350MC Working with Photography in Context – Lecture 3

On Tuesday 14th October 2014, I went into university for a day dedicated to our 350MC Working with Photography in Context Module. We started the morning with Anthony Luvera taking us through how to write our proposals for our Symposium (that are due next week) before passing over to our supervisors, Daniel Campbell Blight and Kate McMillan, who introduced themselves to us through a short practitioner talk. After this meet and greet session, we then joined the third year Media Communication students in their 381MC module by attending talks by lecturers Anthony Luvera and Shaun Hides where Anthony asked us to not only engage in the contents of the presentations but to look at how they both delivered their presentations. To finish off the day, we then went to the library to take part in a Research Skills Session with Suzanne White. Please find all of the notes from the day below:


Proposal Writing Briefing:



Supervisor Meet and Greet:

Daniel Campbell Blight:

  • http://www.danielcampbellblight.com
  • Write about photography and art – writing about images and culture
    • Written for The Guardian, Photoworks
  • Make exhibitions – don’t always curate them and often writs essays to accompany the exhibitions
  • Works as an editor at the photographers gallery – writes their blog
  • Started writing professionally in 2007 and his first published article was in Hotshoe Magazine and he went on to set up gallery for them
  • Royal Collage of Art at the same time
  • In the last 2 or 3 years he has diversified what he writes about – about communication; experiments with different writing styles
    • Trying to avoid pigeon-holing
  • What happened to the expert curator?” – Most successful text written for the Guardian
  • Practice is quite diverse so hopefully there are things that we like and things that we don’t like
  • Chandelier – project space he runs in Hackney, London
    • http://chandelierprojects.com
    • Produce an exhibition every 2 months – either group or solo and it includes a wide range of artistic medias
    • Try and offer a range of works that will appeal to a variety of audiences
  • Leo Tolstoy – inspirational 20th century writing
  • The Photographers Gallery Blog
  • Eye contact with only a couple of people – may be due to the fact that we have our laptops out as he only looks at those that are looking at him and not at their laptop
  • Question – How do you get into writing for different publications? Do you often write articles and essays that you want to write and send them to the different companies or do they approach you and ask you to write different pieces?
    • Hotshoe Magazine – invited to write for them after meeting the editor at dinner
    • A series of coincidences and luck

Kate McMillan:

  • http://www.katemcmillan.net/BIOGRAPHY/
  • Australian exhibiting artist that has taken part in artist residencies all over the world
  • Interested in how instrumental and important writing is for professional practice
  • Need to spend time administrating when you are a professional
  • Fundamental to be able to write and talk about your work
  • Take advantage of coincidence and opportunity
  • Try to incorporate your individual interests
    • What ideas are you drawn to?
    • What theories keep coming up in your work?
    • Why am I interested in the Cultural memory of Landscapes?
  • Need to be able to analyse yourself in order to develop yourself as a photographer
  • Graduated from undergraduate degree in 1994
    • Did a minor in photography
  • Born in England and moved to Australia
  • Travelled around the world to create different projects
  • Just finished PHD that explored the capacity for Contemporary Art to unforget history
    • How the photograph can manipulate our understanding of the world
  • Don’t think of herself as a photographer but more of a contemporary artist that often uses photography
  • Often uses films but her films are often regarded as being very photographic and artistic
  • Taken part in many residencies
  • Eye contact with almost everyone in the room but occasionally returns to some friendly faces


From watching these first two presentations, I think that the audience plays just as an important role as the speaker. If the audience is engaged and interested in the topic, the speaker seems more confident in speaking about the subject.



Presentations by Anthony Luvera and Dr. Shaun Hides:

Mafalda Stasi:

  • Mafalda introduced both Anthony Luvera and Shaun Hide through reading information off of a sheet
  • Although content was well prepared, Mafalda wasn’t
  • Walked out half way through Anthony’s presentation – very distracting

Anthony Luvera:

  • Very confident presentation
  • Well prepared in both notes and understanding of the subject
  • Read from the sheet but continually glanced up to different people in the audience – didn’t look at only one individual
  • As he started to relax more, he started using more relaxed hand gestures
  • Often looked up at important and dynamic points of the presentation
  • Didn’t hold the notes – when changing the page he put the notes back down straight away in order to reduce fidgeting
  • When he stumbled on his words, he would take time to look at his notes and recompose
  • When he started to talk about his own work he stepped away from his notes and simply discussed his work that he knew “like the back of his hand”
  • Asked whether we wanted to reduce the lights so that we could see the images better – showed that he cared about the audiences perspective but may also show him being slightly unorganized? – However, he did know how to dim the lights incase we said yes
  • Knows the subjects within his photographs
  • When talking about different institutions, gave brief facts about when they started or who they were run by etc.
  • Ended by thanking the audience for listening
  • PowerPoint:
    • Slide with definitions of collaboration which his talk was about
    • Slides need to include important information but not a lot of it
    • Included photographs of his project he was talking about
    • Sometimes accidentally clicked onto the next slide but just returned to the relevant slide – slightly unprofessional but shows that it happens to everyone!

Dr. Shaun Hides:

  • Started with a couple of jokes to relax the audience after the intense introduction that was given about him
  • Took on the role as a lecturer by asking questions throughout the presentation
  • Instead of reading off of a sheet of notes, knew his content so well that he could simply look at the presentation slides to jog his memory
  • Switched his gaze to look at everyone in the room and didn’t focus on just one person
  • Continued with humour about how “boring” his presentation is – although humour is a good technique to relax the audience, it may backfire in the sense that the people that were interested in the topic may start to agree with his “boring” statement and loose interest
  • Used known story sentences – e.g. once upon a time…
  • Uses contemporary examples
  • PowerPoint:
    • Diagrams and information displayed on different sides
    • Important quotations displayed on individual slides
    • Black background with white text – prefer white background with black text
    • Images are not of a very good resolution and displayed in a random order – lessens the professionalism of the presentation
    • Too much information on one slide



Research Skills Session with Suzanne White:

Suzanne White – subject specialist in the library

  • Office on the second floor of the library – make an appointment


Jane Gibbs – Digital Production Manager

  • Her job in short is to record programmes off the television to put in the library
  • She can be found on floor 3 just after the Costa machine
  • Helix Media Library
  • Types of material available include documentaries on:
    • Photography and individual photographers
    • Cultural theory and theorists
    • Varied subjects
  • Accessing media
    • Can find up to 35,000 audio-visual and audio items in the library
    • Can access 4,500+ titles online directly through Locate
  • We can ask them to record anything and they can provide us with a personal copy if it’s for our research
  • Can also record clips of a programme that we can include in our presentations – they’ll send us a link to it
  • Recordings try to be up the day after the initial broadcast