Notes on assignment 4 from the Thames Valley Group

This last week has been very busy and I am only now able to site down and consider the feedback I received on my proposal for assignment 4. I explained the background to the images, my idea of matching them with snippets of old music hall songs. The general consensus was that the story was “tragic” and I might be minimising the shocking effect that having to move out at very short notice to places they were totally unfamiliar with must have had on the care home residents. We agreed that the overall effect should steer well clear of any suggestion of tweeness.

It was suggested that the Artist’s Statement might be all that is needed to accompany the images, and that it should be sufficiently informative to enable the viewer to consider what life at the home might have been before its sudden closure. I think it is time to return to my search for any formal documentation about the care home closure and why it failed its quality assessment so badly that everyone had to be moved out immediately.

Aside from my own work, the was the busiest group meeting I have attended with 15 participants, so the whole day was given over to looking at student’s work. A proper write-up of the day can be seen on the OCASA site at



2 thoughts on “Notes on assignment 4 from the Thames Valley Group

  1. Catherine

    Your photographs were very evocative for me and I think you can do a lot with them as a metaphor for how the vulnerable elderly are treated if you choose to go that way. I thought your prints were really good quality as well.
    I have a personal interest because I used to assess Residential Care Managers who were studying for management qualifications.
    I’ve emailed you as well Holly.


  2. Kate

    This is such interesting and important work Holly, I look forward to seeing what you learn. I think this is where text can add such value, moving the work from interesting urbex to socially relevant and something that has certainly made me think about the care we provide for our elders. One thing that I keep wondering, and can’t answer, is “How would my interpretation differ if the home hadn’t failed its inspection and had closed for some other reason?” In some ways it’s a rhetorical question – if all had been well then the home probably wouldn’t have closed and we’d never know. But I think decay and decline would happen equally to both a well-run and poorly-run home; seeing the decay now is not necessarily a direct consequence of poor practice over a decade ago (at the risk of stating the obvious). I think this is why your plan to collect historical information is such a good idea because it will anchor the work in fact. Something about this type of work sends my imagination all over the place, so context helps with increasing its credibility and power.



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