At the tutorial today, we discussed, my progress to date briefly and focused on the up coming Conference in London, the IINME14. Now that I have now completed my three photographic shoots at the following three institutions and attempted to start some image work. So this tutorial was a little more productive for both of us.
- a) CISC, Brighton, which focused on Post-Exertional malaise trial in M.E/CFS patients.
- b) QIB, Quadram Institute of Biosciences, Norwich, which focused on Gut Health research and promoting the work of 4x PhD students, one of whom has M.E/CFS as well as a collaborative shoot in return for support at the IINME 14 conference in London on 31st May and a linked editorial.
- c) LSHTM, London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine, which focused on the Biobank & Gene Therapy. in order to produce a two-page editorial in the ME Association Magazine. Project followed a participant through blood sampling, escorting the samples to the Royal Free Hospital and storage at their Biobank, then a look at the following research at the LSHTM.
Since I only completed the photographic shoots three weeks ago, followed by a week relapse and rest for my own M.E/CFS, followed by a week in Toronto visiting family, it left me with just over a week to start to edit and work on my images from the QIB pre this 1-2-1. I have to both create images for my FMP and edit a series of images for the QIB ( and each centre tbc at a later date). Over the week the priority has been to work on images for the Conference coming up at the end of May. In between, I have redesigned my website, so that it flows a little better, see here for further information on this. I have also been working on backgrounds and ideas to incorporate into the images once the images are edited.
This upcoming conference, IIMEC14, is a scientific conference so not an exhibition as such but will have with up to 200 attendees ( patients, carers, researchers, clinicians and interested public). I will have a couple of 6x4 stands and easels to display my work (next to QIB). I have requested a view time for those who might want to see my stands and who are not attending the conference, but this is unlikely to get honoured. See here for blog on setting up for this conference.
In discussion with Stella, she felt that the use of gold easels alongside two black 6x4 stand, would be ’too finished’ for this type of meeting. Stella has a good point, as it’s a scientific conference where the images I present will be supporting the QIB, posters and their research work, but also the venue is grand enough to absorb it, so still undecided. Stella suggested I found a way to record feedback on the images, their place within the QIB and what it means to the attendees and for what reasons. So I will take along a feedback book, for when I am not at the stand and a questionnaire that I can hand out for when I am, plus a notebook to take notes of comments made during the conference, might also be useful for a record of personal experiences. I need to work on what questions to ask and then how to consider the feedback in terms of my final set of images for the FMP. Our discussion really focused me on the conference, rather than trying to just exhibit my work, reminding me why I am there. It just shows how busy I have been, completing the photoshoots, allowing little time to get my thoughts together for this conference. A week’s relapse lost me more time, but the rest was essential. As the relapse tends to ‘muddy’ my brain, shut me down cognitively, I build it up again by reading a little more on contemporary artists, described here, to place my work contextually, for example Kelly Wilder’s ‘Photography and Science’ and this leads me to Martin Kemps writings and various publications. Going back over all my notes again, helps brings my brain up to date.
Via a link to my websites and some collaborative edits, I showed Stella, 3 of 4 images of PhD Students (one still to be completed), this work I decided to set out as wall murals, which seemed to go down well and appropriate for the conference and the work. The following images are my metaphorical and abstract explanation of activity within the gut (bacteriophage activity) of M.E/CFS patients. The landscape, waters, mountains, plants with added phages, seemed to be acceptable although not much reaction to them. These are still WIP so not totally unexpected. Stella did like, however, the image of the flowers and bacteriophages and the scaling for some perspective on the tiny micro and smaller bacteriophage images. [Just out of interest, one nanometer is 1/1,000,000,000 of a meter in answer to her question].The laboratory images are sample images taken from the rest shoot itself, and I anticipate about 30images will be sent to the QIB as part of the collaborative edits. These will not be used as part of the FMP. From these images, though, there will be a short editorial about the QIB, or me as a photographer with M.E, my science background and my link to the research.
Following the Conference in May, I will edit the images from c) LSHTM for an editorial in the ME Association magazine. The images form a) CISC, Are not so great, I am hoping to go back and re-shoot video of brain activity which could sit alongside images at an exhibition, with breathing audio and maybe audio stories from sufferers as suggested by Wendy. It would be so nice to have an exhibition to show the range of my images, but both not sure how much I can manage or how broad the range of images should be. Stella seems to give me the impression that I need to focus right down on what I want to achieve, but the shoots and case-studies are integrally linked, so I will see how these develop.
In my mind there are three clear categories, immune function and the ‘gut health research’ and the QIB shoot, cognitive confusion described through the post-malaise trial shoot at CISC, and cellular dysfunction for images I have started to create in relation to post-exertional malaise. There are also the documentary images of the photographic shoot at LSHTM, and the biobanking process from sample to research.
Additionally, I hope to get to a workshop next week, on the 8th May in Cardiff ’21st Century Medicine’ Conference and working groups, where I hope to discuss with a group of clinicians and commercial medical industry personal the use of art/photography in addressing the needs of the public in relation to the development process of medicines, medicines availability, alternative medicines and why they are not actively involved in the process, how they could be actively involved in the process. I have a feeling that my work might be a little too metaphorical for them to want to grasp at this stage of the discussions, but it will be interesting to get feedback and help me design interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary workshops for the future and post M.A.
Other than that, we briefly discussed that creating books might be a little too much on top. I have planned a hand made- books, and sourced samples only at this stage. I was also planning a sketchbook, which I have started plotting ideas for as away of showing the image making and this would possibly be too much now and something I would have needed to create from the beginning. As a back up I have created a page on my website to show Visual explorations of sections of my work and its development towards the final portfolio of images.
As always the tutorial is useful to place my thoughts in line and for some early feedback. Stella has added in a a couple of extra lunchtime group critiques in May, May 21st, so I have booked myself onto one of these. This will be just 10days before the Conference, so great timing for last minute thoughts and touch ups.