Today I had a one-one meeting with Wendy. I received feedback on my FMP submission, which is something I had been looking forward to.
In short, my work has been received well with overall feedback being very positive. The main areas within which to improve are as follows:
- Project identity – it was felt that the project needed a more focused identity within its approach to ensure it produces relevant works that have connective appeal. It was suggested that the focus should be tightened to cover more of the metaphorical connections between local communities and the river. The idea of basing the works from a ‘rivers perspective’ was seen as positive, but it was noted that care would be needed to ensure the relevance of any visual works.
- The approach to interviews needes to be relaxed and natural, not scripted or formal. It was felt that such audio recordings needed to meet the elemental stance of the river and not become a sterile, commercialised gaze.
- It was also felt that the projects subjective focus did not include topics such as Geology, History, Archaeology or recognisable Ecology. For any works to be educationally focused, it was seen that these subjects needed to be included.
The main area of feedback that I found very informative was to do with the projects intended audiences and exhibition plans. Initially, the aim was to have living exhibitions happening along the riverbank — projections of films and other media within the landscape was also considered.
A book, website and film were also planned. All of which would work to provide a variety of visual gazes for an audience to participate in.
However, it was determined through the feedback on my FMP proposal that this could be too much to attempt. Instead, it was suggested that the project look to establish a set of video pieces, based on the submitted audio and then use that as the foremost showcase and audience dissemination.
It was felt that by concentrating on a set of videos and a website, the work could be all hosted together in a much more effective, reliable and cost-effective way. The idea of large outdoor exhibitions seen as a positive, but one possibility to develop over time.
It was therefore decided to focus the project on developing video, stills and audio pieces for exhibition via a website and live showcase to an audience. This could then produce a compelling project based on local connections to the Lower River Otter.
I have taken much confidence from this feedback, and am now in a position where I can develop my FMP in as focused a way as possible.
I am still struggling with the concept of a name for the project but will work on ideas over the coming weeks.
The good news is that I now have found my first contributor, Sheena has agreed to do a recording with me on her links to rivers. She has many stories to tell so its very exciting to get part of my FMP going.
I have spent much time along the river this last few days looking at location options and ideas for how I can develop the visuals for the project. I am left feeling that until I have some audio recordings to work with, I would struggle to develop suitable ideas.