Surface

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The workshop introduced us to the concept of tactile work; we learnt viewing things from a different perspective such as a sense of touch, the texture, antonyms, the depth involved and the layers that could be used. The workshop enlightened us in ways of creating increased depth in the image and helping to add a more physical aspects to the image which can provide added meaning, especially when the image alone may not fully represent exactly what is required, adding a texture can make the image more of a mono print or obscure the structure of the image adding detail and providing increased information to enable a better grasp of the concept.

I was most interested in trying out transferring prints in this workshop as it fascinated me and I wanted to try it myself. I found the time working on the print very interesting as it enabled me to familiarise myself with the printer and learn new techniques especially as I was using a new material for the first time. Once the print had finished I was shown how to iron it and to get successful prints which came as a pleasant surprise, I also found the most important aspect was the invaluable gathering of information, however, if I were to use the technique again I would need to use a hot press in order the achieve the best results, the size of the table used to iron was also affecting the ability to successfully transfer the image. The size impacted on making the surface uneven so it had a white match on the image. I decided to embroider the print as I had a lot of extra time waiting for my transfer print and so I began to embroider an image without a direct goal or any real idea that I thought added to the original image.

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I decided to combined the skills that I learnt in both parts of the workshop and embroidered my transfer print as there was a section that I felt needed to help to unifying the image or to add a main  focus. I decided that I wanted a new main focus as the image was cropped and it lost its compositional features.

I felt inspired by Pink Floyd – Animals, I decided to embroider a flying pig to provide a sense of juxtaposition, this I used to enhance a flat image that can let the eye drift away from the one dimensional image, I felt the colours may compete with each other even though it’s very picturesquely scenic.

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I also liked the fact that my image was very beautiful whereas the album cover of Animals has a very industrial environment, this of course is used to represent the idea of the album highlighting the discontent with the government at the time which by choosing the industrial scenery it, provides a back drop of mechanised uniformity. I over cropped my image sadly, it detracted from the image I wished to convey, in essence it lost the profound depth that I had wished to portray.  I used the motif to explore or highlight a sense of humour which is why I felt the pig was a good placement choice. I also decided to make it into a cushion by adding some padding.

I plan to use this method in my project as I would like to make a bed from transfer prints, I want to print text from all the comments I got from telling people that I have Lymphoma, this will represent a difficult subject to portray, but it’s comforting for me, I especially like the use of a bed to represent the indication in which a great deal of time is spent. Illustrating an inability to move associated with pain, although you are unable to sleep feeling wholly uncomfortable and fatigued, you begin to stagnate similarly representing how you became impervious to the continued comments.

Some of the Artists that I felt inspired by and would like to use for artist research, this includes…

Film Strips Material – Bill Morrison

Sculptural Forms – Robert Heinecken, Victor Burgin, WaleadBeshty, Thomas Hudson, Freudenthal / Verhagen, David Prifiiti

Layered Surfaces -Cathrrine Yass

Photographed Surfaces – Martina Mullaney

X-Ray – Nick Veasey

Infra-red – Richard Mosse, Thomas Ruff,

Colour & Surface -Danny Tracey, Susan Meiselas

Alterative Surfaces – Thomas Mailaender

Photograms and Liquid light

17274868_10211227210573714_252560923_nWe had a workshop on how to put liquid light onto any surface that we chose, the outcome was extraordinary as we were physically able to watch as the photograph develops using the brushes you could physically see the texture of the brushstrokes developing. It intrigued me to develop ideas based around liquid light as I really liked the effect it gave, the scale you could use, however I feel that it could be quite restricting due to the limitation that it can only be used in black-and-white imagery unless you tone it, for example:  sepia tone, I wished to incorporate photographs of fire for my project using this technique, however I found out that the only way to help maintain the look of fire would be to utilise cooper tones. I think could be very interesting to learn how to tone the liquid light but also to coat the surface that I want to put the liquid light onto, for instance a 30 cm roll top bath tub.

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Photograms I found extremely interesting especially as it’s a most basic form of photography, literally placing objects onto photographic paper and allowing the light to change the colour tones by simply leaving the objects white where it hasn’t been exposed by the light. The silhouettes of objects became very beautiful. The images can be very abstract to view and keep you guessing what the object may be. I love the fact that it is also has a relationship or inter- connectedness with time as they will gradually fade away, they are very mono-chromatic and cannot be fixed nor can they be exactly recreated which is why I like this technique, it is very experimental and you can create beautiful imagery.

Silk Screen

17274750_10211227210493712_803119921_nWe learn how to make silkscreens and also how to print with them using different materials, it is however, and necessary for the material to be a coated with a polymer. This I found very interesting and it encouraged me in many varied ways to be creative, it became apparent that there were numerous ideas and images that can be accomplished through this method. I found it very fascinating to watch the photographic emulsion bond when it is exposed over an acetate image. I thoroughly enjoyed the more hands-on approach to printing in this method especially as every print feels very unique.  I love the idea that they cannot be replicated it can however, create issues if you’re using photographs with typography as they all have different and unique issues which could potentially be a set narrative. I would have hoped to use this method to make the cover for my bed however I feel that as the results can be too unpredictable, I feel that this potentially may not be the best method but I would like to attempt this method. We also tried a second transfer printing method which I thoroughly enjoyed as it is very simplistic but the results are beautifully vivid which I felt could give me an alternative option for my bed theme. Potentially too I could use this for my decorative bath tubs, essentially, what I want to create is a visual piece to embellish these items so that they enhance my project.

Archive

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Our workshop demonstrating how to use large format cameras was extremely interesting, informative and enabled me to gain a better insight into the function of the camera. I particularly liked the fact that you can change the camera’s tilt shift to change the perspective while you’re photographing architecture.  I very much liked the way that you can concentrate upon a particular frame and ensure that the image is exactly the one you desire. This process uses all of your photographic skills and avoids the need to take a wide selection of inferior shots. The process, though it can be very procedural in its nature it can also be extremely fun filled and the outcome is exceptional as the fine details are better especially, as there has never been an identified need to improve it. I found the large format cameras interesting to set up and use though they can be complex t initially, but once established they are comprehensive in their use. I would love to use a large format camera in this project or perhaps a subsequent one as the potential outcome could be tremendous particularly compared to anything else I’ve tried before.

Document Data Workshop

We had a fantastic lecture of how to use documented data, and how its use can be incorporated in new ways for use in photography I found this to be most fascinating, I found the ideas inspiring and highlighted how people overcome obstacles to make intriguing concepts work in contemporary photography. Rarely people are able to look at a potential subject matter and formulate a unique and fascinating image or interesting feature that inspires and excites simultaneously. This ability is profoundly inspirational and prompts you want to build your own stories within that work frame but it also inspires you to adopt similar concepts within your own work. In the workshop we were set a task in which to use one or more photographer’s work to inspire us to create some ideas in our own projects, we set off in groups and we decided to photograph people in the cafeteria buying their lunch, we tried to create a narrative of the person inspired by what they’re wearing or what they were eating or how they’ve styled themselves that particular day.

We took a photograph every five minutes, fifty minutes as a total of ten images and when we came  to the editing of the photographs we decided to change the concept to swatches of lunch as the colours they were wearing became a strong element in the images and we decided to modify the images with Photoshop to take snippets of their clothing colours and make four boxes on the right side of the image to identify a narrative which could also suggest their style and coordination which could create a story about them or just  their morning for example (if they were in a rush). If we had more time we would have observed a more detailed character profile, identified characteristics and depict a story based on the visuals we had studied. I feel we could then adopt generalisation and judgments to emulate how society forms opinions with very little stimulation or detail.  The lack of interaction enhanced the notion of first impressions creating nonfactual opinions. We simply took the photographs so that we were identifying stereotypes by their aesthetic.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the work of my peers they had very interesting concepts. One idea I especially liked where they had used Google maps and taken screenshots of all the rivers and waterways that lead into the sea across England we make the observation that this resembled the circulatory system, the estuaries appeared like arteries and veins. We were given the task of taking another peer’s work and changing their concept. My first thought was to make their work into a human heart this was achieved by changing the colours of the land and river to blue and red just like a human heart with oxygenated and non oxygenated blood altering the colour hues, we rotated the images and used a template of the human heart to help us identify where the many veins and arteries reside in the heart. The idea of the heart resonated with me as a heart pumps blood around the body; constantly moving liquid just like a river/sea has a continuous flow especially when the tides change. I also liked the romantic aspect the heart is perceived as the generator of emotions especially as a river or the sea is also perceived as a romantic place for lovers and yet when it is merged it’s like being in a huge complex network, terminating in the heart, the concept draws very similar allusions. I devised this concept due to my individual requirement and researched to find some music about lymphoma and its symptoms there is a quote on the Lymphoma association’s site about how cancer feels like you’ve been dropped into the sea without a life jacket alluding to the idea that the sea was like the blood circulating). The idea of the heart coincided with the idea of my “Picc “line which is inserted into a main vein and terminates in my heart. If we had more time on this project (as we was only given half an hour) to change the concept then we would have created a GIF and added the sound of the beating heart.

Time

The workshop was based around filming processes to enable us to build our knowledge base. The process of time as a concept and how time can be incorporated into photography and be used as a medium to be worked in, we were shown different ways to add meaning or how to use the camera to change what can be seen, how to focus on aspects to make the picture more interesting. The changes will enhance the image to avoid repetition. This could include shifting the focal point to a different part in the frame. It could be focusing on other people in the frame, for example: when the character is the main focal point of the image and is depicted as part of the conversation. We learnt about the concept of ‘close-up’ work which is to draw attention to detail. We learnt about tracking, which enables us to keep up with the characters, as they evolve as well as keeping the necessary detail. We learnt about the uses of slow motion and capturing detail, although it may be quite a mundane image at the normal frame rate. We learnt about time-lapse and the uses it can be utilised in. We were shown how we can help make sense of a long duration in a short period of time.

We found out about using different frames and the rationale behind their usefulness. We learnt about multiple screens and how to draw more attention to the frame. Looped filmed can be used for repetition. The composition and lighting can help bring the audience’s attention into the main focus without employing a shallow depth of field, we discussed the lighting and how it can help change the atmosphere, and how it can be altered according to the application pertaining to the genre. Colour is also an extremely effective way to create atmosphere, gain structure and personality. We also learnt about transitions, using audio and the imperative use of planning for every section.

We experienced how to use the Canon 5D Mark II-III to shoot film and apply settings on 1920-30- ALI, with a shutter speed of 50, use 160 increments to increase the ISO use Manual settings and also shoot an increased amount, the use of transitions was illustrated and we were prompted to ask for permission while shooting.

For our video we decided that we wanted a juxtaposition between people walking up and down the stairs and the sound of the lift. We took lots of shots of the stairs and the movement upon it and we selected a multitude of different angles so that it wouldn’t become dull and uninspiring. We incorporated many varied styles, so this would prevent repetition, the shoot enabled us to exemplify the shift of focus from the front of the stairs to the top, we also recorded the sound of the lift in motion this was because we wanted to merge this together but unfortunately we found that the audio wasn’t compatible when we tried to edit the footage and merge it together.

The video started with one of us walking up the stairs with a high contrast filter overlaid. We decided to spilt screen the frame so we could have the angle with a different person walking up the stairs simultaneously. We then decided to invert the shot to make it look more daunting. We then decided to use non-absolve transition to capture both frames, visualising the two together merging the image and rotating it to the original position. We then used the crossfade transition to merge the frames together, we chose a frame that was used twice in order to reverse the footage; this gave the impression that they were moving backwards. The stairs were then shown fading to black. I felt that this was a successful workshop as I learnt many new skills, working with video and video editing. I do however know that I may not use this medium in my final outcome for the project, unless it adds an alternative way of viewing my proposed project and I feel will enhance the concept.

Uncertainty Evaluation

The concept I choose for Beyond Photography is something that is very personal to me. I felt I needed to express the importance of a supportive network. It maybe personal to me but is not unique in the support of all people affected by the disease. I felt I should raise awareness of the disease. “Experience is about responsibility. Having an experience is taking part in the world. Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.”  Cited by Olafur Eliasson. Olafur Eliasson makes me question why I have chosen the subject but on my journey through this Beyond Photography project, I found Eliasson to be the most inspiring, perhaps in a multitude of different ways. “Does it matter if I am in the world or not?” The concept of Ellisson’s work greatly resonates with me as it made me realise why I felt inspired to create this project. This is not something that just affects me, I feel that I should teach people with the insight I have gained, which subsequently gives me the experience and foresight to educate them about this disease, thus bringing greater awareness of the disease but also for the viewer to take what they want from the work. I feel this concept was the right choice for me in the field of Beyond Photography, as it could be part of a self-healing enterprise but also to feel I am able to help others to feel inspired with my photographic practice subject.

I’ve been able to use all the skills I’ve learnt in the practical workshops and have incorporated them into this project. The theory taught in the lectures has been an excellent resource to help guide me with the understanding and increased knowledge base, it has taught me how and why hybridity is used in photography and in doing something personal to me I have found ways of exploring new hybrid forms. It has helped me learn other ways to utilise this feature in my future projects, I feel this is very successful and provided a steep learning curve.

This project may be hard to comprehend without the underpinning of experience, but it is not something that has a cultural barrier it is universally a disease with global statistics. The majority of people are affected by some form of cancer and therefore this project can be quite distressing for some viewers, therefore the emphasis has to appear abstract and minimal for the audience, so that they are empathetic, though perhaps as a consequence they feel a distant sympathy. This may provoke feelings that effect their own individual lives.

As the project is personal to me because it affected me on a unique level, I feel that the project has successfully evolved from the concept I originally planned, the proposed ideas, and how I was going to execute the finished result, however it transpired that I had planned far too much and was overly elaborate in the time available to me. I therefore had to re-evaluate the plans on the vast majority of ideas I had proposed. In the beginning I thought perhaps this would limit the project’s creativity and it would lose the depth that I had hoped, however I realised that a minimalistic approach is far superior to thousands of ideas, therefore in simplifying the idea it can deliver a stronger projected impression.

I researched the project extensively and managed to establish the underpinning of the concept but the majority of ideas I did not explore, as they were superfluous. One of the things that originally inspired me was a rapper who made a song about his lymphoma; other ideas were the stories of lymphoma patients, the symptoms of the disease, drawing links to other illnesses that have similar issues. I also looked at many artists but they ended up being unused as they didn’t fit the final outcome for concept execution. Much of the research I found from artists; in books, the Internet or TV programmes. I found that the vast majority of the artists I looked at really resonated with my personal experiences or displayed similar thoughts and feelings, this provided inspiration and a supportive mechanism, therefore supporting my practice tremendously. I first drew inspiration from journals of people who suffered with the disease, immediately, I begun to be strongly influenced by the research, this prompted me to look at other artists which subsequently provoked a different response in me this eventually helped to support my creativity and made me look at other methods that perhaps developed my concept and eventually changed the outcome of this project.

I had a very methodical plan in which to achieve this project but unfortunately due to personal changes and progression of my disease, the planned ideas became interrupted at times, but I found that, on reflection this time lapse actually helped, allowing me time to realise the shortfalls in my concept for the project and investigate other means to achieve them that, in fact, proved to be more fluid and cohesive. I found the delay was fruitful and I felt it was pertinent to use to my advantage. This provided the means to execute much of the ideas.

I was able to use many work ethics to achieve this project and I was actually able to be more hands-on with creativity, this naturally helped fuel the energy to look at alternative methods of how best to achieve the outcome. During this time I spoke to many peers who helped me through this project, inviting new perceptive and challenging my ideas, thus inspiring the need look at alternative methods, these took the form of either personal conversations or tutorials, at times this helped enormously in sparking new ideas and even though most of the ideas were never utilised they provided a formal pathway to the eventual outcome that told my story. I did several test shoots until I found the best method for this project these included; eight hour exposures on an analogue camera (similar to Martin Newth’s work) however there was hardly anything visible on the filmstrip and so I abandoned this plan and looked into digital practice, also attempting eight hour long exposures. I found that the digital camera’s battery life terminated after just three hours and therefore this wasn’t the best method to use, two reasons became apparent; it picked up far too much digital noise on the frame which appeared red and I didn’t feel this would benefit the project so I had to look at an alternative method to create less noise but provide just as much impact as an exposure throughout the night.

I looked at Francesca Woodman’s work and I felt inspired as it provided me with the eventual idea of how I could achieve this. This resulted in a minute long exposure using two blankets and a very small ring light under one of the blankets, I tried rotating and moving the light around for a minute and moving my body concurrently under the other blanket until I created the desired effects. I spent quite a lot of time experimenting with different outcomes photographically, which I felt achieved the desired outcome. I looked into many different colour spectrums and methods to use colour for example; solarisation, in this aspect I felt strongly inspired by the work of Catherine Yass. I feel that the outcome I achieved was potent enough to draw attention to both the danger and the coldness of fear.

The transfer prints on to the bed sheets proved to be time consuming, I had to use a lot of trial and error in order to achieve the outcome, and the materials used didn’t appear to be working as effectively as I had hoped. It appeared that the hot press was too hot and therefore this would change the colour balance on the prints and therefore this resulted in me using an iron to achieve the end result, even though the images still had a slightly green hue to them. I had to explore many methods for the best outcome for my miniature bath tub idea as it seemed to be a challenge and proved to be infeasible, especially in the proposed timeframe, therefore I had to resort to using a projector however I feel this achieved the best outcome for the purpose I had chosen.

I used visual language to tell the story but I also feel that the viewer would need to do their own research as this should provide a train of thought and processing of ideas that I hope will prompt or encourage investigation of the disease. I provided contextual language to reinforce the message I was trying to convey to be informative to the audience, a text format established a means to enable the visuals to be greatly emphasised and impactful, this style was inspired by the work of Ron Mueck.  I looked at many inspiring artists, books and attended lectures l found this very helpful and informative, it increased my knowledge base and my knowledge of why in contemporary practice it is highly important to understand the use of hybridity.

I am pleased with the outcome of the project, as it achieved my main objectives, it has included many hidden metaphors that relate to me personally or sufferers of the same disease. I have used traditionally obvious metaphors that are easily interpreted therefore, I feel I’m satisfied with what has been achieved. I feel happy with the place where my work will be exhibited. The placement and location, the dilapidated environment helped me to achieve the metaphoric suggestion I wanted to be in the correct manner of execution. I deployed all the adjustments that were required, I felt many aspects were ultimately out of my control due to changes in my health; however these alterations would only be minor and would mainly focus on more background text to underpin the visuals of my project. I was unable to explain my work to viewers as I was unable to attend the exhibition. I have many things I would subsequently like to explore, perhaps look at new materials, printing processes but keeping the idea of transfer prints, maybe try new transfer paper or experimenting with different temperatures so that I could have the correct colour balance in the images when printed.

Uncertainty Concept

The concept for this project is to encapsulate a simulation of symptoms linked to lymphoma; this will be my own personal story but relatable as the symptoms are universally recognisable with the disease database. The project will be called uncertainty, it will be a collection of metaphors which will use combined multimedia as it will embrace the senses, this will ultimately create an unlimited depth in which you gain a sense of empathy, I hope that in order to feel part of the experience and become intrigued by what it entails, I hope you will want to gain understanding and then that will engage a degree of your comprehension. I am trying to give greater awareness to this disease and provide a sense of enlightenment and hopefulness.

I would first like to experiment with liquid light or mould a photograph within an acrylic bath tub. My photography could also become part of a projection onto object such as a bath, the idea is to simulate the effects of water, with the use of flickering coloured lights. The effect will be enhanced by lighting the base of the bath tub to create the illusion of fire. This should represent a multitude of different meanings, the audience can interpret this individually but the message I wish to convey is very much the essence of my simulation of lymphoma. The fire like appearance would represent the burning/crawling sensation felt when itching. I almost used to wish I’d be able to bath in lava so that I couldn’t feel it anymore, as my skin would start to burn, but at least it relieved the symptom for a few minutes. If projection is the idea I choose, then I believe a photograph of myself in the bath whilst looking distressed, relentlessly scratching myself will illustrate the story in its most obvious graphic form. I would perhaps also like to display flickering candles to simulate a fire like experience and perhaps the fan I will use will be suggestive of speed and the rapid onset of the symptoms and hopefully represent the intensity of the symptom as it gets stronger with increased dominance, eventually becoming unmanageable.

I want to make a real life sized bed. The use of a bed will present ‘sleeping’ although insomnia is characteristic of the disease and is representative of permanent fatigue. This can be caused not only by sleep deprivation but is a general symptom of the disease. A bed also represents somewhere the worst itching took place. I would like to incorporate this concept by using felt as it has a rough texture but is also a texture which literally made my skin crawl during the disease process. I have found any form of wool irritated my skin at the time but if this texture doesn’t work, when printed upon, I will look at alternatives like cotton.

I want to photograph three images that represent the main feelings I felt: firstly an out of bodily experience, as I felt out of control of my body, the disease is dominating and determined, at the time the disease made me feel almost like a monster without any power, mainly from the continuous itching.

I want to comment and depict the coldness of emotion that I felt from others and I will suggest this through the colours used in my photographs. I would like small sections of my body to be visible to give a minimal ‘hardly there illusion ’, this will represent an almost inhuman nonchalance. I want to create a ghostly ambience, a feeling of structured facets, cross layering by the use of blankets in long exposures, the rotation of light through the blankets I will display hues of blues and reds, and this will represent a sense of danger and coldness induced by fear. I want the three photographs I create to simulate all the abundant feelings and place them stegically on the folded sheet, emulating the strict formal way in which they would be folded on a hospital bed.

I want to simulate links to hospital bed as a hospital bed represents somewhere you can spend a lot of time as the cancer progresses and you become increasingly disease ridden or ill.

If I was to print onto white cotton sheets, this would be most like a hospital bed; cotton will also lose less detail. I want to simulate the way that the hospital bed would be precisely made and also perhaps use a hospital blanket as it is both rough to touch but also make it look most realistic as a hospital bed.

The pillows shall have images of my grandmother (thus using the transfer print method on all the images printed on to the bedding) as I believed there was a link between the two blood cancers. This belief was dispelled when I was first diagnosed, as I later realised it wasn’t inherited through my family and in fact has not got any link, as this is a personal story I wanted to include this as I often get comments by my family members that I look most like my Nan, my Nan is also one of my biggest role models in life. This link shall also combine archived photographs.

I would like the work to look hyper realistic, as it will categorically simulate the experience in the way that I personally felt it. I will alter the perspective of some of the realistic objects so that they will be a focal point drawing attention and seen to be part of the many underlying metaphors. By having some life-size objects, I hope to create obstacles in the way in which they can represent part of the illness but almost create a maze and ultimately stopping you getting too close but if you chose you’re still able to achieve your objective, much like how the support mechanisms (family and friends) can feel at times when watching the disease sufferer. I want to deploy a heater near the bed to represent the night sweats I had when trying to sleep.

I’d like my work to be shown in an abandoned building with a certain melancholic feel; this would help portray the dark meaning behind my work as it should look distressing. I would like my work to be shown in a public space which is very open as this will highlight the lack of privacy I felt when having this diagnosis imposed upon me. I want the work to be the first thing you see as you walk in the door as this shall represent how the person with the diagnosis feels, how they can feel devoid of their identity and personality; essentially left to be just a shell of a human with an illness.

Ultimately I want this project to look minimal but in fact have a profound depth when appreciated to its fullest extent. I also wanted to offer a celebration of the triumphant ability to reprogram the human body as well as the mind in order to cope with this disease.