Assignment 4 Analysis of Outcome

  1. Demonstration of Technical & Visual Skills

The map is made up of ten images that I chose to fit the words that had been instrumental in bringing the idea to  life. There is a variety of light situations from early morning to late evening and in between which is better than I usually manage to achieve.  It helped that starting this assignment in Spring meant longer days and different light conditions.  There is a warmth to the contributing images that lends well to the feeling of wistfulness and loneliness.  The colours are deep and strong that gives the overall map a depth, adding to the blue colour on the map itself and backed by the dark of the paper. The placing of the images on the map was part random and part thought out.  The three images that are tied together had to go over by the part of Torbay and near to the beaches that I had used as background.  Julie is connected to Torquay and Elbury personally and emotionally and it was important to attach her threads to these parts.  My connection with her is Torquay so another reason for her to be sewn in at that point.

The images are of two sizes, although this was more from having two sets – the large set printed to see how they came out and the small set to move and place in sequence.  The smaller ones were used in the first setup of the map then I moved them onto the larger map once I decided that I was going to go with that idea rather than a straight run through of images.  From a distance, the colours are the things that stand out with the deep blues, oranges and reds of sun, sea and sky.  This connects the images together to make the set.  The map grew out of montage of large and small images on a bigger background map with another torn out map on top.  It was like something that we do as teenagers to make our world outside come inside, and help us remember places and times.

  1. Quality of Outcome

I have a tendency to mull over ideas for some time and discard things along the way.  Once I had decided on Staring at the Sea as the theme, it was easy to keep it in mind.  The images are not simply seascapes, they are linked to each other and suggest a passing of time.  There is a feeling of solitude and a little sadness, that is the idea of nostalgia for people and places that are out of our reach.  The map creation came out of wanting to develop the idea a little further having experimented with the song lyrics on the photographs and to link them in a more physical way than just a slideshow.  My aim was to produce something that was more of a story than I have before, and although it was prompted by my friend’s homesickness, it is also quite personal to me as I could emote with that feeling.  We both acknowledged that it felt ridiculous being homesick for something that is always there and more so for me because I only moved a couple of miles further away, but at times it feels like it could be a hundred  miles.  This map was a way of tying all those elements together.

  1. Demonstration of Creativity

The overall map is a montage of ten photographs along with small rectangles with words written on them in blue marker pen.  They are all connected to the map that lies underneath them.  I chose to focus on smaller parts of the map in the submitted images as a way of bringing pertinent parts to attention.  My thinking was driven by how I approach items on display in galleries – I go up close to look at a smaller part to see what is written, painted or photographed and then stand back to admire the whole in order to see how all the elements connect up. The images take the viewer round the whole map and the words, then shows them the whole thing.

  1. Context

The course is dealing with the idea of who we are and how we fit into the world around us, how we react to our surroundings.  This map is of my home area and the big thing that affects whoever lives here – the sea.  It borders the land and while we can look out to the horizon (exactly how far is that?), it means that we are constrained by it and on the edge with no way round. For example, if the seafront road is damaged in a storm as it was a few years ago, it is difficult to reroute traffic including buses through a residential area with narrow roads and, more importantly, steep hills.  The sea allows space and moving away from it can carry a homesickness or nostalgia for being beside it.

The images are from the area and different times of day.  The underlying theme is of love, loss and a homesickness so there are few people in the images that make up the map.

  1. Overall

I feel that this assignment flows better than previous ones and the images that make up the map are linked better in how they look.  The song Staring at the Sea suggested the feeling of love and loss and this is where I started with building up a set of images.  A conversation with a friend about leaving Torbay and how we felt bereft at not having a sea view or the proximity to it carried on the feeling of wistfulness that permeates the images.  The map brings them all together and ties them physically as well as emotionally to the area, through thread and drawing pins to sewing on images.  I wanted to progress from creating a slideshow which is my natural inclination and to develop the idea beyond the safe confines that I operate within.  To take printed photographs and effectively destroy them always is difficult but it gave me freedom to change them and personalise them in some ways.  I felt that changing the textures of them tapped into the way that we no longer hold prints in high regard despite taking more photographs than ever.  How often do I print them out? Rarely nowadays and it was actually really good to see them printed out and to be able to examine them, be tactile with the print and then change it.  I remember treasured photos that became dog eared with wear and tear, and I think that this was behind making some of them look used, tired, worn to give them a character.  I have fulfilled the brief of using words to inspire me, and I have connected the images that I have made with ideas of identity and place that we have studied.

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