Saturday, 12 May 2012

Hovering swarms - Thomas Jackson

I was introduced to the work of Thomas Jackson by one of my friends at a different university. I’m fascinated by Jackson's work, about the concept, how it was created and his ideas behind them. The originality of this work makes it more appealing like the work of David Spero which I discussed earlier.
Jackson has an ongoing project titled "Emergent Behaviour" which presents ideas of surrealism where he photographs various random objects in swarms and clusters - eg. Things like leaves, plastic cups, ping pong balls which are photographed in various locations often in natured environments. The large scale of the environment and the objects which he shoots in I feel makes the images more powerful because they're obviously very thought about and planned, taking every aspect into consideration.
Originally I thought these photos were computer generated however I later read into how they aren't computer generated just a composition of various images sandwiched together.

All images sourced from Thomas Jackson's website

These photographs fascinate me however many times I look at them. I will be referring to the work of Thomas Jackson hopefully in later projects and will be using him in my own personal photography as inspiration.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

'Transmission: New Remote Earth Views', Dan Holdsworth, Brancolini Grimaldi

"Transmission: New Remote Earth Views" is Dan Holdsworth latest exhibition showing at the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery in London. Holdsworth uses technology to create digital representations of the American West. In his images of the Grand Canyon, Mount Shasta, Mount st Helens and Salt Lake City we see uneven, interpreted terrains which is created by taking what is absent into account. What appears to be a natural representation of white snowy mountains is actually a digital laser scan of the earth using geological survey data. A 'Terrain Model' is used to measure climate and land change measuring the impact of mans effect on earth.
Each image is very realistic to the point where the audience presume it’s a real representation. The idea of looking at the impact of mans presence I feel creates two concepts behind the idea. One where we look for evidence and create a sense of presence and the other where we understand the idea of absence.
At first, I wasn't really fascinated by these images as I felt they all became quite repetitive. However, once Id discovered the concept behind these images I found them really interesting because it didn’t cross my mind that they weren’t just ordinary photographs beforehand. So once I understood the concept I became a lot more interested in the photographs.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lenscratch submission

We were informed in a lecture about competitions we could take part in. Lenscratch had an online exhibition which I thought was a good opportunity to enter. All work that is entered is submitted onto an online gallery.
The theme which I entered was "Fathers" Which is due to run on Father’s day June 17th. I submitted a photograph taken for my representation project of my dad.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

David Spero talk

 went to a talk where David Spero was discussing and presenting his work, which was held at the university. He had a series of different projects on the go at once. Starting with churches, he photographed numerous signs which used text and image often incorporating insulting phrases and were very opinionative.

He then created a series of approx 66 images of churches which were white African Caribbean churches located in unusual settings.

       All images sourced from David Speros website

He then showed us another project called "Settlements". I found this project really interesting as it’s something I had never seen, or come across before. He discussed each photograph with us giving us an insight into his experience. Various different settlements were set up around the year of 2000 which were based on vegan principles and also combining woodland conservation techniques with sustainable living. Each settlement was granted a small amount of planning permission usually around the number of 5 years. All sources such as electricity, heating and water was all naturally sourced by wood burning, filters, water turbine and solar cells. There is a vast amount of people living in each some up to 10 adults and about 5 children. The children are home schooled and often grown organic food.
Each photographer creates its own concept and portrays different messages. Some focus on the ideas of construction, looking at their development and others focusing on the everyday life. I find each photograph fascinating purely because this is a completely different way of living and something we aren't often exposed too, if ever.
The natural lighting and clear composition in each image works perfectly to help deliver the message that he wants to share.

All images sourced from David Speros website

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

An inspired shoot

After looking at the work of Thomas Demand I was inspired to take some photographs looking at objects within and out of their environment. I had developed an eye for vibrant settings and objects looking at how they may be obscured perhaps through the influence of people, or nature?
I went to a local place in West Sussex where my dad coincidently parks his old route master bus. The area is known as the "Cement Works" which is an old scrap yard but also has a barn which stores old vehicles which are under restoration.
Keeping in mind that I wanted to photograph objects out of context and within their environment and I was keen to look at settings containing the use of vibrant colours I managed to create various successful images shown below.


All these images I feel are each individually powerful. They all bring different ideas and demonstrate a sense of continuity between each. I really enjoyed creating this imagery partly because it was an area I hadn't looked into before, Ive only ever photographed objects within a studio environment; so now that ive studied objects taken out and within their environment I feel I've learnt more and developed my skills.

'The Dailies, Thomas Demand, Sprüth Magers Gallery

The Dailes is currently showing at the Spruth Magers Gallery, London (also in Berlin) Showing work from a German photographer Thomas Demand. In this show he's presenting the idea of looking at everyday, mundane objects within an specific environment. Thomas Demand creates his imagery through the dye transfer process which involves securing a number of dyes to paper using a gelatine substance to created high saturated, vibrant colours.

My own images
Thomas Demand brings us to the attention of looking at how everyday objects are obscured which are normally left un-noticed as something we would take for guaranteed. The colours used within Demands work are vibrant and consistent however the images do a have a tranquil, calm aspect to them which I think is created by the bland composition. All his images portray a composition with the object central with fairly bland surroundings which I feel is to enhance the main focus of the central object.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Martin Newth

I came across the work of Martin Newth in the first semester and re-discovered him whilst looking through old notes. His long exposures of 8 hours recording his movement whilst sleeping really intrigues me. The images being black and white I think work really well especially working with the contrast and the effect of movement.

Sourced from Martin Newth
I was really interested in these photographs so I decided to create some of my own; however I only used 30 second exposures.

I think for a first attempt my outcomes reflect Newth's work well. Id like to create some again and focus more on the composition, and alike Newth's work I'd use a more plain composition so the movement isnt distracted by the environment.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


I recently discovered a Forum/debate on Instagram which I feel at the moment is a very debateable subject; I myself am in two minds about it. The images below I sourced from Google images purely because I don’t have my own or the interest to create some.
This argument takes me back to the argument of Analogue V's digital and how people think "if you have a good camera anyone can take a good picture" Which I don’t agree with because it’s about taking all elements of a photograph into account such as composition, lighting, setting, model, props, depth of field etc, which takes skill to be able to apply to a photograph. I feel that it’s the same with instagram, and people feel because they put a few filters and effects on an image, which yes might look good, that they have all the skills that create a "perfect photograph".
A lot of people class instagram as a fun way of editing and sharing photographs with friends and family which I think is a good idea. However, I don’t agree with the aspect of people calling their images "My photography" or "My latest projects" because as I said, none of the images require the skills and technique to become a photographer because anybody can apply filters and effects to different images. Especially the majority of the time, people upload photographs of their dinner each day for a week for example and call it "my photography". If they showed the original image, and the one which has been edited it would just look like a normal snap taken on a low resolution phone for example.
On numerous occasions when I’ve been asked what i study at university the majority of people say "photography, that’s not a real subject, anyone can take a few pictures"
It’s taken a long time for me to understand that the only people who give this reply is those that don’t understand how much photography effects the world as a whole, or the work that it does entail. So when it comes to thinking about instagram I personally know how long it takes to create one single image. However, people on Instagram can create images in minutes which are what frustrates me, because we photographers are the people who get told we don’t do a "proper subject”.
I do agree with how instagram could broaden photography as it becomes more accessible to younger generations and is used on social networking sites. However, I do feel that as a society people should distinguish the differences between a real "photographer" and "Instagram"

Sourced from Google images

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

'Joy In People', Jeremy Deller, Hayward Gallery

Jeremy Deller was exhibiting another project in the Hayward Gallery alongside David Shrigley.
"Jeremy Deller is an artist – but you’d never think he was, at least not in the traditional sense. He won the Turner Prize in 2004, yet he didn’t go to art school, and readily admits that he cannot sculpt or paint." ( Alastair Sooke - 27/2/12 -
The telegraph) The work of Jeremy Deller is very hard to comprehend and explain. His work is very literal, random and often interactive. For example In the Hayward Gallery placed centrally in the middle of the gallery is a knocked up snack bar called Valerie's snack bar which was originally created to take part acting as a float in Manchester’s international festival in 2009. Visitors around the gallery can order tea and sit on round red plastic chairs surrounded by fluorescent signs which advertises toasted tea cakes, cakes and bacon sandwiches.(Alastair Sooke)

Images sourced from "The Telegraph"

"Open bedroom" was another instillation which was very random and original. Deller had created a bedroom alike his childhood bedroom in the 1980's. The room was interactive where the audience could open the cupboards, wardrobe and to look through his personal objects and drawings he'd created. This instillation invites his audience into a real personal space to which the viewer creates an insight into the type of person who lived in this room. This is due to the posters, t-shirts and newspapers around his bedroom creating a persona of someone who likes music, a more graphic approach to art and flags and banners which create an element of protesting.

Images sourced from "The Telegraph"

I liked this instillation as in terms of invading someone’s personal space it was obviously created to state a point to the viewers regarding his persona, protest and his political views. I enjoyed engaging within his work by the idea of interaction because it opens the work to a wider audience and creates a positive, fun atmosphere.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

David Shrigley - Brain activity

A visit to the David Shrigley gallery was definitely the only gallery I’ve ever been in fits of laughter in. The main aspect of this gallery which is the reasoning for laughter I personally think is down to how much Shrigleys work relates to everyday life. Shrigley covers a wide range of art, he looks at drawing, photography, animation, film, painting, scultpture and taxidermy. Walking around The Hayward Gallery you can interact with each instillation, whether its a hole in the wall which your suppose to crawl through, and instillation in the lift or a 15 metre tall stick man with body labels such as "Bangers and Mash", "Mole" etc.

I’ve chosen to write my review on this gallery purely because I found it so interesting and feel enthusiastic to write about it.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Forum discussions

Over the second semester I have taken part in forums to discuss various different topics. I’ve enjoyed responding to them as it’s another way to gain more knowledge and it gets you thinking about different things and looking at other peoples perspectives.

The first discussion I contributed to was regarding the topic "Analogue vs Digital"
This was my response..
"I defiantly agree with the majority of comments. Analogue photography allows you to create imagery first hand which is a pure representation. You spend more time planning and fixing the lighting in a shoot to perfection due to the limited shots that you can have. Digital just encourages you to take more less thoughtful photographs because you can edit and delete after therefore not being as rewarding.

Responding to Phillipa’s comment about people who photograph using really expensive equipment I personally don’t find their work as interesting. When looking at photographs in gallery’s and reading about how it was created, I’m much more interested in someone’s work that’s been created using a cheap old film camera which they’ve processed and printed from themselves. As oppose to a digital piece which you know the persons spent a lot of time distorting the natural aspects of the image."

I also responded to the forum about the artist Orlan.
"I agree with Megan’s statement here. After watching the video of Orlan and reading further research I was left confused and a bit disgusted if I’m honest. I find her work more shocking than interesting but maybe that’s half the reason she creates it?!
I think there’s an alternative to how she could portray her point which is less extreme than permanently altering her body.
I also agree with the fact that plastic surgery should only be used for medical reasons. I might be taking this to the extreme, but some people who have to have plastic surgery could consider this as offensive, because I doubt they could understand why someone would do this to themselves off their own back. "

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Arnolfini - Bristol

I went to the Arnolfini to see the work of Sophy Rickett called "To The River" and Shilpa Gupta. Ricketts latest installation "To The River" was inspired by the Severn Bore, Which is "an amazing phenomenon of nature whereby a large tidal wave runs along the River Severn during the moon's equinox" (Arnolfini - 2012) Her installation incorporates video using surround sound to create an intense effect on the environment which creates an atmosphere of anticipation imitating the crown on the banks next to the river, awaiting the tidal surge.
Within the room there was three projectors demonstrating crowds of spectators which could be perceived as claustrophobic at some points.


We then went upstairs to explore the other installations and the next one was created by Shilpa Gupta's and called "Singing Cloud". Gupta creates her work using a variety of media including video, objects and photography and also using sound to explore themes such as human rights, conflict, security and technology.
"Someone else" is a cluster of 4000 black microphones which is hung from the ceiling. The microphones emit sounds which travel "in ripples over the surface" (Arnolfini - 2012). It was created through various psychological tests on numerous individuals about the infliction of images. The atmosphere in the room felt very intense and everyone seemed mesmerised by the effect.

After the "Singing Cloud" Instillation the next project portrayed themes of "Borders and Crossing". The artwork consists of rolls of yellow tape which is marked with the phrase "There is no border here" in the shape of a flag. As an audience we are left to create our own ideas and response to this piece, looking at culture. I found it interesting how the last row of the "flag" has been left empty and the sentence has been stopped half way through writing it - saying "I tried very hard to cut..."

Images all sourced from "Arnolfini"

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

David Cotterrell: Monsters of The Id, The John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

The John Hansard Gallery was presenting the work of David Cotterrell called "Monsters of the Id which is based at Southampton University. David is an installation artist who works across a variety of media such as; video interactive media, audio and hybrid technology. "The exhibition captures the disorientation of a civilian observer within a militarised environment." (
When entering the gallery the first instillation called the "Observer effect" took me a while to adjust to. We are exposed to a 180 degree landscape projected onto a plain white wall which presents an image of a distant, self absorbed population. The presence of people who enter the area to see the instillation distract the projector which senses this and another "avatar" appears in front of us which gradually grows in number.
The second instillation called "Searchlight 2" was a huge platform created using a tonne of chalk demonstrating higher and lower areas of the "desert". The growing population from instillation one "The Observer Effect" are generated using technology to appear on this chalk landscape. The avatars travel around and their direction is completely randomized. I found this fascinating to watch as every time you looked at it, it was different.
After exploring around the different rooms, I began to understand there connection with each other and how the whole exhibition is a response to what David Cotterrell experienced in Afghanistan.

Images all sourced from "The John Hansard Gallery"

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Metaphors and Allegory

Metaphor -

1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Allegory -

1. S
tory with a meaning other than the literal one/ Description of one thing under image of another

After establishing and learning the definitions of Allegory and Metaphor, we applied them to imagery created by Sarah Lucas.

Self portrait with two fried eggs - 1996

"Self portrait with two fried eggs was a photograph I hadn't come across before. I didn’t realise how many metaphors could be included in one image. The first thing we addressed as a group was the fact that she presents herself as a male and occupies that role for the photo by her choice of clothes; and by the way she is sitting. We then began to discuss the idea behind the two fried eggs which represent female breasts in an unusual way. The idea of fried eggs is altered in this instance due to the idea of egg representing new life and now the eggs have been fried there’s no longer life.

The setting of which she’s posed has a meaning in itself enhanced by the vibrant tiles, because of the idea where a "Women’s suppose to be in the kitchen" contrasting against a women’s stereotypical role. Her stance and body language are an interesting aspect of the image as to me its one of the main factors of her stereotyping men. She appears very confident and confrontational.

After studying this image, I have become aware of how much impact "the metaphor" has, and that each aspect has a large contribution to the viewer’s ideas.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Booooooom and John Farrar

Sourced from "Booooooom" blog
Booooooom is another blog which I was introduced to by other course friends who had discovered it.

It is a very lively blog which is interesting to follow as if discusses the work or different mediums. It looks at art, film, photography, design and music, keeping its followers up to date with recent artists in different areas.
I really like the layout of this blog as its vibrant, busy and very colourful making it very eye catching. There's always lots of information to keep on top of an interesting research to share with other photographers.

John Farrar

I went to visit open houses in Brighton during the Arts festival and came across the work of John Farrar and his blog Recently developing an huge interest in fashion photography his work has been a huge inspiration to me which I shall use within my own personal photography to develop my ideas. His use of fine art and vibrant colours incorporaited into his photographs is what initially caught my eye.

All images sourced from John Farrar's website

Semiotics and Source magazine

This session we looked at semiotics and exhibition review examples. We were introduced to some short exhibition reviews from Art monthly and Source magazine as a prompt and guide for the other 50% of this unit. One review which we looked at was in Art Monthly and of a recent exhibition by Hannah Starkey.
The introduction to the review was based on research mainly and also incorporated quotes from the exhibition catalogue.

The middle section included areas of the reviewers understanding and what their interpretation of the work is. I felt this also continued into the conclusion however the reviewer summarised the work and later questioned it.

Source Magazine
I recently purchased a subscription to "Source magazine" which I’ve found really helpful in writing my review. I also broadened my knowledge of various photographers and what other people were creating at the moment. I established looking at these reviews that a very small amount of writing was descriptions of the exhibition; it was more about the reviewer’s personal thoughts and their interpretations.

  Sourced from "Source magazine"

The latest edition has really influenced my ideas for my Representation project looking at identity and only using specific characteristics to photograph.

Semiotics is the study of signs. It includes sounds, gestures, images, words and objects. It is also something which we all know and develops through our experiences and culture that we're exposed to throughout everyday life.
We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by advertising and signage with signifiers which display and portray different things. Firstly, we looked and analysed male and female toilet signs.

I felt this was a good example to use, purely because we all automatically know what the sign means. We then discussed as a group the connotation and denotation of the sign and we were asked how we automatically know what the sign means? Is it the impact of the colour? The shapes used etc? We talked about the ideas of how just because this symbol is on the front of a door, we only presume that what is behind that door is what the sign states it is. We don’t definitely know.

To develop and apply our understanding of semiotics further and the way in which each person interprets imagery different we watched the music video "Hurt" by Johnny Cash. We watched it once without music taking notes of each understanding. Then, after we watched it with music to see whether it affected our responses/ideas and connotations of the video.

Sourced from Youtube

This video demonstrated a lot of traits of religious views showing a renaissance painting. I also felt that there was elements of death portrayed as he was an older man sitting in a room alone singing lyrics which presented an idea of reminiscing.

"What have I become?"
"I wear this crown of thorns"
"Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair"