Monday, 18 January 2016

MA-Ness Term 2 Week 3 Newness, Oldness, Deadness, Happiness and That Kind Of Thing...

Just one image this week - and it's quite a full post it note as it has been a busy week in which I have taken LOTS of photographs but as they were almost all on film (1 colour 120, 1 b+w 120 - both of St George's Fields, 3 x 35mm colour and 1 x 36 35mm colour  most of St George's Fields but also of a little graveyard somewhere in the outer reaches of Huddersfield.
The reason for this excessive use of colour is partly the cost - as am still using up the last of the AGFA ISO 200 colour film I got from the poundshop and one roll of ISO 800 colour film - forget the make but think it might have been Fuji film but also because somewhat ironically colour film better captures the greyness of the wintertime...

I'm typing this from or should that be on the new computer and whilst I am not a fan of what appears to be todays fad for built in obsolescence in devices nor of externally enforced change - it is a joy to be using a machine that does not take 15 minutes to warm up, freeze every half hour or so and so necessitate persistent pressing of control/alt/delete buttons and despairing cries of 'just fucking work' from me plus it can more easily cope with all the images I need to copy/paste, move from folder to folder, edit and transmute into new images. Massive thanks as ever to my lovely supportive husband who bought it, faced the hideousness of a retail park to pick it up and then set it up and installed all the software on it. I did make him lots of cups of tea and brought him whisky as a thank you whilst he was wrestling with it though. 

Best of all though after much searching I found the installation disc for my crap kids digital camera. It remains one of my favourite cameras to use and this means I'll still be able to use it and retrieve and print the pictures from it. When I bought it last summer I put the installation disc in a safe place which meant of course that when I needed it again I couldn't remember where the safe place was...
But much hunting on workroom bookcase shelves found it - I had tried just plugging it in via its USB cable into the laptop but with no joy as although it recognised there was a device attached, it couldn't access the pictures on it, and the same thing happened with the college Macs. Though I had been promised they'd be able to work it as Macs don't need drivers apparently....computers remain a frustrating, necessary and rewarding part of my day to day life though and I'd be lost without them and like I said it is very lovely indeed to be using one that (so far anyway) is working very well indeed.

So now I'll be able to get on with the photo sorting that I need to do, need to start putting things together into a portfolio and working out best ways to show them, am still loving having them digitally printed onto tracing paper as I love the translucency and they look *so* good when help up against the light (which reminds me I really must sort out either making a light box or sourcing some anyway) plus an A4 tracing paper print is only 10p and so almost cheap as chips*

And fingers crossed amongst the 6 rolls I'm awaiting getting back there will be some 'money shots' worth printing and getting blown up big - especially on the 120 films. Along with graveyard shots I also took some shots from the train - I went to Huddersfield by train last week to catch up with an ex fellow ma-er and to look round the little cemetery near to her house. It was cold and damp but well worth the journey as it was lovely to catch up with her and see the work she is working on at the moment as well as having a look around a new to me cemetery plus it was excellent to be at the station at standard commuting times and be reminded of how lucky I am not to have to do that on a regular basis.

I went to another kind of station this weekend - the one installed at the Henry Moore Institute by Katrina Palmer and called the Necropolitan Line. I thought it was wonderful - quirky, funny, thought provoking, engaging, stimulating and it made me quite envious too. I'd love to realise work on that kind of scale but that is a goal to work towards. I shall go again during the day when hopefully I'll be able to sit on the platform and listen to the announcements uninterrupted and fully absorb all its wonderfulness. I also feel both inspired and comforted by the work as well as a little envious in a way.

Last week I wrote  I have written to a firm of coffin makers this week to ask if they have any scraps of coffin lining material leftover that I could use to experiment printing on. When I told my Mum this she asked the perfectly reasonable question 'Why?' though I would have preferred it if she hadn't asked it in such a disgusted and incredulous way. I explained that as my work deals with death, and is often of cemeteries then it seems an entirely reasonable if not logical thing to do. I don't think she was convinced and still thinks me 'morbid'. Which my lovely old school Little Oxford Dictionary (1978 edition) defines as: 'adjective-not natural and healthy; indicative etc of disease'.

Mmm - she might have a point but then again she might not and this in turn makes me think of the quote at the top of my post it note from an old prayer card I saw in Kirkstall Museum Archive asking people to pray for the canonisation of Sister Marie Celine who apparently 'died in the odour of sanctity' and was sanctified in September 2007.  I'm completely intrigued by the phrase 'odour of sanctity' and cannot help but wonder what that smells like....

I also wonder what the bread made by the bakers trying to emulate the methods used by Victorian bakers smells like. I've only made bread with yeast a couple of times - I'm too impatient to have to let things rise, prove, knock them back and then rise again but I often make soda bread as that is a bit more straightforward. I've really enjoyed the programme and learnt quite a lot about the different ways of breadmaking and the role (pun unintended) of baking in a society as it industrialises and expands. The number of calories calculated as needed by manual workers to complete their tasks in those days is staggering and the bulk of them came from bread. It's also been fascinating to see the making of the different types of bread, the origin of the fashion for white bread and the dreadful additives used to help make those loaves as cheaply and as whitely as possible. It's very easy to be sniffy and appalled by the lack of trading standards and health and safety legislation years ago but as one of the presenters pointed out - corners will always be at risk of cutting if the primary factor in its production is cheapness of cost....horsemeat lasagne anyone?

Got lots on this week too so hopefully next weeks post it note will be just as full and there may even be more pictures too.....

*it might be twice as expensive though - it's roundabout £2 for a bag of chips these days and you probably get about 60 chips or more...either way it is lots cheaper than printing on more traditional photographic paper.


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