Semester 2 Week 7: Tutorial / Exhibition

5th March 2024

On the Tuesday 5th March we had to be at the uni for a tutorial with Sylvia to discuss our Practice module and show off some work that we could then use to get a better idea of the images we’d display in the exhibition.

I took around 30 images printed out in a 6×4″ format and four in A4 size. The larger images were those that I thought might be better suited to my final exhibition. Below is a selection of the images.

Contact Sheet of Selection Choices

Sylvia looked at the images as I laid them out on the table and there were a few distinct piles that I’d separated out. One was “green lit” images, the other “daylight” images and the others were the factory at night images. She said that it looked like the work of different photographers and that the daylight images had an aura of America about them.

Heavy Lifting

There were two of my choices that Sylvia agreed with, the first being my fork lift door bld 2 image as seen below. She asked why I’d chosen it and I explained about the chip shop and HNC project as can be read in the previous post, After I’d explained to her what she was looking at in the image she seemed happier that there was an understanding. I like the light coming in from outside and the although I’ve steered away from the “green lit” images, there is still the pedestrian door with a green light on.

Fork Lift Door Bld 2, Bob Griffiths

Pigs and Glass

The second image that Sylvia liked, printed out on A4 was her favourite she said. This is an image of some windows in Building 1 showing some rain catching “pigs” and my explanation is that this part of the factory I’ve walked through for years and years but only when the lights were off did I notice just how organic and H.R. Giger-like the atmosphere was. As an apprentice and general employee I strolled through this building without a care in the world, but as I’ve changed jobs in August ’23 I’ve now become responsible for the facilities and maintenance that means I lead a team managing the buildings. This is now a part of my responsibilities, where before I was only concerned with the IT infrastructure. The fact this part of the factory has much more meaning is part of my growth as an employee of the company, as a worker in general, and as a human being.

Sylvia likes this image and has said on a couple of occasions that it is her favourite of my output this academic year. I’ve shown other non-photographers the image and it elicits no real feedback other than it is a bit creepy. Once I tell the story it seems to make them understand it a little more but it’s not a classically attractive photograph. It is a piece of art, as an abstract of the factory, that is somewhat difficult to decode unless you know what you’re looking at.

Windows and Pigs, Bob Griffiths

Office Space

The third image I’d selected was the photo of my office but Sylvia helped me to see that it didn’t quite fit in with the other images, maybe as it is lit too brightly and not as abstract as the other shots. The story about it being my office now and having a different purpose in the past was ok but people could tell immediately what it was and offered no real opportunity to guess what it may have been.

As we were discussing it I came to realise that she was explaining it well and the reason that people stand in front of photos is to try and make sense of them. If it’s immediately obvious that it’s an office with a walkway, then there is no real mystery in the abstraction. I’ll keep it as a standby photo though in case another doesn’t present itself.

My Office, Bob Griffiths


The next image that we discussed was the stairs out in the factory yard, lit by an electric light with muted colours, I like it as an individual image but it doesn’t fit with the rest of the selected images. Maybe it’s due to it being outside and again immediately obvious as to what it is but it just didn’t feel right when laid out with the others showing the windows with light coming into the building. I like the image as it is a mystery as to what might be at the top of the steps and the grass one side while the other side is covered in sharp stones. This fits in with the liminal spaces theme that I was originally heading towards, as do the other images in this collection. They are all mysterious places with no discernible location. They are all creepy and promote an uneasy atmosphere for the viewer which is where I was essentially going for the Liminal Space work. Over the last few months it’s grown into a project about spaces in my workplace that have a liminality about them. either as part of my journey through life and career or the fact that they are creepy places where people move around all day and then night sets in to create a wholly different ambience.

Stair Light, Bob Griffiths

Other Options

There are some other images that might fit the collection for the exhibition better. I’d printed these out in a smaller size but Sylvia pulled them out from the rest and set them aside.

The first, that I have called Distant Vending below is a long range shot of a gangway that leads to an oasis of light around the coffee machine and food vending machine. The light catches my eye in this one along with the reflection of the light on the floor and the roller shutter door on the left side of the image. It creates a tunnel to travel towards and draws the viewer into the photo in a way that you want to stand closer and take look deeper.

The second shot in the below gallery called Corridor shows a different sort of light emitted from and emergency light in the distance and it’s transmission towards the viewer off the overhead light fittings and the shiny floor. Equipment lining the corridor used for engine performance testing leaves a sense of “what is it?”

The third image in the gallery above, is titled Lab AirCon and shows a similar set of windows to those in Windows And Pigs (above) along with the roof and wall holding a variety of air conditioning and other services. Sylvia liked this one for the bright flare of light coming in through the bottom pane of glass and I like it a lot because of the equipment on the wall, in the same manner as the Windows And Pigs image.

From these three images I think the leftmost and rightmost work with the other two definites whereas the corridor doesn’t have the same type of lighting and thus doesn’t work for me.

The Distant Vending image has the yellow lighting and warm tones along with those reflections on the left, in the same manner as the Fork Lift Door Bld 2 has and the Lab AirCon photo has the same vibe as the Windows and Pigs. I’m printing these two photos out now to see if one of them works better than the other.

Great Gradients

The other image that Sylvia liked but I think was too empty is another window set, with a gradient colour outside caused by blue hour and some exterior lighting causing the mix. There is a little detail in the image in the fact that you can see pipes going past the window and a pallet on the floor. On the right hand side of the image is some complex equipment used to measure and mix the fluids travelling through these pipes. It is a photo from a location where the engines for performance testing are loaded into their test equipment. Outside across the other side of the yard is a supermarket and the illumination from the car park. I’m also printing this one out in A4 to see how it integrates with the other images.

Gradient Lighting, Bob Griffiths


Sylvia also mentioned that the photos I shared with her of the archive of work photos would make an excellent exhibition on it’s own and that I should perhaps talk to som elocal museums or gallery spaces in Shrewsbury that might be interested in showing parts fo the archive against the work from my present library of images.

She suggested that I should definitely do something with this collection and whilst I agree, I am struggling for time at the moment with my current dayjob workload and uni workload. It is something that I’ll consider in the future though, it sounds like an interesting project.

Sylvia said that going out and talking to gallery spaces about this work would be good for networking and would likely lead onto other opportunities to exhibit works in the town also. This could then lead on further to other places and horizons far beyond my current vision.

Exhibition Chat

In the afternoon we all met up in the lecture theatre MK045 to discuss our thoughts on the exhibition at the Eagle Works in April 2024.

It was a mix of discussing a timescale for the milestones that are required before actually launching the exhibition.

We discussed the Instagram presence for the exhibition. Did we want a new one for our exhibition only or utilise our own private accounts and the School Of Art accounts to promote the event?

We decided that we’d go down the path of a new instagram account for the group and we brainstormed a few ideas:

WLV Exposure, or Journeys In Time, MK Photography, WLV5 Photographers, WLV5 Collective, WLV5 Momentum, WLV5Exhibition, WELOVEWLV, BBMINCE (Initials of each member.)

The selected instagram account was thought to relate to the overarching theme of the exhibition, and this was all decided after the session when we’d discussed our own works and reasons for it.

We would need to populate the instagram account with a showcase of the artists in the weeks leading up to the show and we’d also need a statement for the group as well as individual artist statements.

We could also post photos of the installation and behind the scenes of prep for the show.

It would make the Eagle Works easier to find also as it can be a bit of a trek through the Mander Centre and a bit of extra direction would not go amiss.

Poster and Marketing

We talked about the right way to market the exhibition and questions about whether the poster should be one lead image from the show, a couple of images or even a poster with none of the work on it at all.

Sylvia posted out a concise version of the timeline that we need to stick to in order to meet the goal of putting on an exhibition.

  • Tuesday 12th March – exhibition layout confirmed, and students can start to plan printing/framing etc of work.
  • Tuesday 19th March – Title of exhibition confirmed & Group Exhibition statement finalised (max 500 words)
  • Tuesday 19th March – Exhibition poster (with time, dates, and location) finalised & Instagram account created with a clear timetable of content to be uploaded in the lead up to exhibition launch
  • Tuesday 9th April – Individual artist/photographer statement finalised (max 150-200 words)
  • Tuesday 16th April – Invigilation timetable confirmed (all students should be involved in invigilation of the space)

I’ve put them into a spreadsheet so we can mark off who has volunteered their time for the invigilation parts. I’ve shared this with the rest of the crew online suing the M365 tools.

Space Invaders

In terms of the spaces in the Eagle Works, a couple of our number have an idea of where they want to exhibit. Ieva would like the brick wall for the texture that will be part of her work and Noah wants the white wall opposite the bricks. Shellie would like a corner of the window and the white wall but there is a door in this corner which might make it a bit tricky.

Emma has suggested she could hang her work from the false ceiling and as long as it’s not too heavy , fishing line can easily be used to suspend from the metal tile holding infrastructure.

For the location of my work I said that I’m ok to put it on a stand in the middle of the room so it frees up some of the wall space for others. My initial plan is to use industrial pallets to stand up and have the prints mounted upon. Because the photos are of an industrial location I felt that it might fit the theme well, but I’ve since changed my idea a little to mount the pallets on scaffold pole legs and removing the need for the pallet on the floor. This change came about as a result of the Artists talk by Naomi Greaves where she told us that the Wolves Museum mounts images on a centre line of 150cm from the floor. More info to follow on the progress of this in the next few days.

Exhibition Theme and Individual Themes.

We thought it would be beneficial for us to think about the show as an overall collection of images and works, but when we’re not really sharing our practice with each other as often as we perhaps have done in the past, it made sense to have a recap today.

I went first and talked about the photos above, how and why I took them and selected them, then also a little about my plans for mounting. I ensured that the rest of the team were well aware of how dark my images were and what the theme running through them was.

Codey was next, and talked of trauma experienced recently and how the trauma affects day to day life. The images would likely include self portraits and related locations as to where the trauma occurred. It encompasses self treatment and self care, deconstruction of self and then reconstruction.

Emma talked of her work about the Present Moment and how humans transition from past to present to future. She mentioned that her work wasn’t capable of encompassing all three (past, present and future) so she narrowed it down to the Present Moment and then this will also give links to the past and future. She has photos of footsteps, feet and walking through a scene, as well as another of someone climbing up some steps.

Noah is looking to present images of cars that he has taken in a collection on the wall, possibly grouped into rows related to the colour of the vehicle. He states that his asperger’s causes him to think like this in a very ordered fashion with a compulsion to group items. He also mentioned that the linear collection of the photos would be similar to a parking structure, even mentioning the robotic parking systems used in Japan to reduce space required for parking.

Homesickness was the overarching theme of Ieva’s works so far and themes of memory, home, nostalgia, reminiscing, all bring back the feelings of her growing up in Lithuania. She is planning on doing some mixed media also that helps link current day to the past and has a photo of her as a small child in a picnic area with her grandparent.

Shellie shared her thoughts on her work with us and some images that fit into her Nostalgia and Fantasy themes, the photos she shared with us were fantastic but she thought that she didn’t have a “story” like some of the others and found it difficult to tie it in to the whole show but they will fit in with the overall appearance. Women in the Black Country, storytelling and empowerment for the model is a great theme for her individual works.

Beth was keen to be the last to share and she shared her large prints that sh’ed recently had done, showing off her Intimacy theme of a photo of her embracing her partner. There were colour and black and white versions, but the colour versions were warmer and more engaging. She also has some photos that she’s not wanting to put on a wall but would work in a book to accompany the large format photos. The theme for Beth’s is changes in body and mind going through an eating disorder and having an understanding partner has helped her come to terms with who she is and that Self Perception and Intimacy is what permeates her work.

From looking over the works we all shared, a quick brainstorm threw words into the ring of Space, Time and Journey . We’ll use these as the basis of the exhibition title, theme, instagram name, show guide, and statements.

Bob By Proxy

For next Tuesday I need to email Sylvia with the details of my planned photos including the size and layout so she can be me when they attend the Eagle Works on Tuesday, Unfortunately I’m unable to attend on Tuesday as I have an ISO 9001 audit that I cannot miss owing to my responsibilities and duties. I’m a bit gutted but Sylvia knows that I would be there if I could be and I think she has given me some leeway owing to the fact that I’ve had no days when I’ve missed the lectures/seminars/tutorials. Not even had covid this year which I suffered from twice last academic year.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply