Monday, 11 July 2016

MA-Ness Week 14 - Doing Things Slightly Differently, Plastic Bags, Image Transfers, In Our Time and Big Big Big TV

this weeks post it note with the 'bonkbuster' I'm reading for some light relief  (it really is quite dreadful and reminds me of the bit in the Victoria Wood programme 'We'd Quite Like To Apologise' in which the character played by Julie Walters talks about a book she'd reading called 'Groin' which apparently is 'not just sex but has quite a lot of literature in it as well' After the demanding rigours of Gaskell's North and South though it is perfect bubblegum for my brain and a cinema ticket for Jane Eyre from 1943 on monochrome 35mm which I saw on Saturday - leaving aside the problems of the Jane Eyre story  - it was glorious, full of pathetic fallacy, Joan Fontaine looking gorgeous and Orson Welles looking like a v blinged up Mr Rochester indeed.

Am doing this slightly differently to how I usually write my blog aka research journal entry, as am downstairs on the sofa on the laptop with the tv on in the background. I've spent most of today ironing a job lot of husbands shirts and pillowcases so I don't have to do it again for a while and also seeing how some of the disperse ink prints I had done last week work using a domestic iron as opposed to industrial heat press - and the answer is okay.

They look slightly better on the industrial heat press but that could also just be because they were the first pressings of them there and they get paler with each use. Anyway enough to see that they'll work in a domestic setting so it's all good and I have printed pieces I can sew onto the bags I'm hoping to make to put my portfolio in - the other thing I've been working all day on. I am hoping to make a bag and yesterday I made a simple basic pattern based on measuring the bag I got from Primarni a while back. It's a fairly simple gusseted bag with handles and I've cut out the panels and pinned them together ready to sew them - a chum is going to help me with that bit though as I don't quite trust my ancient sewing machine or my ability to sew in straight enough lines.

I spent the rest of today working on my portfolio overview, it's just under 4,000 words and bar a bit of editing and adding the references it's done. PHEW!!  Just need to check I think I've covered each of the objectives listed in the module details and that's it - my last MA module done.  So after all that writing and deciding on the structure my portfolio is going to take I now feel I can crack on with actually putting the pieces of visual and written work in it. I want it to be as good as possible - not just for my own satisfaction but also because if I want to get Phd funding then getting as high a grade as possible ie a distinction can only help towards that aim.

The deadline for handing it in is still just over a month away but as I hate rushing round doing everything at the last minute I'm trying to get it done at a reasonably leisurely pace with enough time to redo bits if need be. I could do this blog post tomorrow but I decided I wanted to get it done today as that way I'd still feel on track with everything as Monday is usually blog day.

But as I'd been sat upstairs all day I decided to do it downstairs instead as that way I could watch University Challenge and also keep my husband company whilst he watches something with Professor Brian Cox in. Afraid I'm no longer able to take Prof Cox seriously since it was pointed out to me that he has similar vocal inflections to Philomena Cunk. But I am getting distracted...upstairs in my workroom it's usually just by my own desire to look at the tinternet especially in these politically febrile post Brexit-times...but down here it's both tinternet, telly and husband - but am just about managing to get it done. It's the news now though and I keep stopping to shout 'fuck off' at the seemingly endless deluded line of voters, politicians and so called pundits on the screen.

So best crack on so I can get this finished before the weather forecast after the local news....I've taken to carrying round those zip lock style plastic bags with me everywhere I go so instead of trying to hold lots of of bits of fallen petals, feathers, leaves and other bits of detritus to make lumen prints with on my walks round places I can put them in a bag, plus there is also space on the bag to write the date and location. It also has the added benefit of keeoing the inside of my bag cleaner too.

Every time I pick something up though - especially feathers I can hear my Mum saying 'oh that's filthy, put it down, you don't know where it's been, it's carrying diseases''s just as well she doesn't come with me in person on any of these walks - she'd be disgusted and forever at me with an assortment of wetwipes. I must be honest though the first thing I do when I get in is wash my hands very thoroughly indeed.

My work with image transfers is continuing and I am enjoying seeing images I've made or taken appearing on fabric, I'm trying to do things in a thematic way so I have some positive and negative fish eye lens views of St George's Fields as well as digitally reinverted lumen prints of my favourite grave monuments.

I've also had another go at some more DIY methods that don't rely so much on fancy inks and printers - namely a photocopy of an image, acetone nail varnish remover, a cotton wool bud and a spoon. Had some limited success with it so far, apparently it works best with freshly photocopied images and the only ones I had were a few old weeks old but I did get some transfer of pigment so think it will work much better with fresher copies. I won't be trying it again on the synthetic coffin lining offcuts though - it just made the material kind of fuse. But I think it will work on canvas and organic fabric.

In Our Time last week on R4 was about the early history of photography and it was fascinating. Partly because of the exotic sounding names of some the ingredients involved in early image capturing like gun cotton and bitumen of judea, partly because of details like applying for patents for the new photographic processes was expensive and had to be applied for separately in England, Wales and Ireland and Scotland and the advice was not to bother for Scotland, hence Scotland then becoming a centre of photographic experimentation and excellence. I must listen to it again when I get chance.  

My youngest nephew is 3 years old and went to the cinema for the first time this weekend or as he called it 'the big big big tv'. I was the same age when I first went to the cinema and saw The Jungle Book at what was known as the fleapit aka The Savoy and which has long since been demolished and flats built in its place. He saw The Secret Life of Pets and loved it. I am loving his calling it 'the big big big tv' and think I might take to calling it that too. As well as the pictures of course in my old fashioned non metropolitan manner. I hope he grows up to love the cinema as much as I do. Watching a film at the pictures is one of my very favourite things to do.

One of the films which I have never seen on the big big big tv but have seen many times on the small screen is In Which We Serve (1942) directed by David Lean and Noel Coward. Designed to boost wartime moral it is full of stiff upper lips, fortitude in the face of adversity and Noel Coward plays Captain Kinross who serves fellow officers they've rescued his special fortifying drink which is 'bovril heavily laced with sherry' which I made a note of on my post it note last time I saw it as I'm thinking I might have some of this once I've handed in...


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