Assignment Two: Ultima Forsan, self-evaluation

I have really enjoyed working on this assignment despite – or maybe because of – the morbid theme. It has been liberating to explore and share some of the ideas that have been swirling around my head for so long.

Re-reading the brief now, I feel fairly it has been met. I chose a subject that I felt passionate about and worked out how to present the idea visually, mainly through allegory.  I possibly could have used more montage and mixed media but I don’t think it was really necessary in this particular instance.

My blog posts and research notebook demonstrate the development of my ideas, experimentation to reach visual decisions and the intellectual basis for my decision-making.  I hope that I have succeeded in communicating effectively and eliciting the emotional responses I am aiming for.

The themes of life and death could not really have a wider scope so the project has been rather unwieldy. I lost my nerve a number of times and became convinced that what I was making was pretentious nonsense. I am still nervous that some of the metaphors are a little too tenuous and too personal.  Probably my biggest fear is that the images do not hang together as a cohesive set. I am always mindful of José’s words: “pictures talk to each other…”

I also really struggled with what sequence to go with – or if there even needed to be a predetermined order – and also whether each image should have a title.  But I had to overcome my doubts and go with what felt right and authentic, in the hope that if it resonates with me, it will resonate with others too.

Demonstration of technical and visual skills
I think I have shown fluency of technical and visual skills. I have carefully used lighting, a variety of focal lengths and composition to create the feel I was hoping to achieve. This includes some deliberate placement of the subject in certain positions within the frame designed to be slightly unsettling for the viewer.  I used Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance and manipulate the appearance of images to convey a mood which will evoke an emotional response.

Quality of outcome
The work is presented appropriately and showing reasonably strong judgement. I decided not to invest in high quality prints until I’d received feedback on the images from my tutor but for assessment I am currently planning to use textured art paper for final presentation.  I think I have communicated my visual ideas well.  Fine art is, of course, hugely subjective but I feel I have been brave in tackling this subject and have avoided many clichés.

Demonstration of creativity
I believe I have been creative in my approach for this project and that I have taken risks with imaginative and successful outcomes and that there is strong evidence of my personal voice in this work. Although it has been long and sometimes painful, I am glad I took several months to complete this assignment as it has had breathing space to evolve and develop.

I am learning to be more articulate and to develop and express my self-awareness.  This project was quite well researched and I hope I have demonstrated an intellectual understanding of the issues.  I regularly take time to reflect on my progress and to research contemporary work. My critical thinking and analytical skills need to improve considerably and I aim to work on that for the next part of the course.

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