Student Story: Jane Weinmann
I’ve just reached the end of my degree in Photography with the OCA and am excitedly waiting for the final results. As a well-trained student, it’s time for that one last reflection and a look back at where I came from.
When I started out on my degree a long time ago, I was always a bit perplexed by the question of personal style and the apparent need to develop one. Now at the end of my degree, I know what defines my
work and can confidently talk about this. I’ve developed a conceptual practice that explores photography as a way to visually represent the hidden feelings and emotions associated with life events, especially those that affect women. And it’s all down to what I’ve learned and experimented with during my studies.
My degree culminated in the publication of my major project, “The Climacteric” – a body of work that explores the period in a woman’s life around the menopause. Although usually a natural event, it can also be an emotional and physically challenging time. As I started to experience this myself (I am a very mature student),
I realised that talking about what the menopause means is not always easy – especially for example, at work. The challenge I set myself, therefore, was to create a body of work that would encourage conversation and trigger a deeper understanding.
A traditional exhibition was never my number one priority and, in this sense, I was less affected by the ongoing COVID situation. I created a virtual exhibition and website to showcase the work but my main focus was an outreach and awareness campaign via social media and an educational talk which took place during world menopause month.
‘Sustaining Your Practice’ my final course, was all about learning to engage with audiences and being confident in your
work and practice. Who’d have thought that I would end up with three honorable mentions in the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards? I don’t think I would have even tried had it not been for the OCA – thank you!