2. Feedback

Journey to Mammon

brief – submission – blog – feedback – rework

Tutor feedback received 19th March 2022

Accompanying email,

Dear Nick
All good, att report.
You might think I’ve been over critical – hope not. [1]
I think you are on the right track.
Do ask any questions if needed.

Tutor email 19th March

Overall feedback

On first viewing and scanning the final selection one could see a focused and strong sense of direction. All of the thinking and processing internally in your mind makes sense. The description and post image analysis about motivation and ‘meaning’ certainly packs a punch, in the sense there is a sense of didacticism in the approach… connecting the seen and unseen to previous project work shows ability to reframe a visual and intellectual idea. Whether this comes though singularly in these works might not be obvious, but then that’s okay too.

The postproduction is ‘heavy’, [2] as a viewer I’m not convinced about the ‘background to equal status with the foreground subject’ [3]. There’s often a mistaken idea that when looking at the names you suggest such as Baltz and Adams that the application of their method can be adopted using a digital SLR, this is mistaken [4] – in the sense that writing with a fountain pen is not like a biro or like a typewriter etc. Whilst I can see the relevance to the flatness and others in the F-64 – New Topographic movement. I think that the ubiquitous nature of software to emulate what you have used (which is a kind of simulation of a gritty / Japanese Provoke aesthetic) might be a step too far? Yes, it brings the works together but what at what cost? [2]

These two are the strongest, the sculptures connect – looking right then left, verticality etc. all come together well. I think that had you connected these and other images to the initial Tory party leaflet then there would have been a really great diaristic element. [5]

I think you definitely focused upon the view through the camera – this is great and to be continued – it’s the balance between the opportunities that digital and computers facilitate alongside a potential understated sense of artistry that will come with time. Further exploration away from the LIP and RPS [6] might help, yes, they are great but have a very specific audience that might be right or you – but if you’re looking to extend your visuality and skills etc. which I can see you have in the capacity of your writing etc. then spread your wings and take a look at some other portals, museums and galleries that are less connected to LIP/RPS.

Such as
or in relation to this module this is great

If you can I suggest going to this… [7].

Feedback based on Learning Outcomes

L01 Visual and conceptual strategies ‘this is, as far as I am aware, an original approach. If it is derivative, it is unknowingly so.
Well stated but I think it the idea is original for you, but the execution and post-production is less so. [2]. Some excellent planning through this element

L02 Social, cultural and ethical consideration Well observed and discussed in your webpage section, I think you answered your own thoughts – expand on the pervasive power, influence and effect of the financial service industries in the UK economy makes perfect sense.

L03 Exploring a range of ideas
There is some great evidence here – the blog shows a range of processes taking place.

L04 Research, managing time and resources
Opening of society has given obvious rewards and is evidenced here.

L05 Autonomy, voice and communication
As mentioned, keep this going but be cautious of the ‘camera club’ nature of some of these you mention. [6]. These are perfectly valid groups but can sometimes reject more esoteric approaches.

Action points

Take a good look at Simon Starling, he has a “unique ability to create poetics, drawing together a wide range of cultural, political and historical narratives.” Engaging directly with the sites where he exhibits, Starling often retells the stories of a particular place while making revealing — and often unexpected — connections to distant times and places. The Moore work is relevant to your ideas about public sculpture and location and history.

John Akomfrah’s acclaimed video installation Vertigo Sea is a sensual, poetic meditation on man’s relationship with the sea and an exploration of its role in the history of slavery, migration and conflict. The depiction of your chosen places may have connections to these ideas.


21st March

1. Overly critical — I found the feedback generally positive, with two negative aspects that are rightly raised.

2. Heavy postproduction — As with Asg.1, I monochromed the images principally to de-emphasise the differences in skies over the several outings. The digital preset is grainy, but that used to be my preference for film and so this is where I tend to go with digital pretence. At a recent LPE chat group, a fellow student described a similar reaction from her tutor and so I guess this is not uncommon. I will rework the series with a plainer conversion.

3. Background / foreground — to that extent, then, the series has failed.

4. “Influences” — I mention Baltz and Adams because the LOs state the need for students to be aware of landscape practices in photography. I give these as examples of approaches that I admire. I am not trying to copy them (although Brandt’s prints became sootier as he aged), just expressing awareness and a preference.

5. Tory leaflet— I was not thinking of the leaflet when working the project, it just produced the spark of an idea. Having set the course of always having the towers in the background, the simple fact is that the other statues (Wolfe, Nelson and George II) are facing “the wrong way” † and these five (3 plus the Penny and Henry) are the only “heads” I found with the towers in sight. (The Dobson in Batch 3 seemed out of place with the others (visual options were limited by a large enclosing fence), but looking at it again, perhaps it should have been included).

6. Club mentalities — I believe that is true of the RPS, although I find the work of some of their specialist societies interesting. LIP, however, is more disparate and adventurous in scope and membership.

7. Photo London — I attended the last two and intend to this year.

I will explore the links suggested.

† Those three were early subjects and I honestly had to check after Nelson in Batch 4 whether all statues were traditionally positioned facing North.