As I reach the end of the first half of the Final Major Project (and with just under twelve weeks before I submit) I decided to review my Final Major Project Proposal, and in particular the Indicative Schedule, to assess my progress to date. I also wanted to consider how my plans might have changed and developed on the basis on my intensive period of contemplation in the landscape.
I spent seven weeks over July and August on the Isle of Skye. During this period I produced a significant number of images, around 3,000, many experimental, and a number of multiple images combining to make one final image (in camera).
I developed various techniques to record the hiddenness of Skye: engaged in a re-photography project with old images of Skye; did a significant amount of contextual research about the representation of Skye and Scotland more generally; and improved my knowledge of painters such as J M W Turner and Claude Monet; had a three week exhibition on Skye at a prime gallery space, Gallery An Talla Dearg and visited four exhibitions – two in Edinburgh and two in London.
I have also investigated various book formats and layouts and considered the installation options for my Exhibition at An Crubh in October.
In terms of making images, it has to be said that the weather was not kind to me and whilst a friend of mine says that there is no such thing as “bad light” I had many days on Skye when it came very close! Not only that, but the still, dull days and white skies combined with relatively warm conditions led to large swarms of midges thwarting my efforts. Even with an Alaskan mosquito hat and net, they followed me everywhere and on many occasions got inside the net causing me significant distress. But I persevered in spite of being bitten mercilessly and on occasion being chased and followed back to my car. Of course, my choice of locations – beside a loch, next to a bog and on the shore in long grass contributed to my fate.
So far, I have had four tutors review my images and my early book layouts and have attended two Group Critiques. I engage regularly with my Critical Research Journal (CRJ) followers to gain feedback on my work as it is produced.
In addition, I have contributed at least three posts per week to my CRJ recording my progress and charting my journey through reflective pieces.
Whilst I am happy with progress I do feel there is more to do than I have achieved to date and that as the weeks go by I become more anxious about the outstanding tasks.
As far as outputs are concerned I will have had two exhibitions on Skye, I plan to produce an indicative electronic book, complete work on my new website and produce a film about my work. I still harbour a wish to put together a photographic coaching model although my tutors have suggested this is something to work on post MA rather than at this point. I know it is all too easy to try to do too much and not do it as well as producing a smaller number of high quality outputs.