Archive for September, 2013


The task I chose to revisit was a relatively basic one that just seemed to stump me a little bit. It was the ‘Describe A Day In Ten Pictures’ task that we were given during the first year over the Christmas holidays.

I was happy with my photos, but couldn’t create a successful narrative, the photographs came across as separate and didn’t really describe anything. I never really got a chance to try and improve upon it, so I feel this is the best time to take that chance.

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I chose the first and last photos with the attempt to have an ending that felt like it was completely the story from where we began.

I think my narrative has improved, but still get the impression that the middle photographs are to disjointed, and could of gone in any order without making much difference to the timeline.

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This project made me feel quite nervous at first, as I was trying to consider how to photograph somebody I am a stranger to, without being overly intrusive or simply getting a very angry stranger chasing me. I eventually decided on what path to take, though it all happened quite last minute.

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These were taken at a LARP event were I take a lot of photographs. Live action role playing is a fascinating hobby when you look at the social structure of it.

The image on the left is of the person I know. There is no nervousness in front of the camera, no forced smile or looking away. The image on the right is of the person I do not know. She isn’t looking at the camera, and I am a fair distance away, because I do not want to intrude on her comfort zone.

Both of these photographs were unplanned, and taken very much in the moment. By not warning them of the camera I left it up to both people to react in the way they felt most comfortable and I feel this gives a more truthful observation of the relationship I have with both of them.

However, one of the reasons I thought these photographs were interesting, is because of the social structure of LARPs. I don’t know the girl on the right. But the man on the left I have known for years, yet in a way he is a complete stranger to me.

We never meet outside of the bubble that is our shared hobby, and so often you are playing a character, so really, I know him about at well as I do the girl on the right. Yet I consider him a good friend, and he is in no way uncomfortable with me suddenly shoving a camera in his face. While the girl on the right is purposely avoiding eye contact and seems far less comfortable in front of the camera. Though obviously the personality of the subject should be taken into consideration, I think it’s perceptions of how well we know someone than how well we actually do that is often more important.

This is a common thing I find with this hobby, and I think that the psychology between these confined social structures is fascinating, and can create a lot of interesting background for photographs that otherwise could be considered relatively mundane.

Exhibition 

Art at Waunifor: End of Summer

Exhibition Location: Canolfan Waunifor Centre

This exhibition was something me and my parents came across on the last day of our trip to whales. The brochure we had picked up boasted over thirty local artists, ‘with a special focus this year on contemporary ceramics’.

When we walked into the building, it felt more like an art sale, albeit a very beautiful art sale with a collection of different glass works by different artists. It wasn’t until we walked past the desk in this small entrance room and down a hall, that we came onto the larger part of the exhibition, and it began to feel a little more like an exhibition. It did have the air of a college exhibition rather than a professional one, though it is easily debatable as to whether that is a bad thing.

I thought it being in a relatively small building, and with so many different artists, it would possibly feel clustered and unorganised, but it was executed very well. All of the artists have information and many had leaflets and contact details which made it feel more inclusive and helped reinforce the fact that these were all local artists.

With some of the artists, I felt the cultural impact on their work was quite noticeable. Many showed aspects of Welsh life, which gave a fascinating insight into how they perceive their own culture, and how it perhaps differs from our own.

Even if they did not relate to Welsh life, they certainly were a brilliant way to expose myself to varying forms of work by a range of artists who, if it wasn’t for shows like this, possibly wouldn’t get viewed.

My favourite artist of the exhibition was by far David Beattie and his Flying Hares of the Apocalypse. Beattie is a well known artist who focuses of printmaking and etchings/ engravings. He has been doing his work for over 30 years.

I found his pieces stylised and incredibly detailed, but not over stimulating to the point were it all blurred into one. Each work, though in the same style and part of a set, was on it’s own an incredible creation that could stand alone. I fell in love with his designs.

Overall I thought this was a great opportunity to expose myself to different artists, and it certainly delivered in that respect. I think these sorts of exhibitions are culturally significant because they bring light to local talent and create a flow of money and tourists interested in the exhibition. I especially believe that the fact you could purchase small pieces of ceramic artwork for incredibly reasonable prices helps to make the artwork for accessible to the viewer and means you have the piece of the exhibition beyond guides and leaflets to remember it by.

Exhibition
Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing
Location: The Turner Contemporary Gallery 

Over the Summer, I visited an exhibition that I had become incredibly excited by through reading online information. At first, I thought the exhibition was focusing purely on the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, but soon discovered that, in fact, it was fantastic combination of all aspects of human curiosity in a fascinating variety of different forms.

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, looks at the many different ways that humanity has explored our world and beyond. The exhibition hosts a wide range of artistic practices, from drawings and photography, to writing and taxidermy. It shows you the technical analysis of our world by one person to the fantastical creations of another.

Walking through, I felt that, more than anything, humanity itself is one of the most amazing curiosities, as the sheer abundance of different ways people perceive our shared world create pocket worlds of fascination and understanding, that only through that persons desire to share it with others, do we catch a glimpse and become a step closer to understand not necessarily the world as a whole, but perhaps that persons perceptions of it.

One thing I found particularly interesting, was the Curiosity cabinets of the 17th century. These cabinets (a misleading name as they could very well be a whole room or bigger) would host a variety of different objects that enticed the owner, and were thought to be important or precious, or just curious.

These cabinets were shown and described early on in the exhibition, and if you payed attention, or picked up a souvenir guide, it became apparent that the whole exhibition felt like we were walking through a curiosity cabinet. The work by Pablo Bronstein, ‘Museum Section’, is in fact a depiction of the exhibition as one large curiosity cabinet confined within a building.

I believe the cultural significance of this work in obvious to all. It is commenting on the very nature of human beings and how we interact with the world and each other. It comments on many cultures, and the multiple different ways they have explored beyond there own culture. Also, I think there is cultural significance in the help this sort of exhibition brings to Margate. The whole of margate joined in on the exhibition, with spray painted art of the works scattered all around on walls, windows, doors and shops. It turned all of Margate into one big curiosity, drawing you towards the exhibition to discover the meaning and purpose of the scattered graffiti.

I could rant and rave about this exhibition for much longer, and comb through every detail and piece of work that sent my brain turning. But that would defeat the point of curiosity, I can merely recommend it highly.

‘Curiosity goes in search of knowledge, but leaves some such mysteries intact. Onward, for we have only just begun.’ – Brian Dillon, Curator