Introduction

On Thursday 11th February 2021 I did an artist talk / virtual study visit via Zoom. It was about an hour long and started with a 20-minute presentation by me on the journey through the body of work to publication, followed by an ‘in conversation’ segment where my tutor Garry Clarkson interviewed me about my work, closing with an open question and answer session with the audience.

Virtual study visit

About 45 people attended the sessions, and five people who couldn’t attend live requested the recorded copy. I got lots of positive feedback afterwards.

Presentation

The first portion was the presentation, a copy of which is included inline below.

Pulling together the presentation was a useful experience; it made me hone my journey of developing the work down to a concise yet coherent narrative. I decided to include the couple of false starts (BoW assignments 1 and 2) but edited out Assignment 4 as too similar to Assignment 3.

Interview

The middle 20 minutes or so was taken up by a conversation between me and Garry, with questions on my interest in memory, my approach, my research and my overall thoughts and feelings on the end result.

Garry’s questions teased out some of the things that I hadn’t covered in the presentation part, such as:

  • How I paired images with text
  • How the work can be placed in the context of existing bodies of work by other practitioners
  • How my contextual studies informed the photography work
  • Particularly around the negative relationships memory can have with photography
  • Where I want to take the work next

This portion went very quickly!

Q&A

The final third of the event was questions from the audience. Some of the questions that I found particularly interesting were:

  • Questions about specific images and why I selected them
  • Whether I experienced déjà vu as part of the overall project experience
  • How I decided on the virtual exhibition format
  • Why I felt it important to have a printed souvenir (the catalogue)
  • Personal favourite images and why

This was, for me, the most fascinating and fulfilling part of the whole event; seeing people engage with my work and dig deeper into the aspects they found interesting was really satisfying.


Key takeaways

I found the whole experience extremely fulfilling, probably the most satisfying element of not only SYP but the entire degree. In the absence of a physical exhibition it was the best method of engaging with an audience for my work, and it validated my sense that the work was meaningful and worthy of sharing in a public format.

I also found preparing for the event as useful as the talk itself; it helped me to hone my story and articulate the main points of what I had been aiming to achieve. I had done a kind of dry run the week before with a camera club Zoom talk (with partial overlap in content with this presentation) and I took lessons from that experience on how best to talk about my work and my motivations.