March 21, 2022

Week 8 – Peer Video Review & WIP

This week we shared videos for peer review. The idea was to create a video format of the critical review of practice so we could gain feedback on it ahead of the final assessment.

The feedback I received included:

Wow! There is so much food for thought in this presentation. I love your attempts to deconstruct and reconstruct, especially the three dimensional ones. Your introduction where parts of the image dissolve also worked really strongly for me.

Peter Bushby

Great presentation Adele – loving the way your work is evolving. The image of yourself at 4 minutes divided into 25 square blocks reminded me of the work of Robert Heinecken here: (Links to an external site.) At the MOMA 1970 Photography into Sculpture exhibition, the viewer was encouraged to create an image of their choosing using the supplied wooden blocks with images (similar to yours) printed on them – would be interesting to get other people to create their own image of yourself as a way of seeing how people view you (and then photographing their different responses) – just an idea.

John Inns

Adele, no wonder you’re still in the experimental phase of the project – I can see just how much thought has gone into this to date. I understand your sense of unease with regards to the vernacular pieces, as your last work was so strongly stylised and conceptual, but the tension that you have created within this work will embed itself within the narrative and strengthen the experience for the viewer. The edit and sequencing will no doubt create another strong project, as was the content of your video presentation. 

Darren Clarke

Hi Adele,

Watched this a few time now and we spoke a bit in the last webinar too. I’m trying to put a bit of thought in with my responses as best I can. 

As you know I’m using vernacular archive material too  so I’m really interested in how you have approached you project and research. Part of the vernacular personal archive  for me is that you can only really look at images in the “here and now” ( definitely John Berger paraphrase !) So the recognition of,  and action taken, with the image  is the intent  I suppose. For me, the process itself is to make change regardless of the physical outcome/product. Is that what you are thinking ? 

Love the reconstructions, representational voids , and the collective embroidery as a physical action. A lot decision/selections  there  that adds time and extends beyond 2 D  into finished artifact. The viewer would have to think about how it was done.

Definitely needs to be seen in the flesh rather than reproduced. film loops of you putting them together, punching holes. Maybe supply the parts and thread and people have to put the images together from kit form. A Physical time thinking about the issues.

Always intimidated by the referencing 🙂

Is the fear of the “unpolished” a manifestation of the approval culture ?  Is the thrust towards “messy work” really a manifestation of some socio economic groups having very tidy lives ? I’m a Francesca Woodman fan( although i probably shouldn’t be ) I think sometimes  you have to just go where you go. Critics just perpetuate the market. 🙂

Jon Chinn

Hi Adele – so much experimental work! It’s amazing. I know you are uneasy about what you would consider unpolished and messy work but I live what you have done. I particularly connect with the photos you have punched holes in especially the little bags of holes punchings – the bits of yourself you don’t want to show – that’s so interesting and it’s a feeling that we all carry, only showing our best self. I’m also intrigued by the stitching and who is doing the sewing and where does the thread come from? It could be your unravelled clothes or your daughters? Greg Sands uses clothing in his photo weavings because he says the sweat of the person is impregnated in the fabric and so it gives deeper meaning when he weaves it into a portrait. I also like the 3D interactive boxes allowing the viewer to choose their preferred image of you – it could be interesting to record what they pick and how you react to their choice as it might be different to your own. I agree that an installation would work really well for this work – you could show several of your mediums rather than having to pick one. Please could you invite me to see it because I’d love to look at this in person! 

Mandy Simpson

Hi Adele, Fantastic body of work! Engaging and so many layers of meaning… I am fascinated by the subject matter, and by how you create portrait-scapes of the psyche–revealing the familiar… I was a teenage mom–so young–before I understood what being a mother meant… Your work gave me voice–that place I have never been able to describe…  I am drawn to the cut out holes and layering… and the folding into three dimensional portraits… The seemingly fragmented portraits actually represent complexity–that we are so much more than seen at first glance… The weaving of yarn–represents growth and evolution…and healing… Thank you for sharing! I look forward to following your continuing project!

Karen Aneiro

Hello Adele, an extremely engaging presentation which shows the plethora of ideas that exist in your head and are then beautifully presented! You are exceptional when it comes to contextualising your work and also seeing photography as a creative medium which has no boundaries. The use of vernacular images interests me as you move further away from your ‘own’ photographs and into mixed media with stitch and cropping of imagery. The idea of fragments and pieces of ourselves also opens up a visual dialogue. You also question hand made work versus the digital and could incorporate both within your submission if you so wished. The correlation between motherhood, womanhood, bind, stitch and repair are evocative of both the historical and social context of what it is to be a woman. Linder’s work is interesting  as is that of Mary Kelly for future reference. Thank you so much Adele, I enjoyed looking at your work as it is so energetic and engaging, Sarah

Sarah (Tutor)

Hi Adele,

Here’s my feedback on you fabulous video.

Great insight on identity, self representation and belonging.

Especioally Solomon citation „Identity is never static, nor unified in one essential self“ can open your narrative very widely.

Contextualizing John Szarkowsky’s principles of photography to identity is a clever approach to your own work. 

When you speak of disruption and deconstruction have you thought about not only showing parts that are hurt and woven but to also contextualize possible reasons – maybe also breaking with a taboo as you later mention.

Are the photographs you are using really or only „vernacular“ or just more intimate / less staged / more private. There is no word translation for vernacular in German – therefore I sometimes have to find its meaning again.

When I was in Amsterdam last November at the FOAM I could visit an exhibition of Liz Johnson Artur ( Your idea of installation reminded me of what I saw. I include some of the pictures I took there. Maybe an inspiration for you.


A reference a tutor left for another student that seemed relevant…

“His work shows a constant questioning of the reality of the photograph as it presents itself on the surface – photography is capable of representing the physical world with such veracity yet it reveals only an interpreted reality. This is exemplified in his constant attraction to man-made or altered landscapes and the manipulation of our environment, the manipulation of a sitter to extract a portrait that both reveals yet obscures meaning, or constructing entire alternate realities and personas exploring the darker reality of the human condition.” 

Mandy asked about the threads used in my stitching work and whether they had meaning, perhaps from old clothing. I had been considering making thread from paper/photos after watching a tutorial by Gimena Romero on Domestika called Experimental Embroidery techniques on paper. I had also recently bought some canvas “paper” to use in an inkjet printer. I had a thought to try and print on the canvas and see if I could unweave the printed threads….

I soon learnt that the weave of the canvas meant I could only retrieve threads from the shorter length of the A4 page so I could get a 21cm length of printed threads.

As I lay them down rather than thinking about stitching them into the photographs I started to think how I could use a collection of these threads in a more abstract way, a deconstruction of an image, an unweaving of an identity.