E1.4 What’s Next? Planning my Work

Blog text with anticipated schedule working full time on this module, together with the Visual Research Module – aiming to finish that end of May 2020.

Plan January 2019

My work for this module focuses on different approaches to documentary illustration. This continues a concern with the multi-layered nature of experience of places and interplay of subjectivity and observation and the role of humour, metaphor and symbolism in communication of political messages. It takes these questions further in relation to:

  • ‘whose documentary’ are we talking about and why? how do we work with other people to get multiple perspectives both in terms of information and feedback
  • how do potentially conflicting perspectives modify the message
  • what are the strengths and challenges of communicating the ‘message’ – photographs (referential but subjective selection and editing), photocollage and photomontage (possibilities for juxtaposition and multi-layered questioning), illustration and printmaking (possibilities for invention), video and interactive presentation
  • how best to disseminate the document and engage with the audience to make a difference

My work for this module aims to :

  • explore what might be meant by my distinctive ‘Zemni Voice’ with a socio-political approach to reportage, landscape and life sketching.
  • establish professional-standard technical skills in a range of physical (drawing, painting and printmaking) and digital media (photography, Photoshop and NikFX, iPad painting and video animation in Adobe After Effects and Premiere).
  • look at a range of ways of integrating text and image to produce images that question established ways of seeing and thinking
  • explore a range of different international and home audiences, markets and social networks for my work.
  • present my work in different formats:  cards, large posters and fine art prints, collaged books and on-line animated experiences.

Changes by Assignment 5 March 2021

Following feedback from my tutor on Assignment 1

Assignment 1 Understanding My Practice: Zemni Voice 2019

(Submitted end Jan 2019)

Assignment 1 looks in more detail at my practice and personal voice underpinning my work in this course.

Assignment 2: Edit and Amend: Documentary

(Planned end March 2019)

Assignment 2 focuses on documentary in two contexts where I have worked with communities, considering in both how my identity as a Western woman and my underlying ‘Zemni vision’ might affect what I see, what I choose to communicate and how I communicate it.:

  • 2.1: Ethiopia : a fractured journey   this ‘outsider’ documentary revisits my final assignment for Illustration 2 and produces a ‘Dan Eldon’-style narrative of collaged images and text on some of the current challenges for economic development and democracy in Ethiopia. 
  • 2.2: Kyrgyzstan: dreams and realities   will continue my visual exploration of media and styles, contrasting dreams and realities of gender, cultural identity and environment in Kyrgyzstan. It will build on a series of better quality colour and black and white photographs, together with information from colleagues on the ground and secondary sources.
1B: Landscapes of Place

Submitted July 2019 because I decided to focus on Visual Research module in the meantime.

Following the feedback from my tutor on Assignment 1, I decided my original plan for Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan was much too ambitious and that I should focus much more on single images in one medium before attempting to go back to collage and any mixed media work.

I decided to focus instead on work in the UK – photoscreen printing and photography.

Assignment 2.1 Edit: Bridge Printscapes
Assignment 2.2 Amend: Shutterscapes

The Kyrgyzstan work was then done in Assignment 4. and further work on Ethiopia is postponed to a later date.

Assignment 3: Image and Text:Philippines: behind the snapshots

(Planned end May 2019)

Assignment 3 aims to produce a second documentary collaged book around commercialisation, consumerism and environmental challenges in Philippines. This will be based on digital manipulation and collage of a series of photos and drawings from communities from a work trip in 2018 – as with Ethiopia few of these photos would stand as photos in their own rights, but there is a clear role for illustration and book design to create some sort of physical and/or on-line publication together with contextual insights from secondary texts and contacts on the ground and in UK.

  • 3.1 Visual Dynamics revisited: snapshot styles will explore different possible styles for my photos and use of community drawings
  • 3.2 Finding Texts: inside and outside commentary will explore a range of texts to extend my own understanding and thinking about Philippines – the lighter and darker sides
  • 3.3 Developing Content: why Duterte? will produce a series of collaged infographics
  • Assignment 3: Philippines: Snapshot lives will collate and extend this material as a second ‘Dan Eldon-style’ collaged book and/or on-line publication.
4: Image and Text Woman Walking Lost

submitted January 2020 to allow for several visits to Cornwall. Getting on with Visual Research module in the meantime.

Following discussion with my tutor, I decided in this part to focus on new work on Cornwall using different media adapted to content. My tutor had advised me to do as much new work as possible, rather than going back to older images – given my work already in Assignment 2.

The work I started to do on Philippines is now postponed until a later date.

Assignment 4: Audience:Cambridge Diaries

(Planned end September 2019)

Assignment 4 is an ‘insider’ body of work looking at ways in which I can communicate some of my socio-political concerns in a more light-hearted and entertaining way to reach a wider general and tourist audience through the ways in which I use and combine media.

What I learn about markets and audience is also likely to indicate priorities and new option in finishing the other material on Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan and Philippines in Assignment 5.

3: Audience: Light and Life in T’ien Shan

Submitted December 2020 delayed and much changed because of the COVID pandemic. I was granted a COVID extension of 6 months, using this time to study Moving Image 1 Animation course for personal development, linked to Visual Research module and to be taken further in Sustaining Your Practice.

Although I started work on Cambridge, visiting the Mosque and other locations, it was not possible for me to continue because of the need to self-isolate and Lockdown restrictions. I was not finding feedback from OCA or Facebook forums sufficiently detailed for this assignment.

I therefore reverted to my earlier plan to work further on my material on Kyrgyzstan. Given that COVID-19 was also rampant in Krygyzstan, and my key contact was very sick for some months, I had to wait until my ‘audiences’ were able to meet, network and get back to me.

Assignment 5: Presenting my work: Zemni 2020

(Planned end March 2020)

This final Assignment will review my ‘Zemni voice’ in the light of work during this module and the Visual Research Module,

5.1 Re-assessing my practice and finishing my work 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. I envisage animated tasters for the work to be developed in After Effects on the new Zemni You Tube channel.

5.2 Further development 

  • ‘Wish You Were here’ will aim to extend possibilities for work in UK through on a new series of attractive, amusing and thought-provoking iPad images and fine art prints around: ‘Wish You Were Here’  based on holidays in England. This builds on earlier illustration, printmaking and book design  projects on Cornwall, Peak District and East Anglia.  The project will focus on a set of card series, but will also develop proposals for how I might extend this into eg Walking Guides and/or short books for the UK tourist market and card series elsewhere.
  • ‘Tales from the Edge’ will look at ways of developing some of my more imaginative work from ‘found texture narratives’ as a book of short pieces and/or After Effects experiences on the new Zemni You Tube channel.

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.info portfolio blog – this would review and update my current overview of my work.

I will also produce a much simplified and streamlined portfolio for a dedicated new Adobe Portfolio site.

  • 5.3 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.
  • zemniimages.com my professional SMUGMUG website which currently mainly houses archives of my photography.
  • 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.

4: Presentation: Zemni 2021

Submitted March 2021

Assignment 5.1 Finishing Work: Wish You Were Here focuses on selected images from Assignment 2, and new images taken in the meantime. Further developing my photographic skills in discussion with Cambridge Camera Club, including development of images to be submitted to their Annual Exhibition in summer 2021.

Because of COVID restrictions I was unable to have access to my art studios because they were needed by my daughter to separate our living arrangements. However I will have access again from April 2021, and plan to work further on these images also in different media outlined in my skills development plan. Both to produce new images that I can submit to other forums beyond Photography, and also to free up my Photographic practice to improve my photographic images.

Assignment 5.2 Further development: Landscapes of Place goes back to my interest in narrative and Book Design and location that I plan to focus on going further. Either finishing books already started on Cornwall and Kyrgyzstan, and outlining/drafting new book ideas for Cambridge and East Anglia as well as Cornwall and Kyrgyzstan.

Plans for Assignment 5.3 remained unchanged.