Sunday, 18 May 2014

Reflection on Unit X (Key Post: Reflection)

Unit X has been an interesting unit for me as it was the first time I've documented my work in Blog format, I've always stuck to sketchbooks as a way of documenting my practice as I like presenting my work in a physical form and sticking things in and laying things in a sketchbook. Now I can compare the two and they both have advantages and drawbacks, I think for next year I will go back to using sketchbooks as I prefer my work physically printed than being looked at on a screen, for example I haven't used the darkroom much for Unit X as I felt there wasn't much point as the prints wouldn't be assessed so I scanned all my negatives into digital files. On the other hand blog are good in the sense that it is much quicker to post something in a blog then it is to type something up then print it out and stick it in a sketchbook so working in blog format does save a lot of time, in addition it saves a lot of money on printing. 

When I started Unit X I was determined to shoot subject matter I haven't shot much of this year, that being people, I chose the everyday as a title because I hoped to shoot mainly people however this soon changed after Alan advised me to in a different direction as he said my work was far too simple, so I did. I went back to shooting architecture but was determined to shoot it in a way I previously never had to I eventually used double exposures to present my work in a new and interesting way. 

For Unit X I was determined to improve my skills when it came to shooting and printing film. Because I scanned a lot of my negatives I didn't use the darkroom much for this project however I still managed to get in there and work on my dodging and burning techniques which is something I still need to build on and become very skilled at. I also had never shot double exposures before so that was something new I learned, it was very fun and a technique I want to continue and become more excelled at. 

Working within a team of students from other courses was another interesting experience, we collaborated in the sense that we worked together to set up and promote our exhibition but we didn't collaborate in terms of creating work as everyone in the group had specific ideas of what we wanted our work to be, I'd say most art students have a very clear idea of what they want to create and don't like other people getting involved. I'd say we worked reasonably well as a group, we came up with the title for our exhibition them certain members of the group created promotional material for the exhibition the contained contributions from everyone in the group. I provided on of my photographs to be used in the posters that were created to promote the exhibition. We only met for discussions two or three times and said to our tutor Richard that for next years Unit X students they should be put into their cross course groups much earlier in the project as for the first few weeks we never saw each other. 

The exhibition was an interesting experience as I got to see my work in context with everyone else's in the group and other courses. I printed my final pieces A1 as I wanted them to command attention in a room where there are 100 other students exhibiting work. I know a lot of students were dissatisfied with the exhibition space at it had more window that wall space however I thought that as long as your work is strong where it is exhibited doesn't really matter and in the end everyone's work overwhelmed the space so the location didn't really matter. When I arrived at the exhibition space for the first time on Tuesday I didn't think everyone's would be able to fit because the space seemed much smaller than I had seen on the photographs. I chose a board facing the center of the exhibition to exhibit my pieces, it was right in the path where people walked so I got a good spot early. On the other hand I could only use two of my prints out of the three as there wasn't enough space on the board however the two photographs still worked well together. I thought the exhibition went well and although it only went on for a few hours I still enjoyed it. 

Overall Unit X has been an interesting unit and I feel I've improved my practice in a variety of areas and hope to build on that the next two years.