Week 5: Independent Reflection
The majority of my work is audience-driven, with photographs taken for the school being used in social media, school magazines and placed on display around the school. My research project is likewise audience-driven, with my intentions being to generate money (selfishly) but also draw the public into Oxford’s chapels through exposure to my images.
It is my hope and intention for the project to be exhibited at the Aidan Meller Gallery, the longest established art gallery and leading dealership in Oxford. Sadly I have been unable to visit and discuss this possibility in recent weeks as the gallery is closed in readiness for a major project. This is a new venture for me and I have no idea how interested a fine art gallery would be in my work. However, in my favour is the fact that it hosted an exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite Drawings in summer 2017. It was a presentation from a discovery of lost works found in Oxford that included original works on paper for sale from John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt and John Waterhouse. Alongside original drawings created for Stained Glass by the two leading manufacturers of the 19th Century, Heaton, Butler & Bayne and Powell & Sons.
I would have no concern in allowing a curator to influence the reading of my work: I am confident that an art dealer such as Aidan Meller is far better placed to understand the best ways to display, promote and sell my images.
Experience of the week’s activities: As anticipated, my professional work has continued to thwart my project development and During Week 5, the only photographic work I carried out was at the National Athletics Championships in Birmingham. Managing a team of competitors does conflicts with and limit the time I can commit to taking photographs. While I do have to be wary of GDPR, the organisers have a simple and effective policy on photography:
Attendance at the Alexander Stadium implies permission for photography at these events. Any person wishing NOT to be photographed at this event is advised not to attend.
This policy makes very good sense since parents and schools are all, typically, keen to use images of their successful children. However, the nature of athletics is that an image of one child will likely include multiple other children, so gaining permission to use such an image would otherwise prove an impossibility.
For the first time, I tried to capture some of the UK Athletics Officials in the context of their work – not always the easiest of tasks since they can often by isolated from the actual action. However, the recorder and fault judge for the javelin competition was well placed to tie in with a competitor about to take a throw, resulting in a less usual, yet fairly pleasing composition (I would like to have cropped more tightly on the Official, but that would have precluded important detail in the competitor).