On-line tutorials

29th July, 2019

Cross-discipline tutorials analysis and feedback to Helen and Gerry:

Cross-discipline feedback

Student:  Anna Goodchild :Photography 

Tutors:  Helen Warburton: Photography

               Gerry Ryan: Creative Writing in a UK prison context

  1. What, if any, were the benefits to your practice and progress through the course?

With only one cross-discipline feedback and that at the penultimate assignment, it could only affect the exhibition and last assignment of the SYP module.  As it turned out, these are arguably the most vital parts of SYP. 

The risk was, however, that had the tutor not recognised or concurred with my take on the subject at this very late stage in the course, the damage could have been deep, devastating and long-lasting.   I could have objected to having the third party before we undertook the experiment but not only did I know that the project was based on unique primary material, but also I knew that my project was true to the letters.  The third party wanted access to this prime source that I granted readily because I knew she needed to know what the basis of the project was and I trusted her with them.

I found the process very beneficial because the feedback was very positive, and constructive for the following reasons:

a. The opinions of someone who has worked in the sphere I was focusing on were an essential and exciting ‘objective’ / third party gauge on the work.  Whereas tutors who have been with you and are familiar with your work can assess your progress in their discipline, having an expert from ‘outside’ that discipline who has had a close and prolonged exposure to subject knowledge that perhaps my own tutor did not have was a reassuring gift. 

b. Part of the work was a poem I had written and I really appreciated the feedback from someone who not only knew the prison system but who was also a creative writing tutor.  Another gift.

c. That third party could give constructive comments which would affect progress in a different way from that which my subject tutor could give.   Even though there were misconceptions on the origin of the images in my body of work, I was able to give feedback which resolved the issue. A fresh pair of eyes confirmed and reassured me on the importance of the prime source of my project: the letters from Ian.  Whereas before the feedback I knew I had to put the spotlight on them, having that extra nudge made me realise that their representation in the exhibition space had to have clout.   It reinforced my decision to present them in the three distinctly different forms I had settled on: in recordings to be heard throughout the space; in the book, and on tiles interspersed between the diptychs.

In my opinion, the best possible outcome would occur if there were a meeting of all the interested parties at the start of the process and then again at the penultimate assignment as has occurred here.  I don’t think there could be more benefit to the student if there were feedback after each of the assignments, just more information to process.  

2. What were the challenges of this process?

a. In this particular case, getting the feedback so late could have been a problem in case I had to adjust / temper / rearrange my approach.  I understand that there were reasons for the tardiness in getting the feedback but it could be a problem for future cases.

b. The third party should be in place from the outset to obviate the possibility of the student exploring the wrong premise from the start.

3. Was the trial successful in your opinion?

Yes, in my opinion the trial was very successful because:

  1. My work is cross-discipline so it was very useful to have someone with an OCA background outside photography to look at it.  It is interesting to note that I did not realise I was doing a cross-discipline study at the outset.  I wonder if, knowing that a prison specialist was looking over my shoulder would have somehow restricted my freedom of expression?  I had asked a former lawyer in the prison system to proof-read my CS essay to make sure I was on the right track so I guess I had put that check in place myself.
  2. Someone who knows about and has experienced UK prisons validated my stand on a very underrepresented aspect of how they work.
  3. I had professional feedback on my poem.
  4. A professional writer compelled me to state, in one sentence, why my project exists and, through her assessment of what I had done so far, gave me the wherewithal to do that. This was very important, as I had modelled the book on one of my favourites, ‘Midlands’ by Martin Cregg, who had that one sentence on the second page, and I was scratching around trying to compose mine.
  5. I had every confidence in my photography tutor but having that other person who could validate a different but very significant aspect of the project which was out of my tutor’s experience, reassured me that I would not have nasty surprises at the exhibition.  
  6. The feedback from both tutors left me feeling totally reassured about my project when I was talking to visitors:  I had had two perspectives of what I was doing, a topic-specific and an expression-specific one and I was very happy with both.
  7. There can be very few visual arts projects which are not cross-discipline.
  8. Having Gerry Ryan as my third party was an inspired choice, thank you Helen. 
  9. As my setting up a cross-discipline OCA SW group has indicated, I thrive on such approaches to work.  Asking a subject ‘purist’(and perhaps photography has more than most, in my opinion) might throw up objections to the approach, but I can’t see any.

30th May, 2019

Gerry Ryan: Tutor’s feedback on Assignment 4 and my reflections:

11th May, 2019

Helen Warburton’s Tutor’s feedback on Assignment 4 and my reflections on it:


19th April 2019

Feedback on Assignment 4:

As this was going to be a short, 20 min tutorial because we are experimenting with having 2 tutors giving feedback, Helen asked me to suggest 2 questions which would steer the 20min tutorial. I suggested the following: 1: are the bio, artist statement and press release what they should be? 2: Do all the elements in the exhibition gel?

Helen is sending me her suggestions to improve all 3 elements in qu.1 . this mainly revolves around formatting and logical development of the content.

The exhibition: get rid of the plant grids as they are part of the process rather than the outcome. Use / have the dye prints (blobs) from each of the seasons as they are the art work. Perhaps put the plant grids in the vitrine? Have captions in the vitrine to clarify that this is the source material which led to the art work.

Perhaps have 2 versions of the artist statement: 1 as AS & another as an introductory panel: all will be revealed in the tutor’s feedback.

Just have the white tiles rather than mounting them on other tiles to avoid muddying the waters.

The diptychs need to be justified. As there is a mixture of square, landscape and portrait formats, they need to relate better to one another. I have absolutely NO idea how I am going to do this. I asked Helen for some examples of other artist’s work which deals with this. Helen suggested John Anderson, I have looked at his work but I am none the wiser. I shall wait till I get the tutor feedback on this.

At this point, I ask what the point is in having external reviews of my work? Nobody suggested that this was a problem. Nicola Shipley from GRAIN at FORMAT said that the variety of the size of the images gave the work a lovely rhythm.

I realise that the perspectives and motivations of the reviewers are different and I respect Helen’s experience and motives for wanting me to change my presentation, and I want to learn something new.

Split the ‘release’ image and the poetry diptych as they do not sit together well at the end. Put the ‘release’ image on its own at the end and the poem with all the other diptychs.

Record all my research and reasons for doing what I am doing. It is all so complicated that I don’t know where to put all my linkings.

Helen suggested putting all the references in the Course Notes section under the different parts. I have started with Part 4.


John Anderson’s website: https://www.johnandersonphoto.co.uk


January 28th, 2019

After 90 minutes of Skype tutorial and having said our good-byes, I realised we had spoken about Assignments 1 & 2 and whether or not I should update them as my work develops, about my exhibition arrangements and publicity, about my portfolio reviews, about schematising my records and uploading them as PDFs on my blog because the formatting is not always as clear as a block of text, about my bio, about reorganising the Learning Log on my blog, but at no point did we discuss assignment 3! When I enquired, Helen said she would send it as a tutor report.

I am left wandering how my assignment 3 fared as the comments were that it was ‘interesting’ but it lacked a formal structure. I have amended it, turning all 3 sub-headings into questions and labelling the introduction and conclusion as well as adding a question summarising my standpoint in the introduction. I was also asked for my ‘developmental reflection notes.’ I have never submitted any for any of my essays. Does anyone else submit them with their essays? I appreciated the grammar corrections.


October 29th, 2018

Overall Comments

It has been great to review and discuss your second assignment with you for SYP. Well done on your work so far Anna, keep pushing to record as much of your thinking, groundwork and process as possible. Your notes from our discussion are below, with amends/additional notes from me in black.

Assignment 2 report on the Skype tutorial held on 11th October 2018

Assessment potentialAssignment 2

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

1. The replication (layout) of the brief(introduction) to assignment 2 is not required for an introduction to a non-OCA public who want to see a project proposal. I am well aware of this but I was presenting an assignment to an OCA tutor on a publication proposal. I would therefore not include it in a public proposal as the underlined section indicates.

2. Consider restructuring the proposal / The items in the proposal need to be re-ordered:
* Synopsis of the project
* Exhibition specifications
* Timeline is to be presented in reverse order to that which is presented in the assignment. * Budget details

* Outreach details


Student nameAnna GoodchildStudent number508597
Course/UnitPH3 SYPAssignment number2
Type of tutorialAudio-Visual

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment. In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.


3. Space: give the intentions for the content and work rather than a description and meaning. Write about how you will engage with the viewer.
4. Headphones: have spares in case people don’t bring theirs.
5. Wifi network: investigate what that is like at the venue. On the OCA Forum, a student mentioned that the wifi at an exhibition she attended recently did not work so nobody could access the sound element of the exhibition. As this is a vital element of my exhibition, I will need to investigate thoroughly. Perhaps I could investigate data hotspots for the duration of the exhibition.

6. It’s too late to try to get ACE funding because they need to be involved in a project from its inception. I was aware of this but I thought that my project was my exhibition rather than my BoW. Also other factors we touched upon, for example timescale from application to delivery7. Get online event listings: local what’s on; FB; arts communities; art rabbit; and start uploading dates.

8. Draw up invitations and publicity material.
9. Audience and outreach: give more details: how could it engage locals; who could it engage; what would they learn from it; creative opportunities for those who want to get involved; why do the workshops and what are you going to do in them.
10. Visitor figures: find out from the venue what their usual exhibition numbers are like to give an idea of the numbers to expect; stewarding: I will be there in case the technology fails & to engage with visitors and make them feel at ease.
11. Visitor surveys: I will have a visitors’ book to record attendances and an evaluation sheet of 5 questions. (I have drawn one up for the OCA SW exhibition so I will adapt that one.)
12. Justify the music commission; exclude the PhotoIreland detail; give reasons for the choice. 13. For November folio review: edit the proposal
Take 8 diptychs – overlay 3 of them
Project statement
Take a transcript and one recording and of a letter extract on the phone.
Use the word ‘vellum’ rather than tracing paper.
14. For assignment 3 you might want to target /speak to assistant curators rather than head curators to make sure you get a response. Use local galleries.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Take some time to check back on this section of A1 feedback, make sure you’ve documented your workings and taken action and that you continue to do so for your responses to part 3 coursework. Let’s review this again at A3 tutorial.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Great to see you have re-worked your CV as per feedback from A1. You are also continuing to carry out targeted, independent research (exhibition visits, OCA study visits, reading of articles etc) directly related to and informing your thinking for upcoming exhibitions and your SYP outcomes. This is fantastic Anna, keep this up but don’t forget to allow time for analysis for every post you put up, to ensure there is a consistency of depth in your reflection across your learning log.

I also think it would be useful for you to conduct targeted analysis of artist statements and exhibition texts drawn from those you have seen recently (for example Anni Albers) to see how they differ or might offer you some pointers for your exhibition proposal/introductory text.

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Improved structure and layout, well done for addressing areas discussed at A1. Let’s see how you get on for part 3 and review again at our next tutorial. Your learning log is testament to how you approach your work Anna, your research isn’t limited to reading or to a singular discipline, but you also research through experimentation, with techniques and processes, engaging in group events etc. This is refreshing to see and is becoming more and more evident in your work. Be mindful of ensuring you create time for synthesis, remaining focused on the refinement of your BoW for exhibition, using interim shows as test-beds and show evidence of your planning and delivery.

Suggested reading/viewing



StrengthsAreas for development
Your work shows determination and a willingness to refine ideas and approaches and re-work assignment elementsDrawing on a broad range of sources and processes for research and developmentVery proactive engagement with learning events, peer activity, seeking out and creating opportunityKeep pushing to document your assignment development processes and courseworkEnsure that you have uploaded all re- works or additions for parts 1 and 2 so I can see these at A3 submissionAnalysis of exhibition texts/gallery information in your research

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment: written or audio visual.

Tutor nameHelen Warburton
Date29 October 2018
Next assignment due17 January 2019


12th August, 2018

Overall Comments

Well done for submitting your first assignment for Sustaining Your Practice, Anna. Please find below the record of our discussion with any amends/additional notes from me in black.

2nd August, 2018 – Helen Warburton’s feedback.

Skype feedback covered Blog structure & contents. Report on SYP Assignment 1 & Discussion of assessment results of BoW.

Assessment potentialAssignment 1

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Assignment 1: – I would say show the following in assignment preparation-style blog postsIn PDF give reasons for the edit. Reflect on research that has led to that point.

Research best tips for pitching to a publisher. Show that you have thought

about your audience & research what is the best format for approaching that audience e.g. my current PDF is too big; how do I share it so that it opens quickly. Engage the receiver in a dialogue by sending an edited PDF & a link to the my website. – This is about evidencing further consideration of the formatting, the viewer who hasn’t seen your work before and also email attachment allowances are limited. Optimizing your files will be more economical long term and will enable professional feedback a lot more easily.


You may want to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of lifelong learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you. We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications. Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit Assignment 2. I can then give you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Address cutting down the letters in the BoW and share how & why, despite being passionate about the letters, I am going to display extracts from them. – Explore the power and visual impact of extracts. You may find that the original scans remain stronger for you in the end, but retrieving relevant sections of text will support your choices and perhaps will reveal stronger uses in the gallery environment, ie spoken word/sound – since our tutorial, I went to see the Vanessa Winship show at the Barbican – in one room were framed images, peppered around them were vinyl lettering extracts of interviews with local people, which were then spoken over a sound system around us – it was beautiful and ended up being very poetic in the sequence and selection of sentences.

Strengthening and rationalising the conceptual links within BoW…

Show how they connect the leaves and the gardens.

Write about the significance of the leaves and bracts and where they were taken & why it matters. Include reflection on the associated value judgments and social preconceptions. – Make the connections between the letters / project and the leaves & possibly why we value flowers but not leaves or do we?

Can a weed be a clearer link in terms of botanical life?

Are there any botanical elements like a weed that we don’t value = the opposite of a flower which we do? Question the relevance of the leaf & pushing that idea.

What is the value of a handkerchief tree?

Is there some site-specific work (community work at LandWorks); Stephen Gill’s work e.g.

Are there links in the letters to organic well-being? No but there is in my CS research. Do some reflective posts on the subject.

LandWorks = amalgam of quarry and botanical life and rehabilitation and therapeutic aspects of prisoner reintegration into life on the outside.

Follow up on emails to Helen Sear and Edmund Clark sending them a condensed PDF of Ass 1: using ‘One Year’ text & plot of pages spread; 3 pages & 1 image of the tracing paper pages turning.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

On Coursework: Take more action (for each of the coursework sections); create a spreadsheet & start to fill in the cells; Keep a log of contacts; Reflect on what you have done & what you need to do next; Document the OCA SW process as evidence of peer sessions – although it is already evidenced in the newsletters I send out, I will have to repeat it here. – This could be as simple copying and pasting your newsletter article or even taking a screenshot of the newsletter and uploading it with a few bullet points of reflection/key points?


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

On CV: Research different photographers’ CVs & remodel mine.

Include curatorial projects stating ‘I know that my experience is limited.’ – we discussed this in relation to personal rationalisation and learning log, you don’t need to state on the CV itselfTo include in CV: Curatorial Projects, Publications, Exhibitions, Education

Assignment related research – see above

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Under Learning Log: Include research identifying professionals who could review my work. Assignment preparation: Reflect on research that has led to that point.

Share work to a reviewer – and log findings, this can be a designated peer or professional and may take a while to arrange

Assignment 1: I explored different options while deciding which to select. – record on logBoW Continuation heads the LL. Put the material in the current Experiments under Study Days & create intra-links. Where & how do I show that I have addressed feedback? – BoW Assessment Feedback or this SYP Feedback?…I would suggest a post on the log within reflection? Let me know if you’re still unsure.

Exhibitions: put in links to how the exhibitions have affected my work.

Re-organise study days with nests. Done.

Suggested reading/viewing


Continue to research as above but also continue looking for and reflecting on examples of how other artists have combined multiple strands of images and material both in exhibitions. Even if you feel you did this exhaustively on BoW – find new evidence and material that helps you progress or grapple with your current challenges and questions (you can even link back to old research posts within these new reflections if they help contextualise your latest notes). There is an OCA study visit on1st September to the Barbican – if you can’t go, potentially you could speak to those students who do about what they thought? Also, documentation is often online of new exhibitions in London galleries, ie Tacita Dean at the RA reminds me of your collection of leaves…she had a long set of vitrines holding pressed clover leaves.




Areas for development


  • Continuation of very interesting ideas and developments from BoW, committed to furthering the work and to address BoW assessment feedback
  • Really encouraging level of developing professionalism, eg. leading peer group sessions, newsletter, attending visits and crits


  • Evidence further action in coursework
  • Refining the file format of the PDF for professional feedback/reviewers – happy for you to send me a test

    email before sending to Sear/Clark

  • Further research into CVs, presentation for pitches and BoW/SYP project development

Please inform me of how you would like your feedback for the next assignment: written or audio visual.

page3image29128 page3image29712

Tutor name

Helen Warburton


12 August 2018

Next assignment due

page3image36424 page3image37008

04 October 2018


11th June, 2018

Summary of a Skype tutorial with my SYP tutor Helen Warburton

Not having finalised my new blog for SYP, I could not show Helen my latest experiments using pixellated images other than via the very unsatisfactory desktop camera.

  1.  As my experiments centre on conceptual images, Helen suggested that I research conceptual digital artists.  None came to mind initially but of course, my OCA fellow student, Catherine Banks, has done an extended project using the software  Second Life.  

This would involve creating a story rather than individual images as I have done.          Like Second Life, Minecraft too creates a different life and storyline.

Then there are the ‘alien’ ‘trol’ type of conceptual artists like Ray Lederer none of which comes near my ‘tame-in-comparison’ genre of conceptual art which is taken directly from my digital images taken in quarries near where I live.  I don’t want to create a new world but rather explore how I relate to the world around me in new ways.  At least, that is what I am doing at the moment – who knows where I will end up.

2.  I mentioned that in my maquette of the exhibition space, I have included a quilt as, for the moment, I would like to make one using cyanotypes printed on fabric, either on my own or as a collaborative prison project in a prison near here.  That the cyanotypes would reference historical cyanotype printers like Anna Atkins and my favourite contemporary Rosie Emerson whose complex work is fascinating.  This is an example of her work at the London Fair I attended with Catherine Banks in January this year:

The work of Rosie Emerson I saw at London Art Fair in January 2018.

I admire the scale of the work at The Barbican of Walead Beshty who was commissioned by the Barbican ‘to transform The Curve into a show-stopping installation by covering its walls with more than 12,000 cyanotype prints’

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 19.44.11

but I have no ambition of making such a large piece – perhaps I should?   there is one particular organisation which I researched for my BoW which works with prisoners in prisons making quilts thereby extending prisoners’ skills making them more employable when they have served their time.  Of course, subverting common gender stereotypes, Fine Cell Work, involves mostly male prisoners in making their quilts.

Screen Shot 2018-06-15 at 19.51.353.  Forum and peer feedback to work in hand.  I have explored this in depth on my 9th June, 2018 OCA SW  ‘Study day’ post under the Learning Log tab above.

4.  Professional feedback suggestions:

i)   Format19 Portfolio Review in Derby: the next one is on 16th March, 2019. Cost:4 reviews  £185.

ii)  Offspring photo meet – gone for this year & details for 2019 are not yet up.

iii)  Mimi Mollica – is one of the founders of PhotoMeet, and a documentary photographer.

iv)  Shoair Mavlian (armacad.info) a photography contest. she recently curated http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/shape-light

v) I would like to ask Helen Sear (because of her work linking people and nature) and Edmund Clark (because of his work with prisons and prisoners.) to comment on my portfolio.

Helen’s response to my request to look at my blog, just to make sure I am on the right track:

You could add the following:

http://marcobreuer.com/ – you’d need to research for any writing on his work

Annie Atkins – British botanist, related to the history of cyanotypes and its links to botany

Caleb Charland – contemporary approaches to analogue, craft techniques – http://calebcharland.com/about/


Philippa Lawrence – Bit random, but I can see parallels with the tracing/drawing/lines – botany, colour, form

Also some corrections for the notes:

Shoair Mavlian – she recently curated http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/shape-light

Mimi Mollica – is one of the founders of PhotoMeet, and a documentary photographer

The blog is looking great – in terms of showing your working, the photographic reference images of the rock aside the digital artwork, help me gain an understanding of how you reached the final solution. Visually, from first glance, I am enjoying the contrast and delicacy of these later lines and experiments, and the heavily pixelated works hold my gaze less strongly…but that is my opinion, and from first glance! Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I prefer the more refined line, and there’s something I also like about the contrasting digital line on the black and white photographic image (below left).