These 15 images form my panel for Associateship the Royal Photographic Society. Regarding Associateship, the Society’s website states: “The second level of The Society’s Distinctions is the Associateship – a significant step up from Licentiateship. While in the Licentiateship we are looking for basic competence and skill, to be successful at Associateship level you need to demonstrate a high standard of technical competence as well as provide evidence of creative ability and the development of personal style. You also need to be able to show that you are in complete control of technical aspects which allows you to produce quality which is entirely ‘Fit for purpose’ i.e. suits the subject.”
Applicants are also required to submit a Statement of Intent: “A statement of not more than 150 words outlining the purpose, objectives or intent of the work. This gives you the opportunity to tell the Panel about your work and explain why you took the images and what you want them to convey; it also enables the Panel to consider your work in a meaningful context. It should not describe the images or give technical details, unless you wish to highlight any special or unusual techniques employed.”
Statement of Intent : “Left Behind”
Abandoned buildings and the objects within them are the most fascinating of photographic subjects, one that will always engage my attention and utmost respect as a photographer. When the people leave a building for the last time, what remains of their possessions is poignant and at the same time heart-breaking. Mundane everyday items still imprinted with the memory of their old owners – Bond Street shoes for a tiny feminine foot, bottles of pills well past their “use by” date, a typewriter on which someone may have written their magnum opus, even the casualties of abandonment such as the butterfly that flew in unawares to become forever trapped in thick spider-webs – and always, everywhere, so many varieties of chairs. These treasures left behind deserve to be photographed as still life portraits, and turned into modern works of art that are altogether more sublime, because for me, there really is beauty in decay.
Tomorrow (Thursday 16th June) I am driving to Bath to present my panel to the RPS – wish me luck!
Update @ 16th June:
Very very pleased to announce that I was successful in attaining ARPS, with a unanimous vote from all five judges 🙂
A Bit More Detail @ 29th June
This was a very nerve-wracking experience as ALL nine of the panels up before mine were not passed – some for technical reasons (printer banding, artifacts, over-sharpening, blown out highlights and the like), some for repetition of subject, some because although there were a number of ‘A’ standard images within the panel there were others which were weaker and therefore not yet fully up to the standard required. It must have been terribly disappointing for those people there whose panels were failed, and I was fully prepared to be equally gutted because the standard was so incredibly high and the judges were being justifiably tough, so imagine my relief when it was announced that I had passed! One of the criticisms of my panel was what could be interpreted as repetition by using so many different chairs, but the judge in question felt that there was sufficient visual interest in the different scene for this not to be a problem. Other comments were: careful selection, good seeing to tell the story and find traces of humanity, wonderfully surreal touches (such as the air freshener next to the TV), the addition of document overlays was liked, creativity in the way the images were selected and processing of the prints. The mount colour (black with a cream bevel) was not liked by another judge but again not felt to be an issue, he said it was fantastic, all of the images “really good”, he loved the handling of textures which added another element to make them more interesting, composition excellent, and finished with “definitely gets my vote, it’s a lovely panel”.
Received my certificate and badge in the post the other day, and now that the former is in a gold frame on the wall next to my desk, it is finally sinking in that I am now Viveca Koh ARPS 🙂