Week 7 reflection

This week has been dominated by preparations for the Arles trip. I am very excited by the prospective of three days of photography and the opportunity for a critical review of my portfolio is very welcome.

Up to now, I have tended not to print my work. There is an element of habit about this. I am used to being time-poor. Taking my pictures and selecting a few for processing in Lightroom was typically all I had time for. But times have changed, I do have the time and the tools to print now and I need to change my ways. Patterns of behaviour get laid down, sometimes in ways that one doesn’t even realise. I’m glad I have spotted this behaviour of mine and challenged it. It also begs the question of what other unproductive behaviours I am subconsciously clinging to.

This is a really serious consideration for me. I am looking at the MA as not only a learning, but also a behavioural change exercise. I need to fiercely examine my work, the behaviours around my practice, the creative choices I make. I want my practice to leap forward during these two years. That won’t happen if I cling to the patterns of the past.

This leads to the question of my personal style. Looking at my back catalogue, there is a style that is demonstrably mine. Question, is this style a habit or genuinely my artistic voice?

This intrigues me. Should I be able to apply myself to a range of genres and styles as demanded by the situation? Or should I discover (or reinforce) my own distinctive style? Conventional wisdom would be that I make work in a way that is consistently and distinctively mine. But does this run the risk of me operating in a rut rather than a groove? I must re-read the excellent Twyla Tharp who wrote on that very subject.

In terms of my project, I must leave myself open to new ideas. The work is grounded in landscape photography. This has been my long-standing practice and I feel that in order to progress, I either need to embrace new ways of working and new genres or radically refine my landscape practice. I have yet to resolve this dilemma.