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A5 C&N: preparation – concept

The brief for this assignment, Making it Up, can be summarised as follows:

‘Construct a stand-alone image of your choice. Alternatively, you may choose to make a series, elaborating on the same theme … The only stipulation is that you produce work that has been controlled and directed by you for a specific purpose … The aim of this assignment is to use props, costume, models, location, lighting, etc. to contribute to the overall meaning of the image … For this final assignment, you should also include an illustrated evaluation of the process you went through to produce your final image(s) … write around 1,000 words in total (including your 300-word introduction).’ (OCA C&N, p122)

This post follows one on my initial research and reflection (see here). I’ve been thinking about this assignment for some time before arriving at the idea of an autobiographical memory work. There are a number of things that have influenced me in this direction:

  1. Recent reading on photography and memory that was recommended by my tutor (see recommendations and links here), including Joan Gibbons’ Contemporary Art and Memory: Images of Recollection and Remembrance.
  2. A surprising, to me, enjoyment of autobiographical work developed during the course of C&N, particularly assignment 3 (see here). I’ve found this cathartic.
  3. Now I’ve turned 50, I’ve become more reflective on life and times; there is most likely more time behind than ahead, which makes me more mindful of how I spend my time, and how I’ve spent my time.
  4. An old friend recently posted the image below to Facebook. This caused me to reflect on a time in my life when music was everything and I could not imagine doing anything other than that. In fact, the 17-year-old me (with the hat), would have most likely been scornful of the career path I’ve taken in big business.


My intention in the assignment is to reflect upon life-choices and how, as one ages, it becomes more difficult to change direction. Windows of opportunity for change seem to be reduced as responsibilities shift to nurturing future generations.

Regarding, approach to content of my image, I have two main influences: Kahlo’s, The Two Fridas (see here), which gave me the idea of combining two self-portraits to show two sides of one self; and David Lamelas – rock star, which I recently saw at the Tate Modern’s exhibition, Performing for the Camera, which give me the idea of processing my image in high-contrast black and white to echo my one-time rock musician ambitions.


Met Museum [website]. Rock Star (Character Appropriation). Available from: http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/287299 [accessed 4.6.16]


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