Well this is my last post for this blog. We dismantled the exhibition work this morning and received our results and feedback, and so it seems fitting to spend a little time reflecting on that before moving on.
Your attention to detail is exceptional, and you have created a very coherent and fully realised body of work. The idea of beginning with your body and moving away (My Kit, My House, My Street etc) works well, although when you get to “My Country” it is arguably less cohesive (is that subject too vast to cover?). Nevertheless, there is a commitment to your work and particularly its curation that is very strong here. You have approached this with a high degree of professionalism and this is demonstrated in the quality of the work. As several people have already commented to you this work deserves a wider audience and you should definitely pursue wider opportunities like the magazine interview and other exhibition opportunities.
Due to the extremely high standard of work you have made we can nit-pick on small details, such as the comment on the ‘My Country’ section above, one other small detail is the typography in the book, for example the page numbers on the pages feel unnecessarily large and the letter spacing on the titles maybe too much, however these issues are fully understandable for a photographer who is considering book design and type for possibly the first time. Please don’t focus too much on this, we only mention it as very small details that can easily be resolved in the future. The images themselves are powerful and striking with a sense of integrity.
The skills you have developed in curation and organising a complex body of work will be very useful in your next projects when working with your family archive and the blog has also been a vital tool for wider conversations which we are sure will be useful as well. It has been moving to follow the stories of your Mother and Father through photographs and there is another significant body of work there as well.
You have been a vital member of the course and we have really appreciated your contributions to the group sessions, your sense of humour and the way you have added so significantly to the whole learning environment for everyone, thank you and congratulations!!
Jonathan Kearney, Ed Kelly.
To say I’ve enjoyed this journey would be an understatement. It provided me with a much needed structure and platform to practise my practice and to extend and hone it into something that will enable me to continue without the formal support system of academia.
But the timing was also important. With mum dying in August 2014 dad was bereft and would have swallowed me whole if I’d let him. Dad’s sustained psychological needs almost broke me and the work reflected in this blog was an important way of sustaining a sense of self and personal interest beyond him. Now dad’s gone and tomorrow I am due to scatter his ashes along with mum’s very near to where they lived for over 50 years. So that’s another ending.
Whenever there is an ending there is a beginning and so it is for me. There are currently three artistic things in the pipeline:
1) A new blog (here) where I plan to digitise and curate my late parents analogue photos over the coming months.
2) A collective shoot in Oxford with [(6)] in September.
3) Showing my work at the Raum Gallery sometime in October or thereabouts.
So, as they say, it’s been emotional. But I don’t think the work would have been half as good or satisfying without all of you. Some of you I know and others I don’t, but every like, comment and suggestion has played a valuable part in helping me realise this work. Thank you.