In the beginning of contextual studies I was apprehensive. This was because artists and theorists had never stuck in my head. I didn’t know that much about photography and i didn’t see the need in others ideas when we were always told to have our own ideas and be individual in what we produce, making sure that we don’t copy. This was until we got a few weeks in. Since going to all the contextual lessons i have learned so many more possibilities to what my work could become. I have also learned about many photographers and since being in the lesson, then writing up about them and then looking up more information about them, they are now in my head. This became more apparent when i was doing an experiment for another assignment and immediately had two artists which would connect perfectly to what i was doing. While going through my work i was also able to add even more artists that connected. I was then able to look through my contextual work instead of looking up all over the internet for the information i had already found. This then made it easier to write about.

I found the hardest part about writing up contextual studies, was when writing up more information about the lecture and the artists that were included within the lesson. This is because there was so much information, and the lectures were so informative it was hard to find more that you could write about. I did make this harder for my self though as although i started out well writing up the lessons this soon became less and less. Although i turned up to almost every if not all lessons and wrote up on my laptop or notebook about the lesson, i was finding it hard to remember what we had talked about and extra notes which hadn’t been put onto the powerpoint. This made it hard when trying to find things to write about as well as finding it hard connecting to what i was writing about. It also meant that i had to write up almost everything in a week. Not that i left it until the last week but I wanted everything contextual written up by the end of the easter holiday. This meant that i had time to finish all of my other assignments but also if i had to add anything extra or had done something wrong I could change it. I felt that with something so important i could not leave it until the very end, especially as i do not deal with stress very well. It meant that i could elevate any possibilities of that as well as failure.

Looking at what i have learnt from contextual studies and where i want it to take my work next year is towards a more personal route. Looking at a lot of the artists used within the lectures most of them use their life experiences to create their work. I am looking at all of the photographers from all of the lectures, although i do like the approach of photographers such as Sally Waterman from the ‘intimate lives’ lecture as well as Sally Man and Richard Billingham from the ‘family album and social media’ lecture. Where they don’t only include their personal lives and experiences to create work but also include old photographs and family within the photographs and to work from to create new photographs. I have always enjoyed taking pictures of my family and using old photo albums to create new work. I used old photographs in a previous project during my Art foundation after my A-levels and really enjoyed it, from this i learned that i could connect really strongly with the work which not only got me creating a larger body of work but also a better body of work. Normally i connect with my work but i find it hard showing my ideas and getting my ideas across, but by it being so personal it almost seems self-explanitory and simple to explain. Another reason is because it is so intimate and personal, you almost want it to be the best it possibly can be, because other wise it is like they are failing your family photographs and it hurts even more personally.



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