MOVING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION
This Post is being typed over the space left by my half completed, but now deleted, C&N Assignment 3 which, as I have taken the decision to leave the course, is no longer relevant to me, hence the deletion. The decision comes as a result of personal year’s end reflections and Resolutions for the year ahead. I know I have said that I am leaving the course before but I have finally decided that my path no longer coincides with that of the OCA Photography course and I am moving on in a new direction. This time it is definite and for the right reasons – for me. A number of factors have shaped this decision which I will briefly describe for the record and for my own clarity of thought.
- I am no longer enjoying the experience. Each Exercise and Assignment feels like climbing a mountain but without the pleasure. Other students seem to get fun from the creative processes required by the course but I do not. I find myself doing it to gain the approval of the tutors, to try to fit in and to drive me towards the goal of gaining a degree, not because I believe that it is going to influence my own creative process in any way that is relevant to me.
- Almost without exception, the artists and their works featured in the course work hold no relevance or meaning for me except as examples of the strange diversity of the human condition and the widely differing ways that we see the world and our place in it. Many of my fellow students seem to find pleasure in these artists’ works and then using them to inspire their own work for the Exercises and Assignments which I do not.
- Despite attempting to engage with the course work in a different, more light hearted way I have found it impossible to do so. Indeed it has had the opposite effect. Taking the seriousness out of my studies has removed its sense of purpose and heightened its sense of irrelevance in my life. I am by nature a serious person and I need to feel that anything I do has a purpose that is meaningful on the wider stage. As suggested above I no longer find such a purpose in my work on the course.
- One of my principal aims for engaging with the course was to develop my photographic skills. It has become increasingly clear to me that the OCA course is not going to teach me anything about the development of my photographic skills as it is not what it is about. That is information and practice that one is expected to get outside of the course and so I am having to add them on to the course workload rather than have them as an integral part. As a result, the time spent on course work, reading, research and all the extra time commitments required of being an active and engaged part of the OCA community has meant that the development of my technical skills has taken a back seat. That needs to change for me.
- Through personal reflection over the last few weeks I have come to realise that I already know, and subliminally have always known, what direction I want my photography to go in and so one of my key reasons for taking the course is no longer relevant as to continue is not going to change that. I am naturally a documentary photographer who wants to record the world around me with the goal of inspiring others and / or changing public perceptions. The work of Sebastiao Salgado is an example of my ideal form of expression.
- For purely practical and mundane reasons I need to derive an income and none of the time I am spending on the course is, or ever would, assist me to do that.
I will be continuing with my photography, but its principal purposes will be i). as a means of illustrating and enhancing wider environmental work that I will be doing to try to make a difference in Wales and also, more boringly, ii). to create artworks for sale to try to keep the bank manager happy. The realisation that my allotted span on this earth is rapidly disappearing and that my mental faculties and energy are waning brings a sharp focus to considerations of what I want to do with what is left. My concerns over the serious and increasing degradation of the Welsh environment, particularly by intensive agriculture, is giving me a desire to get on with doing something about it rather than just sitting on the sidelines. Something about lighting a candle instead of complaining about the darkness. This will involve raising public awareness and support and taking on the Welsh Government before the changes resulting from Brexit come in which are likely to make things considerably worse for the environment if the Government’s current views are anything to go by! Anyone interested in joining me in the battle?? If so get in touch!
So that is what will replace the OCA course in my life. I have to say that daunting though I find the prospect, it fills me with a much greater sense of purpose and reality. I wish anyone who reads this every success with their chosen path and I thank you for the part that you have played in my own.
———- o0o ———-