Response to Tutor Feedback – Assignment Five

Overall Comments

Very complimentary overall comments from my tutor which gives me the confidence to take this image a little further.

One issue I need to deal with:

‘You are right to mention the size and resolution of the image so, as well as a larger scale print, please make sure that there is a higher resolution version of the image on your blog that the assessor can zoom in to where necessary. ‘

Through the process of file types and uploads the image has become quite low resolution so I’ll add a link to the high resolution version and also look at having this image printed in a larger scale.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

When I look at this image, the first impression that I have is that this is a home office that belongs to a neat and organized person who is on top of the various elements of their life. Is this the general impression of ‘you’ that you are trying to convey?

  • Yes.  To me being busy doesn’t mean being messy and unorganised.  In fact to be neat and organised takes even more time and in fact makes me busier.

‘You talk about the misconceptions that other parents have about you based on the evidence that they have at the school drop off but does this image, as it stands, suggest the busy life that you lead?’

  • I think I need to alter my description here as I realise I may have suggested that the school drop off is erratic.  It isn’t.  My son is one of the rare children that is taken into school and collected by  myself every day.  He wears clean uniform every day, has everything he needs, his teeth are cleaned and his hair is brushed.  Other parents assume I don’t work as I’m able to do all these things.  Ultimately my organised self image gives the impression I have time on my hands and I need reword my essay to refute his.
  • Coming back to my tutors comment of ‘does this image suggest the busy life I lead’?  I put lots of key elements into the image to address this but I’m not going to portray being busy as erratic and disorganised because thats simply not who I am.

‘Does this mise en scène refute the ‘lazy’ comment that you refer to in your accompanying description of your process? Certainly the fact that you choose to show an office demonstrates that you do not just ‘sit around all day’ but does it suggest a busy and sometimes stretched wife, mother, photographer, jeweller, student….. etc.?’

  • I personally think the scene refutes the ‘lazy’ comment but of course it is open to interpretation by the viewer.  Barthes penned the term ‘intertextuality’ which basically means that the way we interpret things is dependant of our background and experiences.  As this image is a response to a comment from a mother it can be assumed it is aimed at her and her kind.  Their backgrounds are as parents and therefore will know that as a mother I can’t be lazy.  Especially when I’m so neat and organised.  Add in all the other elements/functions of the image and it reads as a person who has a lot to do.

‘You are right to think about the balance between being ambiguous and obvious in your work and this is certainly something that continually plagues creative people. This, in fact, can get worse as your creative process develops and your own knowledge and ability to evaluate images increases. I am really pleased to see you struggling with this, not because I enjoy witnessing people in turmoil but rather because this is a really important part of your learning process.’

  • This comment has had the biggest impact from all the feedback.  It has taught me that to continually question myself is helping to make me thing deeper about my ideas and how I progress with them.  To be challenged, as I often am, is essential to my learning.  It doesn’t mean I’m not good enough or I’ll never ‘get it’, it means my learning experience is richer.

‘You have included an egg timer to represent your ‘all too often race against the clock’ but most people would associate this object with cooking. Now, in the context of your project, this might not be the end of the world as it also suggests another element of a busy wife and mother’s work schedule, but this side of you is also not overtly suggested either. As your work develops continue to try to hone this ability to make appropriate selections of the elements of an image so that you are more in control of the readings that are made of them.’

  • I’m glad this was picked up on and again it may be better for me to alter my write up.  I mentioned earlier about how I struggled with the balance between giving it all away and ambiguity and it seems that this may be a bit too far on the connotaion side.  A big part of my life is cooking which is why I chose the egg timer to represent this side of my life and also my race against the clock.

‘It is good that you are acting on some of the things that you have learned from your readings of Barthes’ work about the way in which we create meaning from the pictorial elements that are placed in front of us. Have another think about the section in Camera Lucida that talks about the ‘studium’ and ‘punctum’. How would your image be read in these terms? My suggestion would be that you have managed to create a general reading, look or feel (studium) to the image but as it stands, it is the ‘puncum’ (the element that, ‘rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me’) that is perhaps missing.’

  • I agree with this comment and will give a lot of thought to howI’m going to introduce an element to puncture the scene.

Coursework

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

This looks ok.

Research

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

This area of your blog needs much more work, try to clearly show the assessors the books that you have been reading in relation to your work as well as practitioners that you feel cross over (or who are at odds) with your work and ideas. We need to see much more evidence of research outside of your practical experiments.

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