Initial Proposal

Coventry University BA (Hons) Photography

Working with Photography Practice in Context: 352MC


Student:   Jade Alexander                                             Date: January 2015


A brief description of the project you will be carrying out including the methodology you will undertake, the presentation strategy you aim to employ, and the context for which you intend to create the work.

The connection between place and memory can be a powerful thing. But what happens to the memories when the place has disappeared or become abandoned? There are remnants that the place holds which takes us back in time, to a part of a history that once was. Through this project I aim to photograph at abandoned asylums or hospitals that hold a significant amount of history.

Back in time, asylums would be highly overpopulated due to the lack of knowledge when diagnosing a patient. This lead to an increase in asylums being built, especially across America. However, during the 20th Century the first psychiatric drug was proved to be effective, meaning many patients who were classed as ‘insane’ for most of their life were released. Meaning that many of the asylums became abandoned due to a significant drop in patient numbers.

This was what sparked my idea to photograph at abandoned asylums. I have a keen interest in items or furniture that is left behind in these types of buildings as this could range from wheelchairs, patient beds, records or items of clothing. I want to record a moment in time that can allow others to remember or recollect how the building used to be. Asylums were essentially known to help and keep the patients safe however the way they are now portrayed within movies suggest they are a place where nightmares are created.

I will be using a variety of methods to extend my knowledge and create a deeper understanding about my project and my aims. I will utilise books and online materials to create a stronger theoretical piece of work.

I feel this would be an interesting documentary based project which could look professional if presented within a book. This will allow me to present a variety of images in order to allow the viewer to fully explore the building. I intend to supply the viewer with the history of the location as well as undertaking research to know the layout of the building in order to find which rooms were used for what such as, kitchen, bathrooms, patient rooms etc.


Identify the skills you think you will need to develop, and the resources you envisage being required to enable a successful resolution of your idea within the given time and theme.

I have an interest in the way people can connect to a place or location. Whether it holds a significant personal meaning or if they are engaged visually. I know that there will be difficulties when aiming to produce this project, I know it will be difficult finding an asylum that is still standing as well as getting constant access to the building. It will also consist of me travelling a lot to the location so I may not be able to travel too far. My shoots will have to consist of being on site for a long period of time in order to prevent me having to revisit more times than needed.
Time management has always been a downfall of mine, so in order to make sure I am prepared for the hand in I am to shoot as soon as possible as I have always been one to start shooting later which gives me less time to figure out where I want my project to develop.


Plan how you will use the study time allocated for this Module. This would include dates for tutorials, seminars, workshops, shooting, processing, printing, editing, mounting etc. (You are advised to build in a one-week buffer zone – i.e. have everything ready a week before the deadline, as something always goes wrong..!)

As previously mentioned time management is not one of my strong points, and time always flies by especially when working for such a long period of time on a single project. My aim is to undertake at the start, a small amount of research into artists as well as potential locations to see whether my project can go ahead as I know the difficulties of this project could make or break this before it even begins.


With reference to the Assessment Requirements (see below) and Intended Learning Outcomes for this Module, specify what you intend to achieve by the end of this project and try and summarize what you hope to have learnt. This section should also include a sentence describing how you want your audience to respond to your work – how, ideally it would be appreciated and understood.

By the end of this module I hope to achieved a body of work that I am proud of, a body of work that holds meaning and theory rather than just a visually pleasing body of work. I do not want the viewers to just be engaged by the visually pleasing elements of my work but the history behind it.

Research and Development.

Research is a key practice in order to develop and influence you work which could potentially help bring your entire project together. I will undertake research throughout the module as I know that has my project develops their will be new artists to relate my ideas to.

Remember the Assessment Requirements:

  • A Body of Work appropriately formatted and presented. Produced in relation to the Project Proposal, the creation of The Body of Work should be realized through a rigorous process of critical research and creative experimentation. The final outcome should evidence ability to produce lens-based work of the highest technical quality, conceptual rigor and critical awareness. What constitutes a ‘Body of Work’ is purposefully defined loosely here. This should be self-determined in consultation with the module tutors and be concretely addressed in the Project Proposal. For example, it may be a series of 20 images, a video-work, or a sound and image installation. Whatever form the Body of Work takes, it should be conceptually resonant with the topic explored and represented in the work.
  • Evidence of Research and Development, a Blog Booker summary of your blog, along with a paper copy and a digital copy of your updated Project Proposal. This should clearly illustrate the development of your strategy for making work and the research, development and experimentation underpinning it. The Research and Development may be comprised of blog entries, workbook, contact sheets, work-prints, tests etc.
  • A Reflective Report no longer than 800 words. Through this piece of writing, the strengths and weaknesses of the methods used to create the final work should be considered. In addition, this critical analysis should consider how the work may function within the context(s) it was created for and how it relates to contemporary photographic practice. The development of this piece of writing should evolve through consultation with the module tutors. Draft and redraft, and bring these drafts to tutorials for feedback.

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