Once again the overall comments from my tutor were positive, “It’s great to see the continuing evidence of your close engagement with the course materials and tangential reading in this final assignment”.
Assignment 5 is linked here.
My tutor asked me to comment on my choice of American artists as an “exclusive point of reference” in my preparation for the fifth and final assignment. The post I wrote in preparation for this assignment does in fact reveal a partiality towards American artists. However, this was not by design. The paintings that seemed to have the strongest appeal and are mentioned in my preparation write-up, just so happen to be by American artists. As previously stated, I spend time in both Limerick City Library and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) Library looking for inspiration. Both Libraries, particularly LIT, have comprehensive catalogues of art books. Perhaps I should have included some of the other artist’s researched, as my research was far from limited to the work of American painters. Looking at my post now it reflects an inaccurate bias, which wasn’t present in actuality. I was predominantly interested in work which featured lone female figures and so my research took this focus. Below, I’ve listed some of the more interesting notes on other artist which I took during my research.
Félix Vallotton – Misia at Her Dressing Table 1898 – Interesting angle.
Félix Vallotton – Le Haut-de-forme, intérieur ou La Visite 1887 – the door.
Edgar Degas – In a Café 1873 – Together, yet alone. Sad eyes.
Edgar Degas – Waiting 1882 – Contrasts.
Frédéric Bazille – The Pink Dress 1864 – Looking away, yet positive, calm and uplifting.
Vilhelm Hammershøi – Rest 1905 – Back turned, right angles, tension, sparse.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Rousse 1889 – Intimate, vulnerable, submissive.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – The Model Resting 1889 – Posture and angle empowers the viewer.
While the above mentioned artists influenced the direction my assignment took, I kept coming across Edward Hopper and it was the reoccurring female figures that are repeated across much of his work that resonated with me.
My tutor is curious to know why I chose to create an image based around this particular “fantastic disaster”? The answer to that question lies in my position within a predominantly male workplace. Being one of the few unmarried men at work, I’m free of the responsibilities and constraints that are part of the parcel of fatherhood and marriage. While disusing my long overdue, and upcoming travels with a colleague, the idea for the assignment was basically dropped in my lap, as he suggested the only thing that could stop me now was the arrival of a baby. The idea took seed as I considered that my career break for the purpose of travel probably wouldn’t be happening if I had either children or mortgage.
“The danger in constructed images is to be too literal”, and I would have to agree with my tutor that my image is definitely leaning towards the literal. I suppose if I had omitted certain signifiers (i.e. the pregnancy test) or made them a little more difficult to define, the result could be an image which is more difficult to read. That said, I’m reasonable happy with my submission and after-all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Perhaps my next challenge will be to create more ambiguous work. Also, it’s highly unlikely that the viewer would make a connection between my image and Robert Burns’ poem. Although I don’t believe the reference is necessary to the narrative, I did find it very useful in analyzing the construction (deconstruction) and placement of props in my photograph.
Since finishing this assignment, I’ve viewed more work by the above mentioned artists, and I’m happy to say that this course has sparked a more general interest in art and other art mediums. The Context and Narrative module has been a most fascinating and inspiring journey, which I’ve managed to drag out for almost two years. I will be putting my work forward for assessment next month, and this is where I’ll be leaving my study with the Open College of the Arts, until I return from my career break. Distance learning is a long and difficult road, however I shall return in order to achieve, at the very least, a Certificate of Higher Education in Photography.
Full Tutor Feedback can be viewed here. CN5_512301
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