Evaluating my work…

Over the the course of this module, FMP, I have documenting my progression, frustration and research on wordpress. I have found this to be an excellent way for me to maintain focus and direction. Whilst working on projects in the past I learnt very quickly that I make notes and write things down all over the place. My pace of working is quite fast at times and I have to be able to work spontaneously, due to the nature of working with members of the public. Things are not always on my terms, and although I have had be very organised and in lots of contact with these people, things often change and it is inevitable that I wont always have my sketch book etc with me.  I have also begun to build up a following of other artists, writers, train enthusiasts and unknown members of the public following me and my work. I have made this more accessible by linking it up to my twitter, which i gained many new followers after the success of the fundraising event in Chorlton. this has all been very beneficial to the progression of the work, helping me establish a language and way of sharing my work with the public and other professionals.

 

The project itself started in my first year of studying at Stockport College, I have constantly felt that I was heading in a direction and the Casltefield Viaduct was the starting point for that. I have felt a connection with the structure for some time now, and looking back I think that was due the places and people it took me too. Whilst investigating the viaduct I had a focus and a means to visit, interview and meet new people from different walks of life. I have found the access I gained through this project into societies, such as the MLS and to botanists,The Manchester Museum and the bridge itself that has encouraged my confidence in my work and the themes I am interested in. It was during my final project in second year that I really began experimenting with process led work, again meeting and working with a select group of professionals. Although my work did come to some conclusion at the end of my second year, there was definitely scope for more of an investigation in the this area and with the relationships I had established. My hesitation to move on to a new subject, was enough proof for me to pursue these paths and see how far I cold go with them, in terms of an in depth and well established project. 

Technically I was also in a position where I was offered some studio space in return for working as an intern. This allowed me to continue practicing techniques and ways of printing onto metal and other materials using 19th century techniques. My aim was to understand and learn how to work with a process, I choose to use the wet plate collodion technique, due to its temperamental and fragile nature, leaving room for experimentation. It is also a process that allows you to make a one off authentic/positive image, which can never be recreated. I was and still am particularly draw to the imperfections that this process produces, as the process plays its own role ion the final print. As you can see in My final twelve portraits, I have presented then with their imperfections, the blotched edged, or slights curling collodion, some have little oysters, which are traces of the silver reacting to the light. The surface I have printed onto links the work back to the Castlefield viaduct, replicating the steel legs which my larger than life digital prints currently sit on. Both the installation on the bridge and the small wet plates bare the traces of transition over time, the show elements we can control and other which overpower human touch. Reflecting upon a much richer history of Manchester industrial past and present decay. As a photographer working with 19th century process I have influenced by the relationship between these factors affecting places like this and the preservation of societies and archives.  

 

I feel at a point with my work where I can request reviews, set up a website and enter competitions. I look forward to where this will take me and am ready to move on to new experimentation within the themes of concept led work. In particular alternative photography and camera less photography.

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