Castlefield Gallery, Manchester – from website.
Assignment Three is titled ‘Work Experience’ and offers two options for the student – either do a work placement and produce a 1500 word write-up about it, or write a 2000 word essay about a particular role (which should be informed by primary research i.e. direct contact with practitioners). The assignment brief is written in a manner that is quite clearly directed towards a student who intends to pursue a career in photography, which isn’t me. Following discussion with my tutor, and working on the basis that the assignment is, fundamentally, about demonstrating engagement with the ‘outside world’ that is photography/art, I have a plan in place that also ensures that the assignment is about something that is genuinely useful to me in ‘sustaining my practice’. It’s reasonable to say that for much of this year, and certainly for the last six months or so, I have been ‘working as an artist’ i.e. pursuing opportunities to engage with the art world, to present/promote my work, to interact with others in the ‘industry’ and to network. So the agreed plan is to write a variant on option two, the 2000 word essay, which will be based around two ‘case studies’ of my working experience – the developing relationship with Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, as a mentored member of their Associates Scheme; and the experience of working with Bank Street Arts as an exhibiting artist.
The Castlefield experience, as a member of Castlefield Gallery Associates, is proving particularly useful and effective. Already I have attended their monthly Associates Group Meetings; had a one-hour session with the Gallery Curator; attended a half-day symposium on Artist Development; and had confirmed an opportunity to present my practice in a ten minute ‘show and tell’ session at an Associates Meeting next week; all that as well as receiving regular and useful updates on opportunities and activities, plus some networking with other artists etc.
With Assignment Five completed, I will be submitting Assignment Three in early December, leaving me enough time (hopefully) to get an assessment submission sorted and in by the end of Jan 2017.