Peer review will be found at the bottom.
The first thing to do was to go through the hundreds of photographs and edit any photographs that were technically correct, aesthetically pleasing and appropriate to communicate the Maori mythology stemming out of the landscape. Keeping in mind the influences of Susan Derges et.al.
The next job was to try and make the nighttime photographs taken immediately after the Earthquake workable. They are at extremely high ISO and hand held in a very shaken hand! They were authentic to the journey though and I knew that they had to be included. Juxtaposing two aesthetics was a challenge and a challenge that would have to be uncompromising. I felt that the body of work needed to reflect the sudden change in events but still demonstrate how the landscape influenced the Maori way of life and belief system. The photograph slides haven’t loaded in order but as the slides move through you can see the evolution and cohesion of the photograph choices.
Presentation options have caused me the greatest challenge. There were so many elements that I wanted to bring together. I had hoped that at some point a poem would come to mind or some sort of text. It just didn’t happen though and in the end I had to accept that my mind was still trying to process the enormity of what had happened.
- Gallery wall hanging
And this is where I am struggling. Apart from the images, there is so much extra to include to support the wider story of surviving an Earthquake.
– I have experimented with a mobile hanging but I am not convinced now that I have seen it.
Any other larger scale installation has time and practical implications.
- A book is a tempting consideration but by the nature of books, the format won’t allow for audio to be included!
- A slideshow might well be the way forward with sound blended in with it. I will need time to explore this option as I don’t have any knowledge of slideshow technology. Jesse Alexander has pointed me in the right direction today and I will go on to explore this as an option for assessment.
- I also then mulled over the nightmares that I’d had in the early days and the confusion. I thought about trying to make an installation with a wire mobile with the red wire signifying the difficulty in processing the disparity between experiences. I did give it a go but it looked like a the wire tinsel Blue Peter Advent candle holder! It just wasn’t good enough. Even if it was good enough, I still has the issue of how to merge other elements of the presentation.
On Saturday 17th June, I attended a South West cross discipline day. Jesse Alexander was the tutor in attendance. The newsletter (link below) shows me presenting my work for peer review. During my fifteen minute slot, my ‘final’ curation was discussed. I explained that I had tried a mobile format but I wasn’t happy with it. I also said that I didn’t want to produce a book again. I had almost decided on a wall display and journal but I wasn’t really convinced. The other aspect discussed was the final curation of the photographs. I had taken other discounted photographs and my mind was changed again.
I don’t enjoy learning new IT skills but the suggestion of a slideshow triggered a domino effect in my mind. Just as long as I could find ‘Claire Proof’ software, then I could bring together the final photographs, text, ‘found’ media reports etc.
The trial version of the slideshow is included on this newsletter and is open for further peer review:
I have also placed the draft slideshow here for ease of access.
There is still some way to go in refining the timing and adding other aspects of the story but so far, one level 3 photography student has said that she felt very emotional while watching it.
second attempt at the slideshow:
Tidying up the front pages, timing of audio, transitions etc. Also, I have added a brief account at the end.
Submitted for peer review at OCA:
Peer review summary:
1. Graduate photography student. Two narratives were picked up on. The personal element is a worthwhile edit. He felt is was perhaps an idea to focus on one or the other though. Liked the audio element of the slideshow.
2. Student from another discipline. Very powerful and engaging. Only criticism was that the text was too fast.
3. Student. Discipline and level unknown. It provided the juxtaposition between the beautiful and sublime. Wanted to see more. Loved the sense of movement.
4. Student. Discipline unknown. Brilliant work Claire. They fit together wetland pull you in several different directions emotionally.
5. Photography Student. I really enjoyed this Claire, though did find there were too many different things going on in terms of presentation that made it feel a little disjointed after a while. For example, you own voice only coming in later in the slide show. In terms of the curation, I would simplify the text as a little overwhelming and perhaps play around with the sequencing to strengthen your work. Perhaps you could print out each slide to get an idea of what they look like physically.
6. Student. Unknown discipline. Yes I agree with a couple of the comments here in that there seems to be two sets going on and perhaps doesn’t do justice to the work that you have done and experience you have been through. I was confused as to what was going on initially but this may have been your intention?
7. saw this on your blog and meant to comment last week. I can’t add to John’s comment really – but I just wanted to say I think the work provokes a powerful sense of what you were feeling (which must have been pretty terrifying). I wonder if the work might benefit by combining the sublime images with the voice over only (without the blurry images – I think they may detract from the work and operate as a kind of tautology with the sound). They are interesting nevertheless. I wonder if there is anyway you can take the text out of the mundane i.e. the way it’s presented … does that make any sense?)
8. Truly fascinating subject matter with such personal meaning. Your images of nature are conveying a poetic sense, beautiful and sublime.
The occasion of your personal encounter of the earthquake makes it truly more meaningful, a story to tell, that made it a place. Great juxtapositiong, the end makes a point. However, I have some misgiving with it, Some was already said. Two stories? two narratives? Perhaps not feeling strong enough your personal encounter? Nevertheless, I like the blurring of on site images. Overall, a lot of stuff there, more to work from I guess, great personal project. Would be a pity to stop here, regardless of assignment and course work expectations.
Further thoughts: - thinking about installation – images of nature with voice over / juxtaposition of video of the ‘event’ with large prints of nature images. - I do relate your interrogation strongly with the work by Ilana Halperin. She explored volcanos across the world, made artefacts from nature, and makes performances with reading her stories. I met her once personally in Switzerland and the link between images and voice made a strong impression on me.
I am actually thrilled that the students have picked up on the two narratives. Some love it and other aren’t so sure. It has been a challenge to know what to include or not.