OCA Thames Valley Meeting
The Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre, Bordon GU35 0LR.
10.30-4.30pm 18th June 2016
Photo by Catherine
Jayne Taylor (Tutor)
Six students from various levels on the photography pathway met in Borden to discuss work and receive feedback from each-other as well as from OCA tutor, Jayne Taylor.
- Richard is on A2 Landscape and showed us an edit he had been working on consisting of 12 black and white images depicting scenes from a 10 mile circular walk starting from Steep in Hampshire. Richard used the poetry of Edward Thomas, and followed the same route that he had referenced in his poems, visiting sites that still exist today. He had included text from the poems at the bottom of the prints. Everyone was very positive about the quality of the work including the print quality, which was high. Jayne suggested presentation options and ways of including the text effectively.
- Stephen showed work from 3 projects looking at how people are represented in different types of portraits, and how those portraits can read by viewers according to their own preconceptions. He has been researching about the way in which individuals construct their realities, and how that informs how people read and understand images. He referred to a term ‘semiospheres’, which I think described varying sign relationships that are dependent on the extent and size of a considered group. Irving Penn and Henry Callahan were both photographers he’d used as inspiration for these projects and the assignment he’s working towards. At the moment he is thinking about matching lighting schemes to specific faces for his assignment.
- Dawn is working towards A5 in C&N, and showed us a progression of work which started with her looking at the Dutch Vanitas movement, and trying to convey something about mortality, permanence, and mass consumerism. She tried recreating a photographic sketch inspired by one of those paintings but felt her photograph didn’t have enough space. Using the same elements she began to play around with a more modern approach and showed us a photograph she took with much more space but using less of the same objects, in particular a plastic sheet for a tablecloth. Eventually this developed into a constructed layered image where the objects look like they being poured out of a traditional looking gold frame, along with the plastic sheet. Dawn said she wasn’t sure she’d be able to manage the PS layering but seems to have done an excellent job. There was a great deal to this work including semiotics, presentation, and history. Jayne suggested Dawn perhaps needed to decide whether she was coming from a feminist perspective or a traditional one.
- I am working towards A3 but talked about my girlhood project, which I continue to work on, and which has been inspired in part by the work I am doing on UVC. I also mentioned another strand of the work which is linked, but came away feeling that that project was a separate work and one that was a lot less developed than the girlhood project. We discussed the complexities about working with children nowadays, how the fact that I am a woman makes my project possible because of changing attitudes towards photographers/photography. Doris Sculley was recommended.
- Catherine is working towards A1 on Digital & Culture. She brought a host of fascinating research and references relating to her own childhood and the relationship she had with her father, including letters, photographs and magazines. We discussed the emotional content and the way in which her father sent messages via the letters which were addressed to Catherine, read by her mother, but contained covert messages from her him which were really meant for the older of his two female relatives. He also put quite some pressure on Catherine to be a ‘good girl’ who isn’t any trouble for her mother who had been unwell. Catherine said she found the feedback useful in helping her to focus on what within all the different strands she had been looking at would be workable going forward for the assignment.
- John has been working on the idea of false memory, and exploring ways to make photographs that explore the complexities surrounding that. Part of his research has been to look at Elegy, a play by Nick Payne which is currently on at the Donmar Warehouse. He asked Dawn, Catherine and me to read two scenes from it. John found it a useful exercise and it prompted a conversation amongst all of is about how memories can be incredibly unreliable, as well as the various ways different mediums have constructed a narrative when dealing with stories that look at memory. It became apparent that often authors play around with and subvert linear narrative in order to convey the nature of memory. John will be recording a rehearsed reading of the play for his own research purposes at a later date.