FUCHSIA. James Bellorini, 24th July 2020

In the grand scheme of things an MA Final Major Project is of minimal significance. It won’t make a huge amount of difference to the world. But for me it is hugely important (possibly too much) and this past week has been extremely challenging. Kind of frightening in it’s own way.

All the growth ‘seeds’ of the Modules are falling away. The radical re-evaluation of my project proposal, in response to discussion with my tutor a few weeks ago, have thrown me into a whirlwind of thought and redirection.

I’ve noticed across the board in this FMP period so far that there’s no response to the work as it stands. No gut reaction to it from peers and viewers. And I’m all about gut reaction – that’s frequently where the truth lies. This has led me to doubt the work and wonder if it is speaking at all. My biggest fear is that it is simply boring.

Consequently, I feel like I no longer know if the project and the work has life. Am I moving in the right direction? I make work and almost immediately dismiss it. No longer knowing if it has value to the project. I am flailing and trying to work out what is going on. I’m led to look starkly at it and assume it’s NOT working. I know I’m capable of making strong work. But is my approach across the project too diverse? Lacking in depth? I really don’t know and finding it difficult to be objective in any way.

FUCHSIA. James Bellorini, 24th July 2020.

More questions:

Do I need to rethink my aesthetic approach? I think the theme of the project remains strong and important to me and the people who have been involved. It has a lot of life and meaning. But the way the work is being made: perhaps that isn’t helping me?

Then, how can I expect people to ‘get’ the work if I don’t know how to communicate it? I’m worried that I’m not discovering a unified voice/vision for the project. I’m really running hard into that awareness right now. Especially as the aim of the FMP is to create a clear project output. Also preparing a portfolio of work for the Falmouth University LANDINGS 2020 exhibition this week has reinforced this for me. I see how close to a strong vision many of my peers have stuck to and that has highlighted my shortcomings.

Have I cast my approach too wide in terms of disciplines (portraiture, still-life etc)? Am I paying the price for that decision?

So, what do I do? Take more risks? Challenge myself more? Change my approach entirely? Or is this just a desperate response that isn’t helpful?

How do I get myself out of this? How do I learn to find either a new way forward or to bed into the value of what I am doing irrespective of expectation? To accept that I’m not ever going to be outstanding as a photographer. That’s a challenge for me as I always had high ambitions for myself and my work. Maybe this journey will show me that I have to overcome ego and stay in the realm of humility always. That success is only ever personal.

Maybe that’s the issue? That I am not being true to myself in the work? And even if I were, would I know what that looked like? I ‘boundary hop’ in my work, crossing disciplines, because I can’t sit still in one of them.