members have decided to make some changes to the way we conduct meetings, to the effect that as many as wish will be able to attend and participate in the future; more of that later.
In the end we had nine students attending, with one held up at the airport in Switzerland and unfortunately unable to make it. Sharon Boothroyd made up our numbers as the resident tutor providing direction, insights and critique to the day.
The day started as usual with attendees showing their work and asking for help with direction, critique or whatever else they need from a group discussion on their work. It was unusual on this occasion that all nine students had work they wished to show. Usually there’s a couple that don’t have any work at a suitable point in development to show and so this makes the allocation of time for each person a little easier to fit in when we’ve the afternoon session to complete as well.
There were some very interesting discussions on the material displayed one of which, to me, stood out as it was a discussion on just how far is it acceptable to alter an image. Siegfried Ip was concerned that the direction she’d been getting was ‘that depends’, and she wondered if there was a more definitive way to determine just how far one could go. Showing a set of differently altered images we were asked to decide which were the most appropriate before we were told which had been altered. A longish discussion ensued and although nothing conclusive was decided in terms of fixed rules, it was never-the-less an interesting exercise.
The time we took discussing all the images presented ran on longer than was expected and cut into the time available for the afternoon discussion on ‘In, Around, and Afterthoughts (on documentary photography) by Martha Rosler’. This proved to be a very meaty subject and there was some very impassioned speaking from several students on this subject. Because we had overrun on the morning session we had insufficient time to see this discussion to a natural conclusion, which was very frustrating to everyone.
During the lunch break a small celebration of Keith Greenoughs’ success in the latest round of assessments was held and everyone had either a glass of champagne or slightly fizzy fruit juice. Congratulations Keith on your well deserved score in the assessment.
Because we were unable to bring the afternoon to a natural conclusion it’s been discussed and decided that the best way to ensure a more even distribution of time to the two sessions is to 1. Ask everyone to allow a bit more time for travelling to the venue so we can start on time, 2. Limit the number of students showing work at any one morning session to six rather than anyone who attends, 3. Attempt to reduce the number of ‘off-topic’ side conversations which disrupt the flow of the student presenting their work. With these changes it’s reckoned that we can cope with a much larger number of students wishing to attend and in turn this will add to the overall content of discussions and presentations.
Anyone who wishes to join us at these meetings will always be made welcome and details of the itinerary and current workshop calendar can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/groups/2084851@N24/discuss/ Sign up as a member now and put your name down for the net meeting in October.