I have a pretty good idea how I want to finish this module with an exhibition, backed up by a book and website which might seem to be a scattergun approach, just doing everything possible, but I can see the three working together in this, a local project with local interest. Much of the work will be in the practicalities such as ensuring that all the building blocks are in place and that will determine how I approach this module.
Part of this section of the module looks at the personal information required by an artist to show to prospective clients or audiences in form of a CV, Bio and Artist Statement. Since the main part of this section involves making contact with external professionals it seems a sensible time to get them ready before I need them – a very rare method of working for me – but it allows me to break the module into manageable chunks.
Taking the personal documents in order:
The notes suggest that a CV should include
- Your name and contact details
- Work experience
- Charity work
- Teaching experience
- Gallery experience
When I was working in the real world my role as an IT consultant required that I had a CV ready at all times and this CV would be tweaked according to the requirements of the client. I had a library of sections or paragraphs that could be put together to emphasise particular experiences that might be of particular interest but I’m not sure how much of that would be of any interest to a curator or magazine picture editor. Nor am I sure how my education qualifications would hold any interest, after all, what use is a maths degree to a photographer?
As far as publications are concerned I’ve had images used by travel companies as full page spreads in the Guardian, Observer, Country Life, Amateur Photographer and Simple Things magazine as well as being the cover image for their brochures but those are for a specific market. In my experience a CV needs to be targeted for the audience so I’m not sure that experience in that area would be relevant for obtaining exhibition space.
Also published was this image after it came second in a competition. It became my most copied image ever with over a thousand hits in Google at the time. Most of the hits were on blogs or it was being used as an avatar but a couple of sites were printing it onto mugs, place mats, towels etc!! By the time I found out both sites had already been closed down by other disgruntled photographers whose work had been pinched but it was an interesting learning experience.
The course notes suggest that we should include details of any prizes won or any images bought, both of which I can include but again, I’m not sure of the relevance to a CV.
Charity work is a possibility but the only relevant experience that I can conceive of is taking pictures while working on a cheetah conservation project in Namibia, again, not too relevant!
Perhaps a Bio will be easier!
Again the notes suggest
Some good questions to base your biography around could be:
• Where are you from? Has it influenced who you are today?
• How has your creative life evolved?
• What is your primary interest in life? What is important to you?
• What is your work about?
• What issues do you care about?
• What achievements are you proud of?
• What impression do you hope people will have of you in the first five minutes of meeting
• How would you like to work with people/connect with them?
Although I have far less experience of writing a Bio this seems far more applicable to the way that I want to move forward in photography. Most of my CV details would be wasted in an arts environment but I can understand how it would be relevant for a curator to understand where I get my inspiration from or why I want to create a particular portfolio. In actual fact, answering some of the questions above is interesting for myself to understand where I’m going with this.
For example, I was brought up in North Wales, on the coast but with ready access to the wilds of Snowdonia so wildlife and the rugged countryside still resonate with me and drive my photography – or at least it would if I lived near rugged countryside ! As it is I have to make do with exploring my local area but looking at it in ways that a “typical” tourist might not.
I’ve been looking at a few examples of Bios on the websites of some photographers that have influenced or intrigued me so I’ll look at them in the next post