In these self portraits, the solid black mask does not appear as sinister as it did in the first shoot using it. The mask adds an element of loneliness to these images in my opinion. This is especially true for figure 3, where the lone figure in the lecture hall strikes a chord with me. As a distance learner, it oftens feels like I am alone in this journey, although I am not. These images reflect how I feel sometimes on the course. Figures 2 and 3 are more successful than figure 1, which doesn’t really work for me due to my poor positioning of myself (rather tricky in the solid mask).
Figure 2 is most intriguing. The angle of the shot, the direct stare at the lens, and my location in the shot add to the overall effect. The image represents the hard work and motivation needed to complete the MA remotely. Learning away from an academic centre requires resilience, commitment, and hard work. You need to be dedicated and will often work long hours to achieve your very best. You build online relationships with peers and support each other’s learning.
Figure 3 represents the isolation that distance learners can feel.
Figure 1: Sutherst. Lecturer. 2018
Figure 2: Sutherst. Dedication of the Distance Learner. 2018
Figure 3: Sutherst. Loneliness of the Distance Learner. 2018