I still think that perhaps I made a big mistake in the choice of subject for this assignment. I think that the requirements for the assignment are such that perhaps this ‘something’ I believed needed ‘attention’ or which ‘I already supported’ should have been something I was previously aware of – but I did think long and hard about how to accomplish this without being seemingly disingenuous about the subject. I needed to feel what the brief asked for. I fully accept that professionals are either already involved in issues that they feel passionately about, or they are equipped to deliver to a brief on any subject that lands in their ‘in-tray’. I wonder though about the likes of Brent Stirton, did he not believe in the subjects he photographed with such intensity, did Ernest Cole not believe in the issues he faced in Apartheid South Africa, Don McCullin in Biafra? I’m not suggesting for one moment that associating those iconic photographers with my own nascent, not to say latent imagery. Perhaps I should have tried the village bowls club at least they don’t move very fast!
That I haven’t fulfilled the brief as I wanted and I thought was required leaves me feeling rather flat and not a little disturbed (I had wanted to document the whole process of a ‘project’ at the Echoes Group, it still has some way to go). I appreciate that the process of learning is indeed that, a process, a road of discovery and at various junctures one may assess where one has got to. In the case of the Echoes Group, a submission part-way through, though enabling a calibration by my tutor on my progress will inevitably mean a part told story of the Group and thereby raising the possibility of misleading the viewer; no matter the quality of the work for which I make no claim for. It has begun to mean something to me, it’s presence in my life, though nascent, has a value and to foreshorten it for the expedience of the course has the distinct possibility to devalue the work of the Group, it’s aims and principles. That no-one, other than my tutor will see the work at this stage is fine by me; I will work with the Project Director at the Trust and, hopefully, will produce a piece of work that fits their needs. There is a real chance that I will be exhibiting some of the work at various sites around Oxford, including the Ashmolean Museum later in the summer.
The current project, which is associated with Oxford School of Archaeology is to design and make some clay tiles using some artifacts, including some medieval tiles, that were excavated in a recent dig in the Oxford area. The ‘users’ of the group were encouraged to look at the artifacts and then produce some artwork prior to committing it to a tile. The clay for the tile has been specially formulated to not only represent the texture of the clay in medieval times but also to have a similar, post firing, colour. The project therefore has a mix of the past and the present, which I think, has a good resonance with the group of dementia patients and something that I have included as a theme in my project proposal, which starts just after Easter and which will provide me with a good deal of material for the level two Documentary Course I have embarked upon.