352MC Professional Photographic Practice – Final Reflective Report
Throughout the creation of my “Walked, Rewalked, Remembered” collection, I created a conceptual photographic piece that explored the process of recollection and the reconnection to an individual in the past, by photographing varying landscapes that act as personal memory triggers. Situating my project within contemporary photographic practices, throughout the development of this collection I have gained influence from various photographic practitioners in relation to the creation of a personal project that incorporates an accessible and relatable underlying context (including the work of Peter Watkins, Sophie Calle, Briony Campbell, etc.). By investigating identifiable overarching themes (memory and reconnection) and creating conceptual representations and responses to the landscapes and my memories, this research influenced the creation of a project that could target and engage a broadened, contemporary audience.
I have employed a developmental methodology and have taken on feedback, allowing me to gain wider opinions and critique, which provided me the opportunity to alter my original idea. Throughout the evolution of my practice, I also conducted an extensive amount of research and experimentation and gained inspiration from a number of resources, which, along with the feedback I received, allowed me to develop my professional independence by defining my own position. Focusing on the overarching themes and concept of my project, and adjusting it to relevant feedback and research influence, I have been able to create a self-defined and extended body of work appropriate for the context I wished to achieve.
Although this is a personal collection, my intentions for the context of my project was to create work that visually represented the concept explored, whilst also providing the audience with the opportunity to gain knowledge surrounding the process of recollection (i.e. faded memories become clearer through the introduction to a memory trigger). I then wanted to encourage a reflective response relating to the audience’s consideration regarding their own memories (and memory triggers), and how they could reconnect to their lost loved ones.
When analysing the success of my final triptych collection, the fact that it includes a range of carefully considered features has resulted in the creation of a balanced, immersive and accessible exhibition piece that encompasses the concept of my project; it also provides the viewer with information to gain a contextualised understanding behind both the project’s concept and methodology. For example, the objects incorporated offer a textual and immersive representation of the location captured within the image, providing evidence of the methodology behind the project, whilst also acting as the contemporary aspect that draws in the viewer’s attention and engagement. As for the photographs, they include varying aesthetic features (composition, perspective, natural conditions, etc.) that provide a visual conceptuality that often references the overarching themes explored within the collection, which can be used by the viewer to gain a greater understanding regarding the projects concept. In relation to the accompanying text, the narrative and the content, along with the style of language used, provides the viewer with (interpretive) information that successfully references both the projects methodology and concept in order to enhance their contextualised understanding.
Although I feel that I have been able to create a successful final piece that encapsulates the concept of my project, whilst also making it understandable and accessible to the viewer, as with all projects, I recognised a number of personal strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths that helped me achieve my desired outcome were my management and organisation skills that allowed me to appropriately schedule developmental tasks. My research skills also allowed me to improve upon my critical analysis (in terms of feedback, research and development), which, in turn, provided me with the opportunity to successfully pinpoint relevant information and inspiration. Furthermore, my verbal and visual communication skills have improved, not only through the written research and analysis of my methodology, but also through the creative interpretation of my concept within photographic forms. However, despite this, throughout my project I have also encountered a challenge regarding the personal concept associated with my work. This resulted in a difficulty detaching myself from the emotional relationship I held with regards to the projects narrative, which often clouded my judgment, making it harder for me to accept constructive criticism and provide myself with self-critique. Nevertheless, once I identified this methodological weakness, I adjusted my personal development in order to actively tackle the situation; not only did I conduct relevant research that provided me with information on how to create a personal project that is accessible to the viewer, but I also balanced the feedback I received with my own personal opinions to enhance my professional independence through the creation of a successful piece.
Finally, through the completion of this module, I have been able to utilise and improve upon both my photographic and transferable skills in order to produce high quality photographic material that successfully encompasses and contextualises the personal, yet relatable, concept of my project. Using the developmental stages to adapt my collection by conducting research and experimentations has resulted in creating an engaging, immersive, and accessible photographic piece for my broad, identified audience that can encourage them to reflect upon the generalised process referenced within the personal narrative (memory and reconnection). As suggested within my project proposal, completing this assignment has therefore enabled me to create a final project that I am proud of.