I have been thinking for a few months wether or not to publish here my final project and in the end I decided why not. It was not a great work and I hated it for a while, but looking at it in hindsight maybe it wasn’t that bad – just its realisation was definitely not up to (my!) standards.
What I like: aesthetically I think that the photos with overlaid drawings are by far the best ones and it’s a real shame that there were not enough old sketches to do the entire project like that. I also like the idea of putting together old material with new – it’s an approach that has worked well with other projects before and it could have worked well again. The title I have given to the project “There are no statutory listed building within the site” is a phrase I have taken from one of the Planning Commission documents. When the old Heygate area settlement was regenerated, the commission stated that since no statutory building were listed in the area, the tenements could be pulled down to make way for the new estate. I found it ironic that facing regeneration once again, the buildings were considered worthy of architectural interest, especially when compared with other beauties, such as the Barbican. Each photo should have worked as time capsule, showing beginning and end, alpha and omega of all, the edge between then and now somewhat blurred.
What I don’t like: everybody has asked me why I decided to put two pictures together in one frame. The honest answer is: I don’t know, I thought it would work. I don’t think it does now, but that’s how the work was submitted and that’s how I publish it here. Also, I haven’t found a suitable way to include the captions within the frame. I have tried organising the captions in a more coherent manner throughout the project and they looked even worse than they do now. I think I was afraid not to have enough pictures in the final work, which is why I overloaded the frames.
And I’d rather not talk about the written thesis…
What I have learned: I shouldn’t have been too proud to ask for help when I realised that the project was not going well and too scared to face criticism. Also, I should have had a much stronger theoretical knowledge in terms of photography aesthetics. Looking at my work now, it seems like I tried to do something cool without having any actual reason for doing so. The photos themselves may be moderately pleasing but I should have researched my topic much, much more thoroughly and my work would have had the academic grounding it is certainly lacking. I think this is due mainly to the fact that: 1 – I have not been trained in the Arts (rather in History) and certainly my University did not provide me any kind of support to make up for the gaps in my knowledge; 2 – realising how much I did not know, I didn’t even bother to start researching – which was pretty silly of me, since anything would have been better than nothing.
As the end of the course approached I also increasingly lost interest in what I was doing, probably the result of a borderline depression and the utter disappointment with my course. With a different mindset and with better preparation, this could have been a much better work.
The material was good – shame I didn’t do it justice. And here it is.