During the workshop I attended at Impressions Gallery (see here) I had an opportunity to share my work on assignment 5 as part of a portfolio review session, which included feedback from Yan Preston and the gallery curator.
Due to printing issues / lack of available time, I was only able to show an iPad version of the work, but was nonetheless keen to obtain feedback. The version shared is linked here:
As well as it being an interesting experience listening to other talk about their work and the ensuing discussion, I had 15 minutes to discuss my own work and obtain feedback. A few notes on experience:
- It was the first time I’d spoken about this work, which has a personal subject with emotional attachment. I did not expect it, but I found it quite challenging emotionally to talk to, particularly when asked to read a little from the letter.
- There appeared to be a good level of interest in the project and subject matter (I’d provided a brief historical background) and I explained that I found the edit challenging because I felt close to the story and there was obviously a family interest in the work.
- After some discussion there were a couple of significant pieces of advice that I will take on in the next draft of the work:
- The powerful story was from the letter; the only record of his horrific experience that he never again discussed. This is perhaps the central theme of the work, rather than my journey to discover more about his experience. It was suggested that I take phrases from the letter to accompany the photographs (this would be similar to the original exercise based around the letter – here).
- Some of the photoshopped work was thought to be distracting from the photos. The suggestion was that the photos were left to stand alone, accompanied by selected words from the letter.
I would still retain the current version of the book as a personal project / family record and perhaps build on it in some way, but for the purpose of the assignment and art, I will rework.