How does identity influence creative photography

Pericleous Kesta, Eleni (2020) How does identity influence creative photography. Masters thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The purpose of this research project was to explore the origins of the photographer’s identity and how this is evidenced in his/her photographic work. The findings and conclusions derived from this examination were assessed in terms of their relevance and value for photography in education in order to contribute to an innovative theoretical approach for reading, understanding and analysing a photograph.

The study’s aim has been to identify significant connections between the photographer’s identity and his/her photographic work and develop an innovative framework based on teaching photography as an art form comparable to Fine Art. Finally, it merged the two fields of my interest in teaching and practicing photography in a multi-phase action based experience.

In order to build on an innovative approach to the teaching of photography, this study drew on several theories, concepts and ideas related to philosophy and the theoretical analysis of photography within current discourses. The results illuminated that there is no literature review on the relation of photography with the artist’s identity in analysing a photograph either in English or Greek sources.

This art and education research process was conducted under the practice-based methodology of A/r/tography. Through this methodology I was implicated in three different roles, those of the artist, the researcher and the teacher, and linked them with their actual function within the project process (Irwin, 2006). As an artist I observed the participants’ actions, behaviours and situations within their environment and private space and gathered information about their real life experiences and knowledge that constructed their identity and influenced their creative work. As a researcher I collected all the necessary material from literature review as well as the participants’ real life and work settings. Finally, my role as a researcher-teacher was to analyse and evaluate the findings and come to the conclusion of the approach for teaching photography to the students.

As a part of the research, eight contemporary photographers (including the self-agent) were interviewed. The sample comprised of four Cypriot and four Greek professional photographers. I was the only participant who was also a teacher. All participants were selected after evaluating the evidence of their identity in their personal work. During evaluation I considered any information about the artists that suggested any influence of their identity in their images.

The findings of the participants’ interviews linked and correlated with the literature review filled the scholarly gap about the construction of identity and its influence on the photographer’s inspiration and creative work. This new line of thought suggested a need to revise the syllabus in photography education not only to the basic principles of photography but also to reading, understanding and analysing a photograph. This awareness has led to an innovative framework for teaching photography.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education
B. > Theses
A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 29909
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 19:20
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 04:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/29909

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