5: Presentation: This England (September 2020)

The various outputs from this final part of the course will reassess my original questions about my personal voice and identity. A key focus will be how to resolve potential tensions between having and social and political voice and requirements of finding markets for my work on Britain. This is very important for me going forward, given the likely future health restrictions on my travel and hence consultancy work overseas.

In selection and treatment of what I draw and how I draw it I consider both ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ dimensions of:

  • Whose place? different perspectives and interests. Looking particularly at what might be meant by ‘the female gaze’ and ‘multiculturalism’ and what this might mean for the ways in which places are interpreted and communicated visually.
  • When place? places change over time – even over a few seconds – short term, long term, historical perspective and layers – the past is always present in traces some of which may be hidden while others may be idealised as ‘authentic essence’ or ‘romantic ruins’.
  • ‘True’ vs ‘imaginary’ place? representations and narratives of ‘place’ are inherently subjective in the ways in which specific elements in the infinite stream of ‘reality’ and ‘consciousness’ are perceived with attention, selected, interpreted and communicated. Understandings are often influenced by ways in which other artists/photographers have translated what they see into images with specific interpretations and styles. ‘Documentary’ representations are often influenced as much by value judgements of how the artist/photographer wants things to be – for example selective erasure of cars and rubbish bins from ‘landscape’ images and idealised portraits in Photoshop. Are these any more ‘true’ than ‘imagined’ images that attempt to synthesise an expressionist ‘spirit’ or ‘feeling’ of a place?

5.1 Re-assessing my practice and finishing my work

I will review and revise the outputs from Assignments 2-4 in the light of feedback and reach some conclusions about the best forms of presentation/ changes I still need to make/further possibilities to reach a wider range of audience.

A number of outputs are currently envisaged:

  • Selected fine art photographic prints that could be sold through professional photographic websites or directly to the public. Uploaded to my professional website.
  • Assignment 2.1 ‘Cam Edgelands’ an on-line video produced in After Effects and one or more Blurb Photobooks ‘Bench’ and/or ‘Bridge’ that might have a market in Cambridge.
  • Assignment 2.2 on-line photogalleries/animated slideshows of Aldeburgh and Norfolk and publication A Very British Day Out: Orford Ness based on photos around British ‘quirkiness’, Brexit and environmental vulnerability – in collaboration with National Trust.
  • Assignment 3 Jabberwocky: on-line video on vimeo
  • Assignment 4 some sort of printed and/or on-line publication on social, political and environmental contradictions of life in Cambridge, possibly in the style of ‘Scarfolk’.

5.2 Further development: Wish You Were Here

Project 5.2 will develop a substantial new body of work around the idea of ‘Wish You Were Here’ as a series of one or more photobooks and/or on-line publications and/or on-line experiences reviewing concepts of ‘Englishness’:

  • Discovering St Ives based on earlier work for OCA level 1 printmaking and illustration courses from forthcoming holidays in June/July 2019 and 2020.
  • ‘Beyond the Wall’: on-line/printed publication on Northern England, Scotland and Orkney. This will include further development of web galleries developed as part of photography experiments in Assignment 2.2:
    • Dark Peak, White Peak continues my interest in monochrome images, looking at ways of working with low resolution jpg images in Silver FX to produce a series of ‘dark’ evocative images, building on my work on Hagg Wood and photographs taken with an old compact camera in 2011.
    • Lake District revisits a portfolio of high quality RAW images processed in Lightroom for a landscape photography assignment on ‘Beauty and Sublime’ and looks at whether and how Nik Viveza and Silver FX can add more lift and impact to the images.
  • Landscaping Britain will use photographs and illustrations from all the above as the basis for a number of print series in different print media – adapting media to the landscape in innovative ways, including prints from recycled materials. The very considered nature of printmaking being yet another layer of conscious ‘landscaping’ on top of the initial image-making decisions in photography and drawing.

5.3 Talking about my practice: portfolio

In addition to finalising the current blog, I will add relevant material from this module and other audience-relevant information to:

  • zemniimages.com my professional SMUGMUG website which currently mainly houses archives of my photography.

5.4 Self Promotion and presenting my practice

In addition to continuing to circulate on social networks for different media on Facebook and exploring the links in Exercise 4.3, I will add relevant material from this module and other audience-relevant information to:

  • zemniimages printmaking blog  (currently 1-2,000 visitors a month) – this would add further details of printmaking techniques based on my work in this module. Many of my visitors visit the site through links to technical information and information on other printmakers.
  • After Effects tasters on a new Zemni You Tube Channel.

I will send selected work to the various on-line commercial card and print marketing sites, and approach some of the card and book shops in Cambridge and East Anglia and explore opportunities to present some of my printmaking and photography at exhibitions/Open Studios in Cambridge and elsewhere.