Friday, 18 March 2016


We took a trip down to London to look around the different exhibitions this is mainly to look at different artists and different ways in presenting work ready for my final end of year show. 

The Photographers Gallery


Barricade made from barrels, 1916 © Sean Sexton Collection
Barricade made from barrels, 1916 © Sean Sexton Collection
Countess Markievicz, c. 1915 © Sean Sexton Collection
Countess Markievicz, c. 1915 © Sean Sexton Collection
Sackville St ruins, 1916 © Sean Sexton Collection
Sackville St ruins, 1916 © Sean Sexton Collection

This exhibition investigates the significant role played by photography in informing the national consciousness that led to Irish independence, using the 1916 rebellion as a central focal point. It features approximately eighty rarely seen photographs and ephemera, including souvenir postcards, albums, stereoscopic views, press and military photographs.

The exhibition encompasses a broad range of photographic documents of key events during the transformative years between the 1840s and 1930s. These include portraits of executed leaders, scrapbooks, collages and images of rebellion sites collected as memorabilia. Issues of authenticity and manipulation are explored in images of evictions and military drills - possibly staged for the camera. The contribution of women as active participants in the Rising is also addressed, as well as the women who practiced photography early in its development.

These photographic documents were utilised both by those fighting for and against autonomy from Westminster. For Nationalists, eviction images provided tangible evidence of British oppression, while pictures of Ireland’s pre-colonial archaeological monuments and contemporary rural life bolstered nationalist sentiments.

Conversely, British authorities and the Unionists in Northern Ireland circulated images of the Ulster Volunteer Force and loyal Irish recruits fighting on the front lines of WWI. These images were used to quash rumours of German support for Irish independence and to pave the way for the potential introduction of conscription.

Due to the complicated, costly and cumbersome nature of photography, when the rebellion finally broke out on 24 April 1916, the action itself was largely undocumented. Most of the surviving images were taken in the immediate aftermath and nearly all concentrate on the hostilities in and around the General Post Office on O’Connell St (then Sackville St). These stark scenes depict a bombed-out shell of Dublin, routinely referred to pre-rebellion as ‘the second capital of the Empire’.

Following six days of fierce clashes in which hundreds were killed and injured, the largely outnumbered rebel militias surrendered. Martial law was imposed across Ireland and leaders of the uprising were summarily executed. Before long their portraits, alongside photos of the site of execution in the prison yard at Kilmainham Jail, became widely available and informed a fresh groundswell of support for the Republican movement.

Subsequently, and in the brief lead up to the Civil War, photography played an extraordinarily powerful role in establishing archetypes such as the hunger striker, rebel, martyr, traitor and spy, while also elaborating on the Nationalists’ narratives which informed the new Irish Free State.

This exhibition really interested me I took the time out to go around and read and examine each photograph. It interested me of how it documented something so powerful and strong, the way in which they were taken and how they have presented the images gave you an understanding and almost a sense of actually being there experiencing it for your self. 


It seems remarkable that Saul Leiter (1923-2013) is only just beginning to acquire significant mainstream recognition for his pioneering role in the emergence of colour photography.
He moved to New York intent on becoming a painter, which he continued in parallel with his photography, yet ended up working for magazines such as Harper's BazaarElle and British Vogue and became known for his fashion work.
As early as 1946, and thus two decades before the 1970s new colour photography school (William Eggleston, Stephen Shore et al), Leiter was using Kodachrome colour slide film for his free artistic shots, despite it being despised by artists of the day. Instinctively for him, colour was the picture.
"I don't have a philosophy, I have a camera." Saul Leiter

An iconoclast who pursued his vision through signature framing devices, bold hues and relective surfaces, Leiter manages to transform seemingly ordinary street scenes in close proximity to his New York apartment into visual poetry.

Taxi, c 1957 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Taxi, c 1957 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Snow, 1960 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Snow, 1960 © Saul Leiter Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Saul Leiter: Purple Umbrella, Paris, 1950s

Saul Leiters exhibition really inspired me his work with the colourful abstract like images really stood out for me. The injection of colour of inanimate objects or parts of the objects give the image a mystery about it. 

My favourite image of which was on display is the Purple Umbrella:

The way in which he thought not to photograph the whole umbrella or include the person holding leaves part of the image to your imagination. Hes chose to have a shallow with the part of the umbrella the only thing in focus, by framing this way and using the settings he has gives the image a new dimension. Something so simple but so effective in the way it captures the viewers eye. The size his images were presented got me thinking about the sizes and structures I want to use for my own project to display. Big images framed with the mount window are much more effective than smaller images framed in an exhibition, I was drawn to the bigger sized images on display rather than the smaller ones although them images were still fine.


Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2015-2016 Exhibition 

From intimate portraits to layered motion stills, the award-winners will blend startling visuals, compelling narratives, and a passion for the natural world.
The exhibition will feature more than 100 images exhibited on sleek back-lit photographic panels, creating a uniquely cinematic effect amid the splendour of the Waterhouse Gallery's Victorian architecture.
Look out for your chance to choose your own Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner with our People’s Choice vote, also launching 16 October.  29.03.2016

I really enjoyed this exhibition it was fascinating to see the work of others from ages of 7-15 there capability to produce such stunning images was inspirational. There were outstanding pieces of work on shop and what made the photographs look even more spectacular were the back lit panels they were displayed on. They made the colours and subjects jump out at the audiences which added more of a wow factor. This is something I have taken into consideration thinking about my own presentation of work which will go on display. This way is very effective and with my idea being along the lines of different lighting I feel this will illuminate my images and give it another dimension. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

Grand title winner

Don Gutoski, Canada

Don, an accident and emergency doctor, enjoys de-stressing on his 40-hectare piece of land in Canada, which he keeps completely wild. Nature has always been one of his passions, and his fascination with photography started in his teens. He enjoys travelling the world, seeing incredible wildlife, and the challenge of recording these moments. Canon EOS-1D X + 200-400mm f4 lens + 1.4x extender at 784mm; 1/1000 sec at f8; ISO 640.

10 Years and Under

Carlos Perez Naval, Spain

Carlos has been taking photographs since he was five. He has won prizes in Spain, Italy and France, and was named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2014. He loves nature, and spends as much time as possible photographing the plants and animals living near his home in Spain. Nikon D7100 + 200-400mm f4lens + 1.4x extender at 550mm; 1/1250 sec at f5.6; ISO 500 Tripod Hide.

Finalist 2015

15–17 Years Old

Juan van den Heever, South Africa
Juan received his first camera for his fifth birthday, and used it to take photographs around his home in South Africa. Several years later he had his first real experience with photography on a family holiday to Cape Town, South Africa, and instantly fell in love with it. Since then, he has frequently accompanied his father on photography trips. Nikon D4 + 200-400mm f4 lens; 1/4000 sec at f7.1; ISO 1000.



Jo Spence (1934–92) was a photographer who explored and challenged the way in which women were represented.
Drawing on personal experiences and the use of performance, she commented on broader political issues. This display showcases the vast breadth of Spence’s ground-breaking work.
The photographs and archival material on view relate to her collaboration with the socialist-feminist collective Hackney Flashers, her involvement in developing a form of photo therapy, and her examination of her experience with breast cancer.
Like a women walking through a hall of mirrors, her timely portraits reflect the surreal and the painfully real aspects of identity that remain relevant today.
British Journal of Photography

SCIENCE MUSEUM: Julia Cameron - Influence & Intimacy 

Julia Margaret Cameron 11 June 1815 Calcutta – 26 January 1879 KalutaraCeylon) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary or heroic themes.
Cameron's photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Her style was not widely appreciated in her own day: her choice to use a soft focus and to treat photography as an art as well as a science, by manipulating the wet collodion process, caused her works to be viewed as "slovenly", "mistakes" and bad photography. She found more acceptance among pre-Raphaelite artists than among photographers. Her work has had an impact on modern photographers, especially her closely cropped portraits. Her house, Dimbola Lodge, on the Isle of Wight is open to the public.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Monuments Should Not Be Trusted

Friday, 11 March 2016

Monuments Should Not Be Trusted... Research & work based practice

Today we went to look at the exhibition at Monuments Should not be Trusted, at the Nottingham Contemporary. The exhibition is based around communism and the divide in Yugoslavia around 1950's - 1980's. The exhibition had a wide range of pieces including sculptures, film, collage, photography, painting, music videos, and gifts made by workers for the president. The different ways in which some of the works were presented was really cool and interesting, there was one piece which was presented on match boxes. This is a great idea in which interacts with the viewer which in turn will make them look into your image more. Provoking questions and narratives behind your piece, its a idea to think about using in my own works.

Around this time the East was very different from the West. With the work the viewer tries to depict the ideas behind the piece and what the artists are trying to communicate. You wasn't as people of the country aloud to aspire for better or want me that didn't exist. The flags show the differences between the two sides one being cushy, soft but can go up in flames at any minute while the other side was brutal, harsh and quite suppressing! The mixture of collages and mixed media heavily influenced by Dadaism.

Before the 1920's photography was easier to understand with it being more straight forward as you come into the 1900's modernism was born which is when photography became more complex to understand. It isn't 2 dimensional anymore there are loads of ideas and questions about the concept behind the image. Are questions good? Do you get a narrative from the image? 
Questions are good getting the viewer to question your work is a piece well made. If they stand there questioning the image trying to decipher the concept the more time they are looking into your work. They may not get your own personal narrative you try to communicate but as long as you evoke some emotion and thought process to connect with then you have made a powerful piece of work.  

Looking at Ways of Presenting & Artists

Stop Frame Animation

What is Stop Motion?

Stop motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop motion animation using plasticine is called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion requires figures or models; many stop motion films can involve using humans, household appliances and other things for comedic effect. Stop motion using objects is sometimes referred to as object animation.

I will be trying out stop frame animation for myself. But before I go into the technique I'll be looking at some stop frame animation videos, and researching how to create a good piece of stop frame. 

The point of animation is to break the rules, its a playful technique which breaks the rules of reality.

There's a video I watched by Norman Mclaren from 1952 which uses stop frame and video combined. The video is called neighbours which came about in the 1950's. 

Sound for this particular animation is the most important thing. The animation goes along with the animation the sounds add to the piece and make it have a more atmospheric mood to it. 
The animation is both deep and funny together with an underlining message within it. They initially forgot about what they were fighting over (the flower), that became unimportant to them. Their main focus was to keep harming each other, throughout the animation their face gets painted in black face paint this is resemble the evil within coming out. The darkness from in their soul coming to surface the more they inflict pain and misery on one another. The colour from the actual animation drains away becomes more saturated as the story unfolds this also goes with their mood and action, as they become more darker within themselves the colour of the animation is less vibrant and happy. 
The irony actually is that the same flower they argue and fight over grows on top of their graves in the end. 

Below is another animation I looked at by Jan Svankmajer he done a series of animations called Food, the one I selected is Breakfast!

Food is a 1992 Czech animated short film directed by Jan Švankmajer that uses claymation and pixilation. It examines the human relationship with food by showing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 15.12.2015

In this animation Jan challenges the ideas of communism, things we take for granted in a time when things were massively controlled. The people are portrayed as machines they become the state. People feeding people where everyone has the same everything even same meal no exceptions. In the end of the animation you see a long line queuing up for the next one to go in for the same meal, again representing the control over these people. 

Combing animation and video together - Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer 

This is another video I looked at it has a wide range of techniques going off in the video, including pixel, clay and video. The piece is truly outstanding in which he has created this piece. 
This has excited me to try out facial expression animations with the kids at home, I was thinking of some sour sweets and then photograph them to put into an animation. With the sour sweets I will get some really weird and fast changing expressions which should make some interesting pieces. 

Alain Laboile

Born on May 1, 1968 in Bordeaux, France, Alain Laboile is a photographer and father of six.
In 2004, as he needed to put together a portfolio of his work as a sculptor, he acquired a camera, and thus developed a taste for macro photography, spurred by his passion for entomology.
Later on, he pointed his lens towards his growing family which became his major subject, be it in a realistic depiction of their atypical lifestyle in “La Famille”, or in bizarre stagings around a pond in “Réflexion autour du bassin”.
Alain Laboile's work has since been exhibited around the world and he is scheduled to publish a book with Steidl Verlag.  11/12/15

These images are really exciting to how hes created them, as when you normally take reflections you catch yourself in the images. So to create the images in reflections it gives a sort of dream land image it would be interesting to create images like this. Subject matter in his images is like everyday scenes from a kids/family life. 

Dan Mountford

Dan Mountford is a freelance graphic designer and photographer residing in Brighton, England. He is most well known for his stunning double exposure photography, which he describes as “a visual journey through our minds by calm and tidy means which the reality of everyday life does not show”. Mountford captures his dual subjects beautifully, giving life to new composite images that take on unique, surreal forms. Even more impressive, the exposures themselves are created entirely by camera  11/12/15

Dan's double exposure images are really interesting and how he composes these images in camera is really cool, to be able to create these in camera would save time in doing it in photoshop. I like how he brings in the landscapes, city scapes, nature and buildings to look as if they are one with the model. I want to create more multiple exposures some more creative images. 

I created this double exposure in photoshop, the images were taken on a 5x4 camera. I chose which images i wanted to use and simply overlayed one over another while changing the opacity on the top image to just bring the flower image through over the models face. 

Nancy Lee

Nancy Lee was born in Hong Kong but has lived around the world, she first started taking these images of around Hong Kong then was encouraged to go and photograph Holland from the same perspective. As Holland is really quite flat she had to use a plane to get the height in the images. 

The image swimming about was taken in Budapest at a spa, she didn't intentionally go to photograph the spa but the opportunity presented itself as she walked out onto a balcony. She ended up stood there for 45 minutes taking over a 1000 photograph to create 'swimming about'.

These images that Nancy Lee has produced are really eye catching and abstract, this technique looks so exciting to try out. Her images mainly explore subjects such as pedestrians, traffic and market life. The one of the open umbrellas she turns into an abstract image of coloured dots all over. There taken really high up to get the view from above birds eye view, then to cut and stitch the images together must of taken her some time to get them to look pleasing together. Its almost a puzzle what you are trying to put together in your mind from the fragmented pieces of the images. 

Chris Cunningham
13th November 

Chris Cunningham is a British video artist he primarily directs music videos but has also created art installations and directed short movies. People often say his work is dark but Cunningham himself don't see his works as dark but edgy and dynamic. He bases his videos around sound, he spent his childhood with ear pressed up against speakers listening to different sounds so he has a lot of connotations connected with particular sounds which in turn helps him create his videos. He works best with limitations and restrictions, given complete freedom he struggles to hit the ground with a starting point. Given his background in special effects before actually directing videos you can understand why his videos are compelling, he also worked on comic drawings. With comics you need things to jump out at you so this looks like it also paid off for his step into music videos and short movies. 

Sam Taylor Wood

Samantha Louise "Sam" Taylor-Johnson OBE (born Taylor-Wood; 4 March 1967) is an English filmmaker, photographer and visual artist. Her directorial feature film debut came in 2009 with Nowhere Boy, a film based on the childhood experiences of the Beatles songwriter and singer John Lennon. She is one of a group of artists known as the Young British Artists
Sam Taylor-Wood & Aaron Johnson.jpg

I looked at Sam Taylor Woods work the video I selected was Still Life showing the life of fruit. The images are light as if a classical painting. She does this as a time lapse video which is really interesting, along with the video he plays a piece of mellow classical music. The sound that goes along with the video initiates feelings to accompany you throughout the video. To see the decay of the fruit and how it happens lets you reflect on life and death, it gives insight to how we don't actually see or notice someone or something changing until the time draws near to an end. Once the process comes near to an end, whether that's the death of a person, animal or decaying fruit you suddenly see the raid acceleration of death! Everyday there had been change which the eye failed to see happening until its right in front of you and too late. I  appreciate this work by Wood as it lets you go through the video and really reflect about life itself while still acknowledging the work of the still life. I would like to try and recreate a video with this deep meaningful underlying message throughout.

Bill Viola

Bill Viola (b.1951) is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists. He has been instrumental in the establishment of video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach. For 40 years he has created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast. Viola’s video installations—total environments that envelop the viewer in image and sound—employ state-of-the-art technologies and are distinguished by their precision and direct simplicity. They are shown in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections. His single channel videotapes have been widely broadcast and presented cinematically, while his writings have been extensively published, and translated for international readers. Viola uses video to explore the phenomena of sense perception as an avenue to self-knowledge. His works focus on universal human experiences—birth, death, the unfolding of consciousness—and have roots in both Eastern and Western art as well as spiritual traditions, including Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. Using the inner language of subjective thoughts and collective memories, his videos communicate to a wide audience, allowing viewers to experience the work directly, and in their own personal way.

I looked into Bill Viola's work he has some really powerful deep meaning images. I didn't just look at this particular artist for his work but also the way he presents his work. He presents his images and work on large high definition screens as video installation, this is one way I can keep in mind in which I can present my own work. Video installation is an excellent way to present pieces of work. Audiences can engage and feel the way you desire them too with them also feeling strong emotions towards the subject your show casing. For instance Bill Viola did images called Martyrs, with the four images named Earth, Air, Fire and Water with these images shown on huge screens or projected onto large spaces of building you cant help but feel an influential and forceful power towards these. For me they bring me to religion although I don't believe in any particular religion, but I get the connotations the go to religion. Religion is a powerful and complicated subject that is associated with strong beliefs and strong emotions and if I could even try to emulate them certain emotions and feelings into my work to interact with audiences then I will achieve and be greatly honored with the chosen subjects I present. 

Bill Viola, Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), 2014
Executive Producer: Kira Perov