What do I want to achieve over the next year of the MA?
Well, I suppose I was slightly disappointed with my performance over the last couple of months in terms of getting myself out there, so that would be a good place to start. I took my foot off the gas, my eye off the ball and all those other over used phrases that can describe what happened over the summer. I guess another one has to be that I took a break and tried to re-energise - 40 hours a week doing the day job, together with the 6 or so hours of travelling can take it out of you when you combine that with studying for the MA and then all those family and friend commitments, and everything else life tends to throw at you. It sounds like I'm just making excuses here, and so it might be, but I'm also trying to put things into perspective. So, no I didn't make the progress I had thought I could over the summer in terms of getting exposure, but if you go back to the middle of last year, there has been some:
- July-August 2014 - [( 6 )], at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. A group exhibition I organised in conjunction with 5 other photographers (including Tanya). The prints from this exhibition have gone on to be shown at the OCA offices and BVL, one of the sponsors.
- November 2014 - Papergirl Blackburn, a community arts venture that exhibited then distributed the art within the Blackburn community.
- June-July 2015 - APhF:15, at Benaki Museum as part of the Athens Photo Festival.
I was included in Issue 9 of #Photography, an online and print photography magazine. I also got a mention in Big Issue in the North to coincide with the [( 6 )] show. Various projects are also being featured in the newly designed photography course notes, illustrating the various threads running through them.
During this period, I've also produced the catalogue for the [( 6 )] show (available here
) and the book version of Ruscha's Gasoline Stations Revisited (available here
I also redesigned my website at robtm.co.uk
, it seems to hang together a bit better now.
So, no, it wasn't what I wanted, it wasn't major coverage, but it was something. And something is, of course, better than nothing. And this is all leading to the fact that my main goal this year is to actually interact with my audience more, to exhibit and to publish. Which is handy because this is one of the course threads. Actually, I probably need to find my audience in the first instance; family and friends are great for moral support, but I actually need a little bit more...
Another thing I want to achieve is to produce a couple more bodies of work. I actually have three projects that are truly "ongoing", and another one that I just need to close down (finally). These are, in no particular order:
- Le Loup, le renard et la balette. A body that will hopefully coalesce over the course of the year, although I have no real specific goal other than it will be all shot in Brittany and to not include people.
- After Stephen Shore. A sort of progression from the Ruscha work, but without the diesel. This is perhaps more something to work on when I'm not in/just back from France.
- Station to Station. A slower burn study of train stations - I don't take the train that often, so this will understandably take time but I would still like to make some progress.
- Thirteen Ribble Valley Petrol Stations. I just need to grab the last one to finish of what was intended as the counterpoint to last years Ruscha project. Something for a quiet Sunday morning...
Other things will likely crop up as the year goes, I'll see what triggers from discussions along the way (things always change).