Reflections on Tutor feedback: Assignment 4


Hi everyone! This is my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 4, I request you to once again share your opinions and viewpoints on this after reading and without the fear of offending me, I seek your honest and critical opinion upon the points that he has made. Its more confusing for me as all of you, being westerners (some of you being males), did not indicate any such opinion or viewpoint. Now that the idea is planted in your head, do you see this assignment in a different light?

May I also please request you to share this with people you think will have the time to look at my assignment and comment upon it as I need to send this to Robert who looks forward to reading other people’s viewpoint on this. Just share the assignment and not his feedback as I want a completely neutral, out of the heart opinion, like you all did. You can share the assignment with your spouses, your family or anyone who will be willing, as I seek a more western viewpoint on this. Many thanks and my appreciation in advance.

My tutor feedback can be found here:Reflections on Tutor feedback

Assignment link:


5 Replies to “Reflections on Tutor feedback: Assignment 4”

  1. Archna
    I have given your request great thought and with my husband (traditional British white mail still practicing professionally and dressed in suit and tie ……. on the outside portraying a different image to a certain radicalism within!) we have relooked at your Assignment and considered your request to think about Robert’s feedback.
    You will know that I have had a lifetime career in the health service and am currently (amongst other things) chair of an NHS Organ Donation Committee. As a result I am involved a good deal in understanding brain death and vegetative state. My husband is a lawyer who specialises in mental capacity which means he has many clients, often aged, who have difficulty thinking in a way we might call normal.
    So …. for both of us we can see where Robert is coming from in his comments, because unfortunately we have linked being ‘a vegetable’ as in some way being no longer really alive. (In fact this is controversial as researchers at Cambridge have described. Apologies for not having the reference to hand!)
    So our thoughts:
    * Beautiful series of photographs of the ginger plant in their own right. Abstracts to enjoy for their artistry alone.
    * Imaginative use of the conceptual link with the plight of women (and actually of men too in the West, although abuse of men is less well observed and understood.)
    * The piece of root ginger on my kitchen sill now constantly acts as a reminder of your work and your concept and allows me to contemplate the plight of those abused many times each day .
    * It is also very much alive and grows green shoots…new life…..
    * People who are abused often cannot ‘think rationally’ post traumatic stress disorder studies demonstrate this as one example.
    * Ginger has many therapeutic functions
    (Although the mechanisms are not well understood) and therefore I see another symbolic association here between the ginger plant as potentially having a role in recovery, regeneration and resurrection. And introducing a different connotation as a result.
    Archna I hope these rather random thoughts may help.
    In conclusion I believe Robert recognises your expertise and wide competence in the field of photography and the arts and in education and is treating you (and I choose that word deliberately) to a high level of critique. Wonderful! And what a debate may result. If by no other measure your beautiful photographs have achieved what all art should in my (very novice) view. That is to stimulate, challenge, intrigue and disturb in equal measure alongside sheer beauty.
    Thank you for these beautiful
    Photographs. In my first response I said I would love to see the series published and exhibited. I still would.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you indeed, Sarah – this is absolutely wonderful! Am so very grateful to you and your husband to have taken the time out of your busy schedule to provide such a detailed feedback. You made me laugh the way you described your husband. I am sure he is as wonderful as you are. 🙂 You have not only put across your thoughts clearly but also initiated a new thought process in my mind – a new life – and that makes me think – that the same ginger can also be used differently and also be used to portray someone who is in rehabilitation and getting a new life. That is very interesting to me. Another point that makes me think is the one that you made about people who are undergoing abuse are in a vegetative state – then in another way, I think it adds to the usage of ginger then?
      I value Robert’s comments as its a different opinion and one that may be shared by others as well. If one person can think that looking at my work, then there is a good possibility that many others will. Another thing that came across with this feedback session is that almost unanimously, without reading the blog accompanying it, people struggled with understanding the images on their own except one or two people. Robert made a valid point by mentioning that my images make sense with text along with like pictures from text exercise. That is a great feedback for me and a good learning that what not to do if you want an image to speak on its own with no need for any text to understand it. Therefore I do agree that without any explanation or accompanying text, I might not be able to pull it off as a stand-alone series captioned “untitled” or I need to reach the stature of some big ass names and then pull it off. haha!!
      Also, it does make one thing clear – that art will always be subjective and there can not be just one way of looking at it. And I think this whole exercise has been wonderful for my growth as you are right – it has invited a lot of thoughts, perceptions, and understandings forward and I am so inspired to do more.
      Please give a big bear hug to your husband for me and thank you so much, Sarah. Am ever so thankful to you for taking this time out.


  2. Hi Archna. Thanks for sharing Robert’s feedback. I think he is a little hung up about using a vegetable objectifies a woman and that may be Western cultural reaction, particularly following Me Too. I can see why you don’t want to show the literal photos of women experiencing abuse. Your approach is more imaginative and creative. One issue about symbols is that the meaning is recognised, so if it is a new symbol (which is what you are essentially doing) then we need to to make the visual association. Would it have helped, for example, if the ginger had been held by a woman in traditional dress? Or if the ginger was placed in a situation with traces of the violence? I’m not saying this what you should have done because I really admire your creativity in this assignment. Rather just reflecting that symbols are important to us all if we are to create photos with meaning, and thinking through how we use them to convey the message. Context is really helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Chris. Sorry for responding so late. Yes, you make sense – it does become difficult to see images without context – but I feel we attempted to do a lot of photo reviews like Laura Letinsky’s work without any context, which in my opinion was open to a lot of interpretations. However, having said, I do agree that in a body of work like mine, It does need an introduction or context although I would not do it with a human figure holding it – then I might as well do it with a human as a subject, which defeats the entire purpose. But thank you for your thoughts, it definitely will make me rethink this.


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