Part Three took me into myself more, exploring the idea of self portraiture and expression of self – or providing a window into the lives of others.
Although not directly related to photography, I learned a lot about this from studying Tracy Emin’s famous installation ‘My Bed‘. It taught me a lot about how I needed to date to expose my own thoughts, feelings and motivations to be able to deliver engaging and authentic work.
My now Barthes was a constant companion and will freely admit to having to re-read the ideas around Anchorage and Relay a few times before I gully grasped where he was coming from with Coded Iconics and Non-coded Iconics. Whereas Sontag is easy to read with a characteristic tempo, examples, illustrations, lists (and use of the Oxford comma!) to paraphrase her style, Barthes was far harder going.
Nevertheless, I was by now starting to feel braver in expressing myself. In one of the exercises I explore a darker side of self in Exercise 3.2, something I would have felt vulnerable exposing before.
All of the above prepared me to take the rather scary prospect on of photographing a memorial that was all over the mainstream media at the time for Assignment 3. There was a little cry of ‘I did this’ inside me when I heard back from my tutor that inspired me hugely in the remaining parts of the course.
Part 3 was that turning point for me, underpinned by a growing understanding of what portraiture is and how others feel about doing it from the coursework.