28 December 2010


Finally feeling better just need to get fit now. Might be all back to normal by the 4th when I need to be back at Uni.
Scary thing happened today - my dad called round. I won't scare you with a photo. Plergh. Currently defumingating the house.

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15 December 2010

Hand in day

The day has finally arrived when we hand in all the work we have done since starting the course on 20th September 2010. The entire class is ill - we all seem to have colds or flu and in some cases we have people fainting. However we are all here with our lever-arch files full of research, contact sheets and prints ready to hand over.

I am pleased it is all over as I have a commission I would like to finish over the Christmas break - assuming that I have shaken off this awful cold/flu.

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11 December 2010

Work by Line

Inspiration from the factory work by Peter Saville. He has been a big influence in the life of Joy Division/New Order and now me. These images consist of lines. They are the strongest images for me - they give me peace and tranquility. I like that there is no end to a line - particularly when cropped by my viewfinder.

Be back soon

The Alter Ego is born

Simon Hollowstone:

Simon was born in 1972 in Manchester.
He missed the punk era but his parents were very much into it.
He grew up around punks, Mohawk hair, safety pins, tattoos, studs and loud music.
He didn’t like it.

He, like most of us, thought his parents uncool.
The 80’s produced the most awful music and one day whilst looking through his parent’s record collection he found:

Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division

His life was transformed forever.
He understood the lines – he loved the music.
It gave him freedom to express himself in a way that he had never realised he could.
He could be a conformist rebel.

As an artist Simon creates work that includes lines.

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The Alter Ego is conceived

I was inspired by a piece in the show created by Haroon Mirza – a complex audio-visual installation assembled out of domestic furniture, electronic equipment and lights. Regaining a Degree of Control, was created for BAS7 and uses previously unseen footage of Ian Curtis, the post-punk band Joy Division’s songwriter, lyricist and singer.

Curtis’s song ‘She’s Lost Control (1978) concerns a girl with epilepsy, a condition that Curtis himself suffered from and to which the strobe light in Mirza’s installation refers. Here , as in much of Mirza’s work, the central proposition is about transforming noise into sound, and making hearing and listening as important and relevant as seeing and looking. His aim, he says, is to ‘explore visual and acoustic space as one sensorial mode of perception’.

I did not like the fact that Haroon had stapled the vinyl record Unknown Pleasures – however I could see why it had been done because it was creating a noise as it rotated on turntable. I love the album and the logo that was created for it by Peter Saville as suggested by the drummer Stephen Morris. The lines are the sound wave pulses from the first pulsar discovered PSR B1919+21. There is not track information the only way to tell the difference between ‘side1’ and ‘side 2’ was that the logo appeared reversed.   

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Finding your inner writer

Wayne Burrows set us a task when we met him at Nottingham Contemporary... to view the exhibits in the British Arts Show 7 and let a piece of work or artist inspire us to create a story.

The story then needed to be about the artist - real or imagined - or about the piece and how that inspires us. Finally for the following week we needed to produce a piece of work that this fictional person had created.

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09 December 2010

Art Catalogue and Pricing

Have been developing an idea for items to leave with people when I go to visit them. I have created a mini portfolio:

I spent a bit of time talking with Ian Shipley and he gave me a suggestion which I might develop. Rather than have a 'mini portfolio' he suggested I develop the idea into an Art Catalogue to personalise and send to garden centres, boutique shops, tourist attractions etc.

We chatted about pricing for prints/canvasses and how to work from the Suggested Selling Price (SSP) back to the cost to create the item. This was very interesting and something I had not considered. 

I showed Ian my website - he gave me a lot of feedback about it and ideas about layout, copy and prices. I have now implemented some of his suggestions.

This has been extremely useful as I want to start to make sure all the things I do are putting across a professional and co-ordinated feel. I had been thinking about selling my images to stock agencies but the chat with Ian helped me with my decision about that. Chris had also suggested that I get a printer to make the mini portfolio because he thinks it is a fabulous idea but can see that it takes me many hours to put together.

I have had very useful chats this week that have helped me see a few next steps in the development and creation of my photography business.

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Crit and Feedback

I was undecided about which image to use as my final choice to show to Joe Cornish. I was still struggling with whether to print black and white or colour.

I decided on colour. I decided that the landscape soldiers image was not good enough and chose to process the portrait one.

Joe spent the whole afternoon with us - and after chatting to us about his camera and his work and putting up with posing for photographs for Burton Mail and the Burton College website - he reviewed the work we had prepared for him.

His feedback is shown under each image:

"This image makes the hairs on my arms stand up.
It should be on the front cover of a newspaper or magazine.
It is perfect."

"This is an intriguing image but does not work as well on its own as the other does.
It needs some words to go with it.
I want to know what they are all straining to look at."

I was stunned with his feedback. This was a wonderful thing to say to me. I was humbled. The image is now in my portfolio.

I know that most people I have shown this image to think it is lovely. I have yet to convince Chris - he does not think it was the correct one to show. I would like to catch up with about this and to see what his thoughts are. 

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Joe Cornish

What a treat we had on Wednesday (8th Dec) we had Joe Cornish with us for 8 hours. In the afternoon he gave feedback on the brief he gave - which I shall discuss elsewhere - and a lecture in the evening talking about his life, his work, his passion and his photographs.

Evening Lecture
Chris introduces Joe Cornish

I wasn't expecting to like Joe as I am tired of seeing images with pretty rocks on the shore in focus with a mountain/castle/sunset in the background in focus. The amateurish monthly magazines encourage you to take images like this and I am fed up of seeing them month after month. However I was delighted to find I rather enjoyed Joe's talk and his images. I realise what I am seeing in the magazines are very poor, and I really do mean poor, imitations of some fantastically stunning work.

To be able to see the work and hear the story behind the image was a real treat, so was being able to stand right in front of a mounted print - which were much better than the projected images... full of depth, colour and detail.

My notes from his talk:

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