Make Believe - The Magic of working in Projects
If we learned anything from the Covid Pandemic it was that humans are social beings. When deprived of contact with our families, friends, neighbours and colleagues some thrive but others will wither, missing those critical human interfaces fiercely. We are meant to spend time in the company of others and to fade when this contact is taken from us. Our worlds can become muted and quiet, shades of grey when we are left on our own.
I believe that the same applies to our images. A single image, however beautiful, can appear lonely and isolated. While this does not follow for all images, some shine in splendid isolation, it will apply to most. Images typically need to socialise, they need their friends and family as much as we need ours. When an image is surrounded by its’ support network it will gain confidence, strength and beauty. It will belong and have a place in the world.
Throughout our lives, we are given plenty of advice about all manner of things. I certainly will listen to everything while ignoring 99.99% of it. One small conversation which took place many years ago now has however stayed with me and informs my work to this day.
· Question: Do you hang your work on your own walls
· My Answer: No
· Response: How can you expect anyone to hang your work on their walls if you don’t hang it on your own.
· My Response: (I had no response…)
From that point on I have always tried to create work which I would be happy to hang on my own walls. Most of us have seen exhibitions over the years and are able to cite examples of the following easily:
- Exhibitions with carefully curated themes. Small groups of images presented in a complimentary way such that each image is lifted by those surrounding it. Less is more. Space between images can add strength, power and value to those selected for display.
- Exhibitions which resemble the wall of a framing shop with mismatched themes and methods of presentation, all crowded together with no room to breath. We subconsciously devalue images presented in this way. If the author doesn’t take the time to think about curation and presentation, why should we waste our time looking?
And there are thousands of examples between these extremes.
My goal for this course is to take you through how I approach creating bodies of work, groups of images which support and strengthen each other, which could fulfil the first brief and which you would be happy to hang on your walls.
There are no formulae but there are pointers and strategies which you can make your own and develop through time. Using discussion and exercises each week, you will develop a body of work reflecting your own way of thinking and working at this point in your personal journey
One consistent thread which runs through my work is the creation of a body of work using a single source image. We will look at this as a way of creating a common denominator, a unifying element. There is however no right or wrong approach or answer, all we need to strive for at any point is to create the space that will allow those artistic forces to be.
As creatives, we will all feel the world differently. If working in projects is something that is new to you, this course will define a new way of working. We will look at creating work that exists solely for our own enjoyment at this point in our creative journey. We will challenge the assumption that the current way of working is the best way simply because that’s how we’ve always worked. We will try new and different approaches which reflect your artistry now.
Referencing my own journey and using ‘Believe’ as one example, we will look at what a body of work actually is and where to start:
- Identifying the seed, the search for a starting point that could grow into something beautiful.
- How to experiment and generate possibilities without preconceptions.
- Identifying when we feel unsure and we experience a drop in energy. How to shift perspective.
- How to tune into the emotions that tell us something is working. How to follow the heart.
- Letting go of formulae. Try everything and dismiss nothing. How to give yourself permission to be wrong and experience the thrill of being surprised.
- Through experimentation we identify the threads; the foundation of our project.
- We build on the potential to see what we can add so that we can focus energy into the core elements.
- Why working quickly at this point in the process is critical to keep the energy fresh.
- How to keep the overall concept front and centre. Creating project elements within a wider perspective keeps the focus and avoids drift.
- Assembling the elements into a cohesive unit. Fine-tuning and adding the finishing touches.
- Remembering that this work is for you and you alone.
- Acknowledging the fear of being judged, ignored, misunderstood or challenged. We look at putting the audience last.
The course will be conducted over 4 Zoom sessions spread over a 5-week period.
Each session will last between 1.5 and 2 hours.
Each participant can book an individual 1-hour session at any point during the course.
Participants will be expected to share their thoughts and participate in constructive discussion during each session.
Recordings will be made available as soon as possible after each session.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.