OCA TV Study Day 21st March 2015

Jesse Alexander was our tutor in attendance today. We had a very full day with a lot to look at. My write up is very brief this time.

The day started with a look at some of  John’s “Body of Work” photographs. These were images made in response to hand written texts that John had received or written. This sort of theme which interprets texts visually is something we have seen from a number of photographers; Anna Fox, Sharon Boothroyd, and as will be shown later, Keith Greenough. John quite often uses words as a starting point for visualisation. This was an interesting idea. I look forward to seeing forward to seeing how it develops.

Keith brought along copies of his photo book “Lifting the Curtain” which forms part of his final degree submission. I bought a copy to support the work of Toynbee Hall, a centre for culture, arts, and education in Whitechapel. Once again, over the past year or so I have seen several of Keith’s prints and it is gratifying to have the full project in my possession. The  pictures were all taken at night or early in the morning and show locations that Charles Booth wrote about in his  1889 social survey “Life and Labour of the People”. Keith has identified locations in the book and photographed them showing the modern face of the East End, juxtaposed with the text describing the conditions in the late 19th century. Keith has included a useful reference section in the back of the book showing Booth’s “Poverty Map” and a map showing the locations of the photographs.

Carol showed her final TAoP assignment which we saw in progress at a previous meeting. Jesse gave feedback on process and presentation ideas. Carol also discussed her choice for the 1000 word essay required for Context and Narrative. She has chosen Henri Cartier Bresson’s Juvisy France 1938 as her image. We spent a little time discussing whether HCB was indeed the master of the decisive moment or if some of his images had actually been arranged or posed. Jesse also mentioned Ian Jeffries book How to Read a Photograph as a good resource for this topic and how to interpret singular images.

Stephen brought along a series of black and white mounted prints, This would form part of an exhibition in Fleet Library. He had found and taken pictures of Hampshire Churches for each century of the second millennium. It was a very impressive collection, beautifully printed. He discussed how difficult it was to photograph some of the churches because of their aspect and the proximity of other buildings.

Teresa showed and interesting project on Dog Walking in her local area. (I think this was for TAoP) I made a note in my book because Johanna Ward’s work came up in the discussion. Somehow, I missed this at Brighton in October and I was away in December when she talked to OCA students. However I will watch the video and read the comments on WeAreOCA

Richard showed some work in progress about the Blue Nile Band showing images linking the band with significant periods of his life. He is using lyrics from the songs to invoke images from that time and what was happening in his life.

Michael showed more of his Rubber Flapper images. He has edited and made some decisions about their final presentation following our interest in the project which resulted partly from Sharon Boothroyd’s write up in WeAreOCA. http://weareoca.com/?s=Michael+Colvin

I took along eight images from my personal project in which I am recording the redevelopment of Bordon from an Army Garrison to an Eco Town. I explained that it was not planned as part of my OCA course work as it would take at least another 12 years and possibly 20 before it would be complete. Jesse said perhaps I could incorporate phases of the project into future work. As I had only brought images linked to one site, Louisburg Barracks, this was a possibility. It is the first site to be developed and incorporates the construction of a relief road. I have chosen to record the changes from the “edge” using the perspective that most people have as they pass by. This is because the number of agencies, and contractors make it difficult to access the site while the military boundaries and security are still in place. I think this transition is important and my use of long focal lengths and differential focus tries to reinforce the sense of distance and exclusion as the development starts. Jesse advised against the over use of long focal lengths for the careful selection and editing when presenting the project. As it stands at the moment, I am recording all of the changes that I see. Next month at the Phoenix Arts Centre sees the introduction of “Bordon Reflections” a local project which invites families to bring photographs of the past 100 years of the Garrison. I shall be attending and hope to be able to contribute by continuing to record the changes. Bordon Garrison will cease to exist when the Army officially leave in the summer.

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