Sustaining Your Practice: OCA Assignments

My SYP portfolio has evolved through a number of stages from a more documentary series of projects starting from a psycho-geographical approach to narratives of place, then moving onto underlying philosophical and conceptual consideration of ‘Edges in Time’ and representations in different media, then a more imaginative and creative photography-based treatment relating found images to underlying social, political and environmental issues. Then finally a combination of these various threads as a set of voice-related projects in different media:

Everyday Edges of Creativity

Edges Real and Imagined

To better understand the unifying elements across a rather diverse body of work. Including the implications of production for different audiences and markets. To increase the coherence as well as the range of possible types of work I might do in future.

!! Insert conclusions


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Part 1: Proposal Manifesto

‘Living on the Edge’ is a body of work that explores different creative approaches to visual documentary of contemporary life in UK, focusing on environmental and political issues on geographical ‘edges’ – scenic for tourists but often areas of deprivation and marginalisation for local people.

It brings together, compares and contrasts concepts, frameworks and methods from landscape, documentary and street photography, reportage illustration, psychogeography and visual creativity and communication.

Based on a combination of sketchbooks, photography, printmaking and moving image work, I explore interactions and interlinkages between my own ‘personal edges’ – philosophical and political views that characterise my ‘voice’ and ways that these affect and/or can be explicitly and strategically integrated into my more ‘objective’ observational practice. I also include insights from my international professional research and consultancy experience from sociology, anthropology and economics.

My creative responses in different media aim to explore and provoke thought about what might be meant by ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’ in the light of disruptions after Brexit, the COVID-pandemic, the accelerating climate change crisis and government, private sector and personal responses following COP-26. And provoke questions and suggest diverse options for us all in facing up to responsibility for change.

I produce new work from 10 locations, building on earlier illustration, printmaking, photography and moving image projects not presented for assessment because my work was disrupted by COVID restrictions and/or I did not have the necessary technical skills or digital equipment and/or the images lacked narrative focus. These new projects include and build on earlier images, in some cases dating back to 2008, and draft outputs that were not part of VCAP, creating new work and refining narratives from further new work on location. I choose to cover a number of locations partly to be more COVID-proof over autumn and winter 2010-2022. But also because I find working simultaneously on a variety of projects frees up my thinking on possibilities and generate a wider range of ideas for projects selected for more resolved treatment. This will also generate starting points for many ideas in future, and a good basis for audience and market diversity.

Assignment 1.1 Manifesto

Assignment 1.2 Project Plan

R1.1 Ten Manifestos

R1.2 Ten Practitioners
Zemni_Inspiration padlet
E1.1 Twelve Key Moments
Zemni Visual Communications padlet
E1.2 Write Your Manifesto

R1.3 How I Intend to Work and Ethics

E1.3 Marketing Strategy

Part 2 : Project Making and Testing

For my current and planned media workflows and time integration in relation to the Future Projects and Plans see the page below and links to specific projects therein:

Research Point: Reading List VISUAL DOCUMENTARY

I have done extensive research on background concepts, starting with Mark Fisher, Georg Perec and Marc Auge. But also science and philosophy and time, place and consciousness. I have not had time to write all this up because all the other computer work and RSI. Links to some of the You Tube and other resources I have consulted can be seen through the padlets and links from the ‘Time Place and Activism’ and ‘Key Influencers’ pages on the right. Some of the ways in which the reading has influenced my work is discussed in each project post. This will be extended, synthesised and brought together by Assignments 4 and 5. It is this reading that influenced my focus on Time as a way of deepening my understanding of place and documentary. But I expect this research and reflection to be ongoing up till the submission date.
Research Point: Reading List MEDIA APPROACHES

I am informing my work and extending my knowledge of broader visual communication practice, on both aesthetic and technical ;evels.

I have been developing a series of media-specific padlets on sources of inspiration and media workflow approaches to representing time and place. See the padlets and links from the two pages on Across diverse media – see media-specific padlets I am developing.

Key sources of information to keep my practice current include:

  • Cambridge Camera Club
  • Curwen Print Studios
  • Urban Sketchers
  • You Tube videos and tutorials – pursuing webs of linkages on different search words
  • Linked In Learning – for technical tutorials and contextual courses on photography, video, animation and design
  • Pinterest Boards (I need to sort these out and update them)
  • Facebook groups for different media: sketchbooks, digital illustration, printmaking

The padlets give some of these links, but again because of prioritisation of Portfolio computer work, I have not been able to keep things up-to-date because of RSI. These will be extended, updated and organised by the time of assessment – I expect this to be ongoing up till the submission date.

Part 3: Project Production and Networking

TALES FROM THE EDGE: Pecha Kucha (project production)




Social Media: Networking and Promotion on You Tube, Facebook, instagram?, wordpress

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Portfolio and direct marketing: SMUGMUG

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Self-Publishing: Blurb, Apple and Amazon

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Part 4: Project Realisation and Presentation

‘Tales from the Edge’ Project Portfolios are upoaded to:

Tales from the Edge

Portfolio Pecha Kucha



Pecha Kucha: Annotated Portfolio


Project Evaluation (draft)

As agreed with OCA at the beginning of SYP I will not be submitting until January 2023 for the Marsh 2023 assessment. In order to allow me more time over the summer post-COVID for further location work, and to be able to fully advance moving image work without over-stressing my RSI. At this point my project is very well advanced, with advanced drafts of all the books and all except one with review copies printed with Blurb, feedback from different audiences on all the projects and final decisions about scope and completion plan.

The final assignment evaluation for assessment will draw some conclusions about my creative process going forward through contrasting and comparing:

  • different approaches to the initial documentary process and experience in different contexts: some locations are completely new, others ones I have got to know well. In some cases I am more or less stationary (eg sitting sketching or video on a tripod) watching life go by over time, other contexts are linear where I make decisions when, what and how to make an image (eg walks long narrow paths), other contexts allow much more experimentation in where I walk and make images (eg psycho-geographical transects). In all cases there are questions about how far I follow a random process to disrupt preconceptions versus more considered seeking out of images to illustrate issues based on prior research – and anywhere in between these two extremes.
  • different creative processes and combination of media to create one or more final outcomes and ways in which working in one media can inspire new approaches in apparently different media. For example moving image and audio to inspire photobook design, printmaking to inspire drawing and painting etc. This will also further develop my technical skills across a range of media for future work. Some media eg printmaking series of photobook will be used in the final product, other media eg on-line video may be used more for promotion. Again selection will be guided by audience/market research feedback.
  • different narrative forms and ways of combining images and the documentary narrative potentials and challenges presented by single images, single image series, books/e-books and time-based media.

Assignment 5 forthcoming 30th June 2022

SYP tutorial end date 9 July 2022

Submission January 2023 for March assessment

Assignment 5 final presentation and marketing process will include all the outputs in various ways to different platforms and physical outlets. It will also include an interactive presentation on my conclusions about visual narrative processes and methods relevant for my own future practice, and that of other people in UK and my international research networks.