Looking back on this part of the course my understanding of what is Landscape has increased hugely, whether from background reading or the exercises that I have done. I saw from the work of Watkins and O’Sullivan just how different a result can be obtained depending on your approach to the image – one of mankind in charge of the environment, or one of mankind awed by the environment.
Before trying it out I was a bit sceptical about watching a ‘road movie’ as part of a landscape course, but having completed the exercise I did learn from it, the concept of the road as a metaphor for life’s journey and what can happen alongside is one that is relevant to still images.
Again I was sceptical about reading Edgelands and what could be learnt about Wire and Power. But I am now really interested in this concept of edgelands and what you find there and how it is different to other parts of towns and cities. I am planning to take some photos of the edgelands of the town where I live. During this exercise I also followed up on one of the images mentioned in Power – Agecroft Colliery, Salford 1983 by John Davies. Looking back now on the first exercise I did for this course I was asked to draw what I thought a landscape would look like and I drew a very classical view as exemplified by the style of Claude Lorraine. My definition of landscape has now moved on hugely as a consequence of the first two modules, I may not even have considered Agecroft Colliery as a landscape image at the beginning. But I am now beginning to realise how landscape can be social or environmental commentary.
I found the philosophical consideration of appropriation quite interesting, and this may be even more appropriate for my final assignment. I had been intrigued by Hockney’s comments on landscape and perspective and was interested in looking at a collage landscape for the Transitions Assignment. As I have visited exhibitions over the past couple of months I have been looking out for collage work – I was particularly taken by the work of Romare Bearden in the Soul of a Nation exhibition at Tate Modern and have been researching his work further. For Assignment 4 I have to write a 2,000-word essay or critical review on a subject that relates both to the content of this course and your own photographic practice”. I would like to use this opportunity to investigate further the concept of landscape collage as I think that this would help me with Assignment 6 for the course.
I liked the section on Textworks and Land Art. I was particularly fortunate that the Richard long Exhibition Earth Sky was showing at Houghton Hall at the time I was studying this part of the course. This enabled me to find out more about the work of Long and use this to influence the images I produced for Assignment 2.
Looking back on my Tutor’s comments on Part 1 of the course I think that I have started to use research as a way of developing my creative thinking, as shown in the way I approached the assignment in Part 2 as well as the research I am doing on collage/montage for the final assignment.
I think that I need to do more work on developing in more depth my blog comments and reflect more on reading and my own work. I hope to add more to my blog on my reading and research quite soon.
But I certainly am taking time to research work of other photographers and develop projects, bot through reading, research and visiting exhibitions.