I had my call with Wendy the tutor a month ago, but it took place the day before I relocated from the UK to France, and the intervening few weeks have been somewhat hectic, so OCA study took a back seat. However, my OCA break is now over and I need to crack on tying up loose ends and preparing for submission for assessment in the new year.

Overall comments

The opening sentence in its entirety:

Congratulations Rob. I think you’ve really pulled your BoW ideas together for this final assignment of Body of Work.

This is a relief. Not totally a surprise, if that doesn’t sound too immodest, as I felt strongly that the work I did between Assignments 4 and 5 represented a step change in both my approach and the quality of the output. It was very satisfying to see that Wendy – a tutor not afraid of challenging her students! – saw the improvement as well.

Elsewhere in the comments:

I feel you’ve really worked very hard between assignments 4 and 5 on your themes, you have shot much more widely and have really considered the use of sequencing and of text in your work.

I want to pick up on this point on the development between Assignments 4 and 5. I spent the time since the last assignment making changes to the way that I work (shooting a lot more images, having less of a fixed idea of the outcome, letting the work organically evolve) and came through the experience with a different approach to my overall practice. I feel less of a compulsion to close down ideas early and am developing more of a curiosity about where the work might take me. I’m less ‘completion-focused’.

Specific feedback and advice

A few practical suggestions came up:

  • Change the text fragment about missing a tutorial – too specific, whereas the rest are easier for the average person to identify with
  • Expand introduction with references to relationship/s between photography and memory
  • Change grey border to pure white
  • Add to learning log some background material such as:
    • Contact sheets of long-listed images
    • Long-list of potential text fragments
  • Research: write up notes on Anna Fox’s My Mothers Cupboards and My Fathers Words (1999), something I saw at Arles this year and saw connections to my own work, but I haven’t yet written it up
  • Submission: print quality is of utmost importance, so get test strips done:
    • on a variety of paper types
    • at full resolution for A3 prints
    • making sure that the text in particular is clear and unpixellated
    • I’m planning to use theprintspace in London, a company I’ve used for commercial work and been very pleased with

Next steps

  • Re-do images with white not grey borders, and swap out text on one image as suggested [done – link to follow]
  • Prepare test strips and order prints on 3-4 paper types
  • Plan assessment submission in more detail