In the final two reviews I took the opportunity to ask questions and to gain as much feedback as possible. The reviewer looked first at the black and white Ephemeral Hiddenness of Skye Collection saying that he felt he was able to ‘fall into’ these images and explore and be comfortable. He said he preferred the more abstract images, such as 4, 6 and 11, as they gave the viewers more opportunity for exploration within and around the image.
He felt that the Among Trees Collection had potential but should have a more consistent colour/tonality. He encouraged me to experiment with colour to find the right balance. He suggested I work with strobe lights among the trees, both in daylight and at night, perhaps using movement too. I might also wish to try intense flashes behind the tree. I should try using moving still images perhaps using flashing lights similar to the work of John Woodman.
In terms of presentation of my work he suggested that I should try to make the exhibition space immersive.
The final reviewers were not based in the UK and had never been to or heard of the Isle of Skye. This was an opportunity to explain my work in this context. They said they needed more sense of place and the bigger picture – before they were able to make sense of the detail. However, when I spoke about my work they were able to understand. This is an important point, to ensure that I am able to explain my work on paper or through talking to visitors. They suggested, like the previous reviewer, that sound and video might work well alongside my images.
In terms of presentation, they felt my work could be presented very large format in order to allow the viewer to enter and be inside the space – echoing my intention of interiority. They felt a traditional frame would take away from the images and would not provide them with the space they deserve. They encouraged me to continue with both colour and black and white work, saying that Among Trees needed to be presented in colour.
References/Links to follow up
The links, photographers and work below are references provided by reviewers as well as some I picked up from the Format plenary sessions in between my reviews.
John Blackmore photographer
Chen Ziaoyi photographer
Matthew Genitempo photographer
David Goldblatt photographer
Sonia Levesque – Nia Noir
Sammie Masters-Hopkins photographer
Aaron Siskind photographer
Jem Southam – The Painter’s Pool