As noted in my last post, I recently have identified three final steps to get this work ready to submit to the tutor, which were:
- Finalise the images
- Write a short introduction to the work
- Write the 1500-2000 words of evaluation of my whole BoW journey
I have done the first step and this post covers the second. I’m still procrastinating on the third.
Writing an introduction
I have written text introductions to previous and draft versions of the work but none were quite right for how the series has ended up. There are elements of earlier drafts that I will synthesise into the final version. As ever I decided it was a good idea to refer to the course handbook to see what it says on the matter.
Course notes advice
First of all the course notes differentiate between an introduction to a particular set of images and an artist’s statement covering a person’s work as a whole, possibly lengthy, practice. In the instance of a degree student, the distinction between one’s ‘practice’ and one’s ‘current body of work’ might seem minimal, but I do understand the differentiation being highlighted here. For this reason I will continue to use the term ‘introduction’ as per the course notes rather than confusing things by calling it an artist’s statement.
A few extracts from the course notes that I found interesting and useful:
- “This is your opportunity to distill all your research into the most lucid and interesting elements and turn your mind again to the ‘bottom line’ of your practice.”
- I took this to mean reminding myself about the ‘bottom line’ rather than spelling it out in the text
- “What do you want your viewer to take away from spending time with your work?”
- I like this question; I think a lot about how people react to art and how it might take them think or feel
- I’ve mentioned it before but I love the quote from Daniel Blaufuks on the purpose of art: “[To] make people think and feel a bit differently than they did earlier that day.” (Blaufuks, in Campany 2018: 41)
- I have an answer too: I want people looking at my work to think about things they’ve forgotten, which in turn might make them think about the fragility of memory (this is something I don’t believe people generally pay enough mind to)
The handbook also suggests a list of questions to help the writer, listed below with my quick responses:
- What was the starting point for this work and where has it ended up?
- Started: trying to visually represent the idea of forgetting
- Ended up: thinking I’ve succeeded in doing so to the best of my abilities
- What are the main areas of research?
- My own experiences!
- Memory theory – scientific and critical / arts theory
- What does it explore?
- Ideas of remembering and forgetting (and the interplay between the two)
- What does it ask the viewer to bring?
- Their own life experiences
- Who is my audience?
- How is my specific practice situated within wider philosophical concerns?
- This is where I believe the work intersects with my Contextual Studies essay: the relationships between photography, memory and forgetting
- Was the technique of particular importance to the outcome?
- For this final version, not really
- For the Assignment 4 version, definitely – but I moved on!
The list of Dos and Don’ts is also useful but I won’t repeat it here – hopefully I have followed it.
A memory walk about forgetting
We forget far more than we remember. This feature of human memory can be difficult to grasp but is entirely necessary – imagine remembering absolutely everything. Forgetting is the blank canvas upon which our memories take shape.
Sometimes, though – and increasingly as we age – we forget slightly too much. Things we should have remembered. This work investigates the interplay between remembering and forgetting, to visually explore how our memory processes work – or don’t. I’m fascinated by the fine line between forgetting just enough and forgetting too much.
With this meander through my own remembered forgettings I aim to shine a light on the fragility of human memory. I want to encourage reflection of how forgetting is a significant yet invisible part of life.
After some initial feedback I conceded that the first draft above isn’t right. The tone is off, it lacks gravitas, it’s too colloquial, it repeats the word ‘forget’ and its variants too many times. I got good comments on the last paragraph but the rest of it needs reworking.
The course notes do say ‘draft and redraft’ (a fellow student confessed to getting through 30+ versions) so with hindsight putting up my first draft online for comments was a tad optimistic!
To this end, rather than just throw out another version straight onto this blog, I will take a little more time to work through a drafting process offline before I seek more feedback.
I’ve done a few more drafts and sought more feedback, and have landed on a version that I am much happier with. Unless it changes again between now and submission to tutor, the intro text will be as follows.
A memory walk about forgetting
I use photography to depict the unseen, the interior world, the landscape of the mind. I’m fascinated by the possibilities that images hold to provoke sensations, thoughts, feelings or memories.
With this work I investigate experiences of remembering and forgetting, and the interplay between the two. I aim to explore how our memory processes work, or sometimes don’t.
I forget, emerged from a series of walks around my local area, noting the memories that were triggered by what I observed. The work evolved into a personal meditation on middle-aged memory, as I recalled the times my own memory has failed me. I became curious about the fine line between forgetting just enough and forgetting too much.
With this meander through my own remembered lapses I want to shine a light on the fragility of human memory. I’d like to encourage reflection on how a visual image or scene can trigger an unrelated memory, and of how forgetting is an invisible yet significant part of life.