Tonight saw the return of the InCamera Arts Meet, run by Jenn Brookes, film destroying aficionado, the group meets the 2nd Thursday of the month at Mad Lab in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to discuss all things photography but with a strong emphasis on film experimentation. The group is a casual and friendly event for photographers with the opportunity discuss and share ideas with occasional guest photographer presentations. This months subject was around starting projects, and started and ended with questions, maybe quite fitting, thinking of how research projects usually start with a question to be answered. But maybe the point of an art or photography project isn’t answering the question but the things you learn and discover and create along the way?
Some of the questions posed to the group included “are you influenced by trends in photography?” and in turn does being ‘off-trend’ have a negative impact on your exposure? This is something I’ve not thought about before as I am incredibly ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to trends in the art world. I find it incredibly difficult to keep up with ‘who’s hot & who’s not’ in the art world mostly due to there being too much ‘choice’ much like when in rare occasions I find myself in Starbucks and just order a white coffee because when face with too much information my brain just shuts down and chooses an old favourite. Another question came up about whether you are influenced by other people and to what degree. This has two facets for me; influenced by subject matter or medium, one or the other maybe acceptable as you cannot deny outside influences, however both together can run the risk of looking like an over zealous fan.
Other subjects touched on were pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and working on multiple projects at once, the latter with the expectation of not all succeeding but the strong project ideas winning through.
It was certainly an interesting evening with lots to think about, it’s encouraged me to go back to my book “101 Things to learn at art school” that I bought after a having a flick through at a friends house. despite the afore mentioned friend and myself finishing art school over 10 years ago, it’s amazing how much you forget and how much you never learned. Some tips, for lack of a better word, are simply back to basics reminders such as “Learn to draw” or “carry a sketch book or journal”, you know the sorts of things you know at the back of your mind, but just forget, to the slightly more complex (well at least to me) such as ” Art is the means by which a culture describes itself to itself” or “Simulacrum refers to a likeness or simulation that has the appearance but not the substance of the thing it resembles”.
So the meet has left me with plenty to mull over the next 4 weeks or so, maybe by that point I’ll have a new project or two to get started with..
answers or more questions welcome