Today I worked with Amy on her images. Amy is in her second year of an Occupational Therapy course but has known she was dyslexic since junior school. She tends not to tell people that she is dyslexic unless they ask her because she worries it will count against her or be seen as a weakness. This might be because she doesn’t know any other dyslexics on her course. From talking to Amy it seems she has had similar experiences to myself in education. She found that there wasn’t enough help in school, but thinks the dyslexic support at University is better. However she wanted to get involved in this project because the opportunity to show the positive side of having dyslexia interested her.
As with the other students, Amy wasn’t afraid to write and draw on the images. She has some really interesting visual ideas, is very colourful and creative. I can relate to quite a few of her images such as the one of her leaving the house, ready and willing to go to University. I had forgotten this, but now I remember feeling the same when I first started University.
Today I worked with Dean on his images where he got stuck into drawing and was keen to use all the pens and paint that I had brought with me. He seemed to be enjoying drawing on the images and we spent most of the time laughing about funny stories about having dyslexia. He told me that at first when he found out he was dyslexic at the age of eighteen he was relieved but also a bit upset because at that time he didn’t want to be different, but now he is happy to be dyslexic. He likes the way that he sees things differently which he thinks is down to his dyslexia. He is planning to use this advantage in his chosen career as a designer. The only thing that annoys him about being dyslexia is his forgetfulness.
From his finished images I can see that he is very visual and hands on in his course.
Today I worked with Leanne to start drawing on her images. Leanne is in her first year of a sports therapy course and is thoroughly enjoying her university experience as well as living away from home. Not all of her prints had turned out well so I gave her another disposable camera to retake the images that she really wanted to show me. She seemed to be enjoying working on the images that had turned out and wasn’t afraid to write on them either.
As she was working on her images Leanne opened up to me about only recently having found out she was dyslexic whilst at university, and what a relief it was. At first she didn’t want to tell anyone that she was dyslexic because she was afraid she would get picked on. However, although it is still quite new to her, she is already recognising that there are some things she is stronger at and so can see how having dyslexia can be a benefit. She was still waiting to hear back about specialist equipment that can help people with dyslexia to study, so I showed her the program I use. We started talking about other people we know who have dyslexia and that to some of them the text appears to be moving but not to Leanne, so it can be different for everyone.
From the finished images I can see that she is not afraid of using writing to explain things, but she is also very good at visually getting her message across. So it’s like the writing adds another layer of meaning.
I have been experimenting with how I will present my final images in the degree show. I took inspiration from the tendency dyslexics have to pin notes and pictures on the wall as a visual reminder, and so decided to pin my images to the wall.
My original idea was to pin lots of small images to the wall close together touching each other, however when I did this it looked really overbearing, perhaps because they were all the same size.
My next stage was to take my mentors advice onboard and make the portrait images bigger. I had been struggling with how to position the portrait images but Suky had suggested making them bigger to make them stand out. When I tried this it did help them to stand out which was better but the display still looked overcrowded as a whole with the images all touching one another.
Following on from this I tried spacing the images out evenly and found that this made the images much easier to browse. So I have now decided to have lots of small images pinned to the wall, with the portraits printed larger and spacing in-between them.
I feel that now when you stand back to view the exhibition it makes quite an impact. The 350cm long by 110cm deep display makes good use of the spacing and allows the viewer to browse through all the images in ant direction they want to. Below is how it will look in the gallery with the computer presentation.
Now that I have made the decision to enlarge my portrait images to A4 size, I have had to revisit the printers to re-price the printing. I was worried that some of the detail might be lost during the scanning and enlarging of the images but we did some tests and they were fine. I wanted to use the same printers because I needed them to be the exact same quality but he quoted me another £140! As I had built up a good customer relationship with him during this body of work I managed to agree a better price with him of £80.
Once I had edited down and chosen my final collection of images I needed to get permission from the students who took the images to exhibit them. I designed a short permission form for them to sign, which explained that I would have full ownership and copyright of the images to use at the exhibition, on the Internet or however I see fit (which means I can also use them after my degree show). So I have been arranging to meet up with each of the students for them to sign the form and me to take a photograph of them. It has been hit and miss trying to find times when they are available to do this during exam season but most of them have met me now and it has been nice to catch up with them again and update them on how my works going.
I also need to break the bad news to those whose photo’s I won’t be using in the exhibition this time. There were some images that I would have liked to include but because of the limited space in the gallery I couldn’t include them all, so I had to edit out any images that were repeated and any that were similar but not as strong. I will be making phone calls to those student’s whose work wont be featured in the exhibition to thank them and let them know that they are still welcome to come to the degree show but not to be disappointed that their work isn’t on the wall.
Today’s class was an opportunity to present our final major project work so far to our mentors. Suky Best has been mentoring me during this module. Since our last tutorial I had taken onboard Suky’s suggestions so I was keen to show her the progress I had made. I was also keen to get extra feedback from Tom Hunter who was also present.
Suky thought the audio interviews were fantastic, and Tom agreed the work was very interesting. Suky suggested simplifying the way the online images navigate around because when people are in an exhibition it can be hard to keep their attention. One way I could do this would be make it so that when you click on one image you hear the whole audio story, which continues to play as you browse the other images.
Suky and Tom agreed that the images on the wall did not necessarily need to be the same ones as were featured on the computer. Pinning the chosen images onto the wall will be a suitable way of presenting my work, but Suky did suggest printing some of the images bigger than others so that they are not all the same size. So I will think about maybe making the portrait images bigger.
Overall I was really pleased with my feedback. I was pleasantly surprised that Suky particularly liked the audio because previously she had not seemed to understand the importance of including it. The new feedback I have received is useful to me as I am about to start finalising my method of presentation and will take this onboard.
It was also interesting to see other people’s work in the class and the stages they were at because it made me feel on track with my project. I have felt under quite a lot of pressure not to upset anyone because I have had to make decisions as to which participants work to include or not to include, so I was relieved to see that people approve of my decisions and like my work.