Part 4: Reflections

I have thoroughly enjoyed this part of the course, I learned a great deal from Assignment 4. Before undertaking the assignment I had a cursory knowledge of photomontage, but for the critical review I undertook a considerable amount of research. This was necessary as i now have a much better understanding of the genre and how it has been used, It will also help me a lot for my final assignment in Part 6, I have always thought I would like to produce a photomontage for that assignment, but my thoughts on how I will approach the task have developed considerably. I have many photographs that I have taken since I started this course, but I now realise that I want to produce something more than just an aesthetically pleasing image. I wish to produce images that make a statement about the issues I believe in (albeit within the confines of demonstrating the change in landscapes over the seasons).

How have I progressed over Part 4?

Technical and visual skills: I think that my analysis of images has improved. In his last comments on Part 3 my tutor suggested that I needed to move away from a descriptive approach to images to a more analytical one. I think that I have started to do this, in fact I think I have moved some way since the start of Part 4.

Quality of outcomes: I was pleased with my critical review which I hope has been conveyed in a concise and coherent style. It was as I was studying and writing the review that I perceived what I thought were two distinct styles in photomontage – the artistic approach adopted by the dadaists, Romare Bearden and the pop art movement as against the photographic style as shown by Henry Peach Robinson, Jeff Wall and Peter Kennard. One issues I was concerned with on the critical review was; had I tried to cover too many artists (four). Would it have been better to have just looked at two or three? While looking at fewer artists would have allowed more detailed analysis of each image, it would not have easily led to the conclusion I reached in terms of the two distinct styles. I therefore think that the approach to studying four artists was justified. 

Demonstration of creativity: As part of his feedback on Part 3 my tutor commented on “the ‘exploratory approach’ to developing my ideas and said I should continue to investigate this in future work”. I enjoyed the Bright and Barthes exercises in Part 4 and think that these will help to further develop my creativity. I believe that I will be able to develop this furtherwith the self-directed project in Part 5.

Context: I carried out considerable research for Assignment 4, there aren’t quotes from all the papers in my bibliography, but I have read all of the relevany=t parts and they informed my overall knowledge of photomontage and the individual artists. I believe I have put this knowledge to good effect in the critical review. I also learned how to make full use of Paperpile  which has been made available to OCA students via the UCA website . I found it of considerable use.