Thursday, 25 November 2010

Should really do some more landscape photography soon, I miss the solitude and the calming effect.

This photo is by Rodric Breeze, it was on the BBC news website today and was taken in Yorkshire. I miss Yorkshire and the trips to York I used to take when I was 15/16.

Faliures and experimentations

So i tried a new technique yesterday, a Gum Arabic transfer technique. I had tried it previously at a workshop I was helping out at.

Previously I had used a photocopy of a book cover and transferred that on to paper.

This time I used a photocopy of a photograph I had taken, however it completely failed, you can just barely see what I was trying to transfer.

I think the mistake I made was using a low contrast image. The images I had chosen were meant to be low contrast as that adds to their atmosphere. Jeff (print technician) made the point though, that when transferred, they will still have an unusual quality to them, so i can use high contrast images, then when they are transferred they will take on a new, equally creepy quality.

So I am now scanning my images and editing them in Photoshop, ready for another try.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Just another artist, trying to find the meaning of life..

Well I got my feedback from university and am feeling okay about it. This term has been very up and down so it's good all factors taken into account and I think that so far I have made some confident pieces of work and have a lot of directions to advance in.

I am going to note down here the key points in my feedback, so that I can refer back to them when needed.

1. I need to do more research, I need to write about my influences.
2. I need to do more reading, the texts for visual culture should be helpful for this, I would also like to read more English Literature and more texts relating to my practice.
3. I need to stop second guessing myself. I need to stop over thinking things.
4. Use this blog more.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


I found this video really interesting, It's a short documentry, made by Vice Magazine about Aokigahara forest in Japan, which is a popular destination for suicide attempts.

It really makes you contemplate not only why people commit suicide but why do people choose the same place that so many others have chosen before them? Is it a final attempt to connect with society?

In the video the most interesting things he says are that people kill themselves because they can't adapt to society or feel they can't. He also says that the way we live in society today has become more complicated, face to face communication used to be vital but now we can live our lives being online all day. However the thuth of the matter is; we still need to see each others' faces, read their expressions, hear their voices, to co-exist.

What i also find interesting, is that people supposedly kill themselves because they feel they are outcasts, yet even in death we treat them as outcasts. In history they have been buried differently, away from the rest of society. Here in Aokigahara they lay in the woods for months (the woods are only swept for bodies once a year), sometimes they might never be discovered. It is a very different death.

Monday, 15 November 2010


I did a little photojournalism on Wednesday last week. I went to the protest against the rise in tuition fees. I was only at the peaceful part, not at the Millbank centre, however I still like the shots I got on the day.

It's very different being in a protest and walking than seeing it on the news. I didn't even realise how big the protest was until I saw it afterwards.

A few nature shots..

I have always been interested in nature, flora that is. Not so interested in animals. But the plant world, the way that nature seems to slowly and silently grow around us and is so unbelievably beautiful.

Ever since I moved to Hampshire I have noticed the differences with the nature here and the nature of where I am from, the Fenland. We have smaller trees there, less mushrooms, no ferns. Everything is flat. I'm fond of that, because it's familiar. I know it well.

Everything down here seems so big and vibrant, not spindly little hedgerows or trees standing alone in fields and wastelands. Everything here is so.. proud.

Anyway, here are a few shots from Micheldever woods, which is a local woodland I have wanted to see ever since I moved here. It's definitely mushroom season.

I liked how these came out. I used my Yashica FX-3 which is my favourite SLR, of the 5 or so I own. It was the cheapest too and is starting to fall apart. But it takes beautiful shots, with amazing radial blur.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


The video I tried to take of this didn't really work. I need to learn to use video better. I think I may have a small amount of usable footage but not much.

These are the digital pictures of the work, they were challenging for me to take, only because I am not used to taking pictures in the dark, so I was quite experimental with the settings I used etc.

The first picture shows how the installation looks in the light and the second shows it with some light, the 3rd and 4th pictures show it in complete darkness.

I am still waiting for manual pictures, no idea how they will come out.

I plan to do further research into death masks and will be visiting London later this week to go and see a famous one.

I am really interested in the idea of remembering someone, perhaps we do not make death masks now because we have photographs as a way to remember people, in a way death masks were not so strange.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Been very busy, really getting into my work now. Sadly we have a week off coming up next week, right when i was getting going and producing a lot of work.

I am going to Manchester in my week off to see a show by the illustrator of 'The Moomins' and to see a show that one of my lecturers is in. Other than that i don't know what i'll do.

I have been working on making 'death masks'. I plan to do a more thorough post about them soon when i have set up an installation, but for now here are some quick phone snaps of where I am at with the work.

First wax face attempt.

I am currently preparing to make a rubber mould so that i can produce several of the wax faces.

Another process I had the chance to work with is Gum Arabic transfer. I had a quick go with a photocopy from the cover of a library book but will be learning the process properly with the help from the print technician in a couple of weeks time.
I hope to make some ghostly gravestone images using the process.