For the avoidance of doubt, I am particularly talking here about the physical submission, the portfolio box sent to OCA in Barnsley. It will of course be supported by focused links to this learning log, but in my view the significant portion of the assessment submission is the physical submission. I look at it here in terms of both contents and presentation.
I’ve learned to put a decent amount of thought and planning into assessment submissions, and it feels like this is particularly important for Body of Work. In fact, it feels particularly important for my Body of Work, as it’s been quite eclectic and non-linear. I need to make sure that I can communicate a coherent journey through the course.
My specific concern was that the first two assignments bear no resemblance to the latter three; I trialled then rejected two fundamentally different ideas before landing on the concept that I developed to final assignment.
So I need to balance out the following two considerations:
- I need to articulate a coherent learning journey that includes all five assignments
- I really want to predominantly showcase Assignment 5, the final set of 15 images
The extreme approaches (ruled out!) would be to either:
- Include the same type and quantity of content for all assignments
- Only include prints from the final assignment
I found a middle way that I felt worked best for my needs, which can be summarised as organising the submission into two sections:
- An overview of all five assignments, contextualised alongside each other
- Opens with a text introduction summarising the subject and the overall learning journey
- Same level of content per assignment
- Brief description
- Summary of main lessons / takeaways from the assignment
- 2x sample images
- Tutor report
- Good quality and decent-sized prints of the final portfolio of 15 images from Assignment 5
This approach is intended to balance out ‘journey’ and ‘outcome’ in a way that I believe shows both parts off to their best. My understanding is that both aspects are considered as part of the assessment.
My next challenge was to present the two halves of the submission in such a way that the final portfolio of images is somehow visually prioritised. Thinking practically about the (assumed) assessment experience, the ways in which component parts of a submission could achieve visual priority would include:
- Sequencing: what does an assessor see first? what do they see last?
- Size: what part of the submission is physically most imposing / eye-catching?
I considered the sequencing point; would it take sense to have the final images as the first thing the assessors see? I ultimately decided that this would be too unorthodox or potentially confusing. I believe an assessor would expect to see work presented in assignment order (as the development of the work is part of what is being assessed, not just the final outcome).
Size made more sense as a differentiator. I’d decided early on to produce prints at A3 paper size, as I had done for both Level 2 courses. This led me to differentiate the two halves of the submission firstly by paper size:
- Journey: comprised of A4 prints/documents
- Outcome: comprised of A3 prints
Part 1: the ‘journey’ book
I wanted to make the ‘learning journey’ section feel like a coherent artefact in its own right, rather than a collection of A4 sheets covering five assignments. I decided to make a book for the this section.
I chose an A4 landscape ‘pinchbook’, a re-usable spring-based binding format that allows pages to be inserted, rearranged, removed etc. This allowed for a reasonable amount of experimentation during the production stage.
The front cover contains a ‘window’ that allows a title card to be visible whilst the book is closed.
This title page was followed by the overall introduction.
Then per assignment there is a section title page, a brief text description, sample images and finally the tutor report.
The text pages were printed on good quality but non-photographic paper (high-resolution brochure paper, 260gsm) and the sample images were printed on pro luster photo paper.
The first two assignments had two portrait images on one A4 landscape sheet; the latter three had one landscape image each on two separate sheets. This is partly due to the shape of the images per assignment but also to slightly prioritise the later assignments.
I wanted the A4 book to sit neatly in the A3 portfolio box without rattling around, so I used a piece of A3 craft card as a backing board, with the book attached via a small glue dot. This should make it secure in transit but easily removable at assessment time.
Part 2: the final portfolio
The 15 final images were professionally printed by theprintspace, a very reliable fine art printing supplier I have used in the past.
As noted in an earlier post, I took the precaution of testing out a range of papers before committing. The winner of this print shootout was Hahnemühle Pearl, a lovely fine art paper for giclée printing. It is quite a matt finish and surprisingly good at rendering the colours. It is robust, almost card-like in the hand, and it has a really nice surface feel that the website describes as “smooth orange peel texture”(!)
And that concludes this post about preparing my BoW submission!
I have now posted a video of the final submission.