CAN Exercise 2.4 Personally Driven Work

We were offered three case studies showing work of Level 3 OCA students. All pieces use metaphor to portray ideas.

  • Peter Mansell
  • Dewald Botha – Ring Road
  • Jodie Taylor – Memories of Childhood


All three of these projects are examples of personal driven work but they become universal when we can relate to the feelings they present by visiting our own personal histories.

  • Which of these projects resonate most with you and why?
  • How do you feel about the loss of authorial control that comes with a view of projects that own experiences and emotions onto the images you created?

Peter Mansell

Peter’s project resonates with me because of the personal nature of the project. The images are more visually appealing to me than the other two projects, which feel somewhat cold and impersonal.

I relate to the comments regarding his development as a photographer. Like Peter, I used to see photographs as a visual spectacle and photography in terms of its technical proficiency. More lenses, please!

He is further along on his journey than me, but I do feel I have begun to think of photography as a visual language. I certainly share Peter’s desire to speak visually about the things that are important to me.

Finally, I relate to his comments about setting timescales that allow for experimentation and serendipity.

How do I feel about the loss of authorial control?

Producing metaphorical photographs allowing room for interpretation is a choice on the part of the photographer. If the loss of authorial control is problematical, then produce images in a documentary style. However, that style may leave less scope for reflection.

The act of producing metaphorical photographs surely requires a non-authorial mindset? After all, the point of metaphorical images is to encourage contemplation and interpretation.

For the artist, it is exciting and flattering when somebody takes time to study an image. It is interesting to receive feedback and alternative interpretations. But of course, who would not feel pleased if the viewer understands the original concept of the images.


Mansell, P. (2013). My Country. [image] Available at: [Accessed 3 Nov. 2019].

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