Monday, 1 October 2018

PhD-Ness Part 9 Year 2 - Making, Doing, Changing Place of Working, Feeling Bit Overfaced, Show Preparation

this weeks post it note and things I've been making

Preview of Once and Now - part of the Love Arts Festival - upstairs at Kapow Coffee Thorntons Arcade Leeds - official launch Thursday 4th October 5pm - 7pm 

It's been a busy week - even if the post it note is only filled from two thirds of the way down - I've been doing a bit of painting of Halloween goodies I've bought from Hobbycraft. I think I might still add some features to the coffins (handles made with silver pen) and then use them as jewellery boxes. I might glue a skull on one of them - I've made some of the skulls into brooches thanks to brooch backs and UHU glue. I'm quite messy though when it comes to glue but at least they haven't fallen off as yet...

I've also been doing some more matte medium transfers - this time in colour as well as black and white and pictured are two I completely finished last week, the ones I've been working this week are on canvas and still at the stage where the paper is on them - I haven't photographed them as until the paper is wet and rubbed away they just look like paper. The images underneath the paper are in colour.

I've been doing some doing as I've been struggling to read/write and formulate some thoughts on my working methods and how best to co-ordinate my research plan. I've made some progress but not as much progress as I would like but after reading and re-reading 'Ere the substance fade: photography and hair jewellery' by Geoffrey Batchen (his chapter in Photographs Objects Histories - On The Materiality of Images by Elizabeth Edwards and Janice Hart 2004)  and struggling to make sense of it or rather failing to take in all the points I think he was trying to make in it, I decided to take it to a local cafe (Tandem in Meanwood) and try and make sense of it there.

I'm not sure whether it was because I'd read it before or if my brain was in better shape that day or if it was the change of location so I didn't get distracted by the tinternet but it suddenly began to make better sense to me. He's talking about the absence of jewellery that contains images of loved ones in the histories of photography though they have been written about in material culture terms. He then talks about their physical characteristics, how they are photography in motion and a physical trace of the people in the photographs - especially when hair is included in the jewellery along with the photograph and become talismanic in some way. Fascinating.

I think I am going to try the tactic of moving away from my desk when I am stuck with something - when it's something I can do away from my desk. Reading and thinking I don't need to be at my desk I could do that in another room in the house. I usually use commuting time to do reading.

But I think the biggest thing I've been doing this week is getting everything ready for my show Once and Now which opens officially upstairs at Kapow Coffee Thorntons Arcade this Thursday from 5pm-7pm and will be on til the end of the month. It was lovely to be able to afford to get them properly framed - and I am really pleased with the job North Leeds Framing did for me. I wanted them to be reminiscent of Victorian era mourning cards and have thick black borders and after advice and testing of various backing card colours I decided on the cream. Cream isn't normally a colour I'd consider as I am very wedded to black, white, grey, purple and shades thereof (the colours most associated with Victorian mourning customs) but I am very glad I was persuaded to try it as it really brought something to the prints - the bulk of them are printed on transparent medium either tracing paper or acetate so the colour of the backing paper really makes or breaks them.

I've been trying to write this post for most of this afternoon, along with some details to go with the the images in Kapow and I've really struggled compared to last week when it just seemed to flow much better. Though part of the reason last weeks post seemed so much easier to write was because I missed off the programmes/films watched/books read/exhibitions attended section.

Oh well - here's hoping the words and the comprehension flows more easily this week.

Programmes Films Watched:

Cousins M (writer,director,producer) 2018 Eyes of Orson Welles UK Dogwoof
An amazing film which more than once made me go ‘wow’ as the images contained in it were so stunning – it was the story of a man who knew Welles film work really well and who wanted to see through Orson's eyes by looking at his paintings and drawings. Split into different sections it covered aspects of his professional life – onscreen, onstage, on radio and his personal life interspersed with clips from his films and interviews. His daughter now in her 60’s also features along with views of his paintings/drawings of places and what they look like now. The soundtrack was a mix of traffic noise, Welles himself speaking, narrator speaking, conversation, or the sound and sight of an ink pen scratching on the surface of a piece of paper, some of the drawings/images were somehow animated to see how they were put together – some monochrome, some alive with colour but all expressive, revealing and joyous. Wonderful to watch. Really must watch his version of Macbeth that has been on the tellybox for ages.

Varda A, JR (directors) 2017 Faces/Places France Cine Tamaris

Absolutely enchanting and beautiful film which follows Adnes and JR deciding on a plan of driving around villages in his large format printing seaside van gogh studio style van, taking pictures of ordinary people and pasting them on walls – including a woman who is the last in a row of cottages lived in by miners with stories of their fathers hard and dangerous work in the mine,then onto a woman posing with a parasol saying how she found it difficult afterwards because she is a shy person and so many people came to see her photo pasted on a wall, farmers – arable with machines who does it all on his own proudly emblazoned on the side of his barn, chemical process workers in a big chemical plant – glorious to see fish pasted large on the side of the water tower (fish Agnes had taken pics of directed by JR as she has problems with her eyesight – the scene of the injection into her eyeball made me proper wince/flinch) chatting easily to people gathering for a picnic/photo session in an abandoned before being finished village, a picture of Agnes old now dead friend on a bunker abandoned on the beach, pics of her eyes and feet on the side of trains, goat farmers – one who burns off the horns of the goat and one who doesn’t – the one who doesn’t was better and favoured, an utterly glorious romp around the Louvre with JR pushing her in a wheelchair – a nod to a scene of one of her films, a pilgrimage to Cartier Bressons grave and 3 women upon the sides of shipping containers. Devoid of complicated art- just a really beautiful connection between Agnes, JR and the people they photographed and worked with – including between JR and his team. Completely feel good – asked why they did it, why not? And also to see where their imagination could take them.
Enchanting.  It was also a kind of friendship love story between her and him – especially when let down by Godard who also wore sunglasses all the time when he reveals his eyes to Agnes only and we see them blurred – same as her. Really heartwarming - left the cinema with a big smile on my face.

Elizabeth,E.,& Hart, J. (2004). Photographs Objects Histories on the Materiality of Images London:Routledge 

Slowly but surely slogging through this...see above

Exhibitions attended:

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