4: Presentation: Zemni 2021

This final part of the blog reflects on what is now my ‘Zemni voice’ in 2021. My voice is increasingly characterised by a particular approach: broadly characterised as:

‘political sublime’
on the ‘brighter side of life’
(when I am not angry).

This influences the types of subject matter I am interested in, the ways I combine reportage and creative subjectivity to pose questions in the viewer. I work across a wide range of media and styles, choosing approaches to communicate what I am trying to say about the subject matter. Rather than aiming for any one ‘consistent look’.

I focus particularly on deepening and extending my understanding of interlinkages and tensions between three underlying concerns and their implications for work with different audiences:

5.1 Zemni Creativity with an audience: finishing work

Assignment 5.1 reflects on visual communication in single images and the evolution of my creative practice across different media during this module. It brings together different creative approaches and frameworks, applying these to selected images to either present alternative messages, or develop alternative images in different media.

A key focus – as soon as it is possible after current COVID restrictions end – is to get back into my art studio to develop images in a wider range of media beyond photography.

A second focus is to look at my decision-making in the light of audience feedback, including audiences for my earlier work in Assignments 2 and 3.

I then draw some conclusions for a creative methodology that can provide a framework for taking risks ‘inside and outside the box’ that make my work more interesting and challenging, but also helps me avoid getting stuck down repetitive unproductive rabbit holes.

At the time of sending Assignment 5 to my tutor In this module because of the COVID pandemic, access to my art studio and printmaking workshops has been severely restricted 2020-2021. As a result my work has been much more dependent on photography and digital media where it is much easier to ‘play safe’ and avoid risk. And ‘acceptable outcomes’ for many audiences need to be ‘tidy’ and conventionally ‘professional’. Nevertheless I have attempted to push my experimentation using creative prompts and develop a creative workflow that can also extend my work in these media.

!! Insert gallery of non-photographic images.

Cambridge Camera Club
Annual Exhibition

Colour section provisional submission selection (max 6) to be finally decided by 18th March

Monochrome section provisional submission selection (max 6) to be finally decided by 18th March

5.1.1.Bridge Printscapes Revisited

See revisions and development in:

5.1.2 Aldeburgh Great Escapes revisited

See revisions and development in:

5.1.3 Woman Walking Lost revisited

!! still to be done when I again have access to my studio

5.1.4 Light and Life in T’ien Shan revisited

!! still to be done when COVID in Kyrgyztsan improves, or over summer as far as I can.

5.2 Documentary Narrative: body of work

In Assignment 5.2 I focus on different types of narrative, and how I can systematically use creative prompts to identify different perspectives and interpretations of the same image series, then push these images in different ways and media to communicate very different narratives. As a way of exploring and thinking around what I want to say about places, and how best to do it.

I focus particularly, but not only, on photography-based narrative, I explore the different narrative principles and questions involved in:

  • sequential narratives in the form of Photo Essays and Photobooks: Under the Bridge, Lockdown Photo Essays, Reflections in Grey, Teetotal Street, Light in the Shadows of T’ien Shan, and cartoon strip of the Island??.
  • time-based narratives in the form of Moving Image and animations: Aldeburgh Morning Light, Reflections in Grey ( Moving Image/video, the Island?? (animation).
  • interactive narratives: Cuckoos at Dawn

Linking to my consideration of visual narrative in my OCA personal development Moving Image module. But I also look at illustrated and animated narrative linking to my work for Visual Research module.

My narrative development for Bridge and Aldeburgh also draws substantially on sketchbook work in different media.

!!The items in black still need some work to finalise what is already there. Items in red italic have materials ready and first drafts, but need substantial new work over the summer. Or will be mapped out eg as annotated Photo Essays as work for inclusion in Sustaining Your Practice.

Bridge Edgelands

A14 road bridge as an ‘underworld’ of two separate sides of the River Cam that never link.

5.2.2 Aldeburgh Lockdown Escape

Outsider and insider documentary of the human and the sublime.

Islands Reframed:

‘The islands we make’

5.3 Portfolio

In addition to finalising the current blog, I have added relevant material from this module and other audience-relevant information on a number of on-line websites and networking sites. Specific links were given on the portfolio above.

  • zemniimages.com my professional SMUGMUG website which will be redesigned to link the different aspects of my graphic art, photography and printmaking practice.
  • zemniimages facebook page, twitter and instagram.
  • zemniimages blog and/or sub-blogs with attention to SEO requirements and including my posts on key inspiration and image making techniques that would attract visitors to my work (my Printmaking blog was successful in attracting 2,000 visitors a month without any promotion effort from me through visitor Google searches on collagraph, linocut and some printmakers)
  • gamechange blog, Facebook page and You Tube channel
  • stock photography, Behance and other marketing sites.
  • slideshow tasters on a new Zemni You Tube Channel.

Because of COVID it proved impossible to show physically at galleries and exhibitions planned for 2020 eg in Wymondham with OCA East Anglia Student group and/or exhibitions of Cambridge Camera Club. I had also intended to get audience feedback from visitors to campsites and Camping Club meetups in East Anglia, Cornwall and North of England.

Going forward I will send selected work to the various on-line commercial card and print marketing sites, and approach some of the tourist card and book shops in Cambridge, East Anglia, St Ives and Lake District and explore opportunities to present some of my printmaking at print exhibitions in Cambridge and elsewhere.

5.4 Reviewing My Practice

This module has explored and developed my creative process – the choices I make in terms of what I want to communicate and how I establish that and how image design and technical aspects of the particular medium can enhance that communication. I have focused on a range of media:

  • Printmaking: photoscreen and cyanotype
  • Photography and Photobooks
  • Drawing and illustration in natural and digital media including Adobe Illustrator, iPad softwarepencil, ink, gouache and scraperboard.
  • Animation, Moving Image and interactivity.

I have also tried to reconnect with some of the more beautiful, funny and light-hearted aspects of life, as well as dealing implicitly or explicitly with some of the serious social and environmental issues we face in England as well as in countries like Kyrgyzstan.

I summarise my conclusions about the best forms of presentation/ changes I still need to make and implications for my Creative Process and outline further possibilities to reach a wider range of audience and also markets whilst still maintaining my social and political voice.