Skype Tutorial for Assignment 4

Reflecting on my A4 Skype Tutorial

It’s been quite some time since my last tutorial so it was nice to touch base with my tutor again. Studying at a distance like this has it’s advantages and disadvantages – there’s the flexibility when things go wrong, but it can sometimes make you feel a bit like you’re  totally on your own with all this work and weird ideas.

We spoke about my overall experience of EYV so far, then moved on to talking about A4. 

My tutor said he had mixed feelings about this assignment. He said that he thought the research was great, that he was really pleased that I have so many ideas, but that overall it lacked conceptual clarity. So during our conversation it became clear to me that I hadn’t clearly communicated to him or to myself what I was trying to achieve. I hadn’t clarified it well enough to myself to be able to communicate it to anyone else.

Although I’ll remedy this, I’m not too worried about it. I gave in the assignment when I did because I’m happy with the general idea but was at a point where I needed feedback. As we’ve been told to approach the unit as an ongoing body of work, I know I can revisit and revise my initial work and so I had to have a point to end so I didn’t go on working on more ideas for this assignment ad infinitum. But just having had this conversation has helped me to clarify what the point of this work is and how I might take it forward. 

My tutor said the images were reminiscent of vernacular stock photography that you see on social media with inspirational quotes. That’s what I wanted because my intention was to mock the Christian version of those, to add biblical quotes that clash with that kind of image. I wanted the feel of them there though, not an outright phrase but reflections or shadows of the text to illustrate the effect these ideas have on women’s lives. But that obviously hasn’t worked. When it comes to text I’m finding it difficult to strike the balance between too subtle (this assignment) and too obvious (assignment 3).

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An image from A4 illustrating the biblical text: ‘She must remain silent’

He mentioned that I could do something gently subversive with it, which is what I was trying to do, but it’s clearly not strong enough as it’s not being picked up. I did wonder if that would be the case as when I looked at the images a while ago I thought that someone who didn’t know the intended message could actually look at them and use them in a way that reinforces the messages that they are supposed to be condemning. 

He talked about flowers as semiotic things – about connotations. To me, flowers are representative of the feminine and of idealised feminine traits. The bible verses I am taking issue with here are all about females and that’s why I stuck to flowers in the assignment, even though I’d taken images with apples that are usually associated in this context with temptation and Eve, and had used watermelon to represent female genitalia. So perhaps those are images I should have included as they might have made a stronger point?

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I didn’t use this in the original submission for A4. The text I was trying to illustrate here was ‘She must make atonement before The Lord for her unclean discharge.’
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Another that I didn’t use for A4 but was part of my working out what would and wouldn’t work. To me, it’s not successful, but maybe the sinning female / apple association is stronger?

Perhaps a way to use flowers is to use dead or decaying flowers? In the style I have used, perhaps it would make it more obvious that something wasn’t quite right; I’ll probably try that over the next few weeks as well as broadening out that range of quotes and subjects to make sure I include the ideas I had with other subjects.

I’m nearing the end of this unit now, and we spoke about how ending this unit and going into the next is going to be about how I channel and focus this deluge of ideas and communicate them visually in an effective way. I think I’m getting there, but I just didn’t get there with the first go at this assignment.

We chatted over some practicalities around ideas I’ve had for the next assignment. He’s reminded me to be mindful of logistical issues – that you need to go back again and again to hone, refine, really to obsess about it. That I should do something I can get spot on, conceptually and visually. I had thought about using film, so he said to write about why, what I thought film would bring to it. I’m not sure I will end up using film though, as I feel that perhaps I am making my life more complex and difficult than it needs to be, especially as I’m thinking about using colour 110 cartridge film which is difficult to buy and which I cannot develop myself. I suppose it’s a nostalgia thing for me, which ties in with the ideas I have for A5. 

As far as assessment is concerned, he said evidencing your learning is key. I have to relate the blog to material in the course text and to the learning outcomes. I’ve been taking art classes and bookmaking classes alongside this course; for me, they all tie in together so they’re all on the blog as part of my learning log. I’ve also been told to think about the way I house this final assignment and the materials I present for assessment in November. Perhaps a self made book?

Published by Sarah Cassin Scott


One thought on “Skype Tutorial for Assignment 4

  1. It sounds like you’re well in control. I think the chance to rework is invaluable and avail myself of it frequently 🙂 I am just wondering if you have read or seen Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? I think that is where I would go for subversive ideas on women being kept in check.


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