(See research folder outcome 1aa: external opportunities and mentoring – SP and 3 for T&P)
As a fine art and landscape photographer, (who is additionally interested in spiritualism) my aims and objectives for this academic year of 2014/15 has been to identify where I can best display my work, so I have sought the advice of gallery curators and organisations who can assist me with meeting these aims.
I have identified that there are four organisations and mentors who exist within institutions who have taught and instructed me so that I am more able to move ahead with my photography. These are:
Steve Bishop and the Fabric Organisation – Mentoring and Exhibition Work
Meg Oxford and the Artbound Community Network – Mentoring, Promotional, Web Presence, Online Marketing and Distribution of images through Community/Events & Publication
Kaz and Sam Corley at Bradford Cathedral’s Artspace – Mentoring, Promotion, Events linked to Spiritualism and Art.
The Diocese of Bradford – distribution of images, publication, know how regarding information of working within the environment.
Collaborative Work – Exhibition ‘Perceptions of Time’ with Olivia Faye Wilford, Felicia Charles Art, Rebecca Latz (Magdalen Shoot).
Steve Bishop – Mentor and the Fabric Organisation
Steve has been an invaluable mentor for over a year regarding setting up an exhibition and what it entails to be an exhibitor/selling your products from the perspective of having work up on an exhibition wall.
The mechanical involvement of setting up an exhibition is time consuming and strenuous work. The curator has given us the necessary experience as fine art exhibitors, allowing us to fully understand the process at the Fabric Gallery and guiding us through the process. He has given us advice of editing and selecting images, choosing and matching, complementing the space and complementing each others work, through to mounting the exhibits, where to purchase the foam board from and demonstrating how to mount each photograph, describing what tools are required and how best to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result. Both my colleague and myself now know the intricacies and sheer hard work that is involved in setting up an exhibition and we would now feel totally confident with organising and setting up exhibitions in the future. With over 106 images on the wall at the current exhibition ‘Perceptions of Time’ (which has been extended until the end of November 2014), we have gained an enormous amount of experience regarding manning the exhibition, re distribution and promotion of images, co ordinating an opening event, liasing with professionals working in the field of exhibiting, meeting and greeting the public, taking detailed accounts of expediture and profit gained, keeping a record of sales and so on.
Fabric have been there to support us in terms of financing the heating and electrical bills during our time at the exhibition and without that support the exhibition would not have been possible.
Steve is continuing to give us support and advice as an ongoing mentorship helping and assisting us to find space to continue exhibiting and setting up a photographic studio, which has now been identified.
A record of the events and details regarding this exhibition will be analysed and submitted as part of my project work.
For the full proposal of the Exhibition and Catalogue of Works for ‘Perceptions of Time’ please see the research folder.
Meg Oxford and the Artbound Community Network:
From attending the exhibition and showcasing our work there, it has been possible to become a member of the Artbound Community Network which is organised by Meg Oxford. The organisation offers an online web presence for talented artists, photographers to work in a professional capacity while artbound works to promote and showcase your work through marketing and distribution, through organising community events and publications, you as an artist are left alone to get on with your work! As a busy photographer and artist this is great news for me as studying takes up so much of my time, Meg and her team will work hard behind the scenes to help create an online presence with very little input from myself. Meg also offers a mentoring program which will commence in the New Year.
The organisation also arrange working and displaying art within the community at key events stretched throughout the year.
Sam Corley and Kaz at Bradford Cathedral’s Artspace:
Bradford Cathedral have an organised art base that have a non theological and theological envisaged art spaces at the Cathedral on a regular basis. Sam has offered to be a mentor in the capacity of working within the Cathedral’s Art Space environment and has looked into how Kaz can assist with some theological thinking. They also organise and distribute information regarding spiritual art in the community and at selected events at the Cathedral and other venues throughout Yorkshire. My exhibition has been confirmed.
The Diocese of Bradford:
The Diocese are a very useful organisation where you can gather information regarding the distribution of images. It is possible to gain publication acknowledgements on an individual Church basis looking at giving talks/lectures on the subjects appertaining to the congregations interests based on art history, theological thinking, Bible thegegis and iconography. Photography plays a part in this but my art interests have already established me working within this environment.
As well as establishing myself as a photographer within my genre, I have been able to work alongside collaborative artists and photographers within different fields. For example, Felicia Charles (http://www.feliciacharlesart.com/), has taken some of my photography and turned it into art work of her own. My images have been accredited and will appear in an exhibition. (see details below):
Photograph: Entitled ‘Winter’ – Exhibition at ‘Perceptions of Time’ and displayed artistically at: ‘Eat Art Venues, 21st of November 2014, City Hall, Bradford, through Felicia Charles reconceptualisation. (see above for website link)
Olivia Faye Wilford: Working alongside my colleague and peer has been a very rewarding and productive experience. Not only have we managed a very hectic schedule as student photographers, we have also been able to organise (through sheer hard work and determination) an exhibition which has been successfully implemented and prolifically extended beyond the normal remit of exhibiting.
During the editing and selecting process of our collaborative venture, Olivia’s proactive input has enabled me to understand what is required for an exhibition in a professional and yet fun manner. We have additionally learnt how to work together as a team and to organise key events during our time at the exhibition as well as organising manning the exhibition throughout a seven week allocation. We have been able to conceptualise the whole exhibition within a two month timeframe and sell photographs at the exhibition. Therefore we have been able to establish ourselves as artists within the working art community and become more knowledgeable in the process.
Rebecca Latz: Rebecca has worked in a collaborative capacity thinking theologically with me in creating a series of images (see project proposal for techniques and processes) reconceptualising the Magdalen. She and I have worked on this collaborative venture together (as if on a client directive) to enable a dual purpose of concept and then I have created the technical side by envisaging the concept into technical construction. This has been a very worthwhile and fulfilling collaboration due to the response I have had from Rebecca in that we both have a collective interest and aim in developing and enhancing the Magdalen story.
What were my aims and have I achieved them?
My aims were to work successfully with a number of mentors who have given me additional experience when relating my photography specifically to exhibiting from an artistic and aesthetic perspective and therefore I have achieved my aims further than my previous expectations. My overall aim is to continue to exhibit, write a book/portfolio on my work as a spiritual photographer.
What have I got from it?
This experience has been invaluable to me as I now realise how much commitment is required to complete exhibition work from its original conception through to completion with every process in between.
What is next?
To establish myself as a solo artist with a solo exhibition and to perhaps take on the role of a curator and to additionally work alongside my mentors and peers to improve my ability to collaborate on projects of interest.