Today I attended a study visit with some of my fellow students in 'An Audience with Tom Hunter' and while I was expecting it to be interesting, I didn't know how thought-provoking it would actually turn out to be!
I was inspired by Tom Hunter because I was able to get an insight into the mindset of a photographer whose work interested me. Probably the biggest impression I walked away with was how he used influences from other art to depict ideas he had in a contemporary world, where the influences were from older times. I liked how remarkably similar and yet different his renditions of these older works of art were, with clever and subtle variations.
Also I was impressed how his photographs and especially some of the models made up of photographs immersed the viewer into another world. He alluded to the idea that photographs are widely accepted to be 'real' compared to paintings, which I hadn't properly considered before and it was possible to see him playing with this in his work. For example the photograph 'After the Party' - T. Hunter, http://www.tomhunter.org/life-and-death-in-hackney/ accessed on 2/3/2013 - takes a beautiful landscape but includes the surreal feature of a man and a mattress (with the man lying in an unorthodox manner on part of the mattress). Because the viewer naturally sees the photograph as being 'real' the effect is to question what the mattress and man are doing there, which I found made me start to look at the photograph in another way.
So overall I felt I learnt a lot, was inspired by the talk and also got to chat to a few of my fellow students, which was a nice bonus!