Newly created OCA Photography Scotland Group met for the first time last Saturday the 24th April at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow city.
Our day started with a Pecha Kucha style presentation, suggested by our tutor Wendy, which is a fun way to present our work in a relaxed way. Each participant had the chance to talk about their ongoing projects within a time-frame of 20 seconds per image on a selection of 20 images, so everybody gets the same amount of time per presentation. At the end of the presentation we talked about the work as a group and gave the participant our feedback before moving on. This I found worked successfully as it gives an opportunity to speak about the work in a more precise and immediate (public) way and helps those of us who find speaking in front of people uncomfortable. The face-to-face feedback was invaluable, you get to see people’s reactions when they see your work and tell you what they think of it, what works for them and what doesn’t and all the possible ways of moving the work forward. Working at a distance is not only lonely but very much in a vacuum and without immediate support from peers the work cannot reach a good level of progressiveness.
The range of work presented was varied with Level1 together with Level3, Psychogeography – Landscape. This was fantastic as it gave the opportunity to see really interesting work done at Level 1 from the newly developed modules, which frankly some of us are a bit jealous about. The perspective of a L1 student on a L3 work was refreshing and truly helpful and very welcome for many reasons benefiting both sides and it served as an insight from an audience with very specific questions that might not have been thought of before. For us in L3 was a great feeling giving back especially to L1 as we have been in exactly the same position, probably more than once, through our OCA road. Of course, this wouldn’t have worked so well without the input of our tutor guiding us, questioning us, challenging us and giving us possible routes to explore to move our work forward. We decided to have our first day for presenting, getting to know and giving feedback. This is of course a luxury that we might not encounter again as the group progresses and more and more students benefit from this excellent exchange. For our next meeting, 4th July, we will have a follow up of the work discussed in our first meeting and additionally we will introduce an idea/topic/concept to discuss. In addition we will meet more informally at study-day events that are increasing in Scotland and which students in the area are really grateful for.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Nigel Monckton, our Photography rep, John Umney our OCASA president as well as the rest of the committee for the support of our group through OCASA funding, without this it would have been difficult. Also to all students who have made this group successful in starting, and of course to our tutor Wendy for giving her time, knowledge and experience to guide us through; it has been invaluable. And last but not least Street Level Photoworks for providing a fantastic venue for us to be creative.
Yiannitsa Stevens Cegarra
Images © Duncan Astbury.