Monday, 16 May 2011

helplessness blues

i've decided to setup a tumblr account for the start of my second year.
the address is:
so long, farewell blogspot

Saturday, 7 May 2011

because i'm soaking look at me

the end is nigh. my final exhibtion is nearly finished, assesssment is next week.

over the easter holidays i had a small panic about what to show at the final exhibition and i decided to focus on my shorthand project. i began to see shorthand as another language that cannot be understood. from this i thought about writing letters to people in shhorthand but they cannot understand them and this moved onto shorthand being a written version of someone's inner monologue.
i then created a character called george booth who is just an average guy, works in an office, married (although not happily) with two children. i started off having the character being happy but it turned into him slowly being driven mad by how mundane his life is and the fact that he thinks his wife his having an affair.
to show this story i decided to make an office in my space for the exhibition and have in notebooks and in the filing cabinet his inner monolgue talking to him in shorthand. people can look in the notebooks and see this squiggles and swirls but not know what it means, showing how no one quite understands what is going on with my character and no one knows he is slowly being driven mad.
i need to do a bit more work on the look of my office space and the writing up of the inner monologue but so far i am very happy with how my space looks.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

has been replaced with mountains of gold

slight delay in me talking about the little trip to glossop but ever mind here i am.
we arrived and ate egg (or bacon) rolls to build up energy for the imminent kite flying. after a short walk up the hill it was time to fly our kites! my very small kite did fly but it wasn't exactly how i wanted it to look. i was hoping to string up loads of little bags with wire in the top to look like a school of fish. however,  i had this particular idea at about 12 the night before after i'd pretty much finished another kite. oh dear! however, my very small school of fish semed to work well enough.
when we came off the hill we went into glossop to a local pub to watch some perfromances. after a few technological difficulties we were off. there was a few videos pieces and then a fine art student (i think she was) sang a million songs. when she stopped playing we all trundled off home. the end.
it was a fun day, nice to have a day away from the studio doing something a bit different.

i'm now home. trying to get some work done ready for this presentation/exhibition when i start back at uni. not entirely sure what to exhibit yet but i'm sure i'll think of something!

Monday, 4 April 2011

and the spies hide out in every corner

so, i've been umming and ahhing recently about whether to go home during the easter holidays and for how long. last night i was, again, pondering on the subject and i've decided to go home for longer than i first thought. this then led in my train of thought onto what i could do and i figured it would be nice to do a bit of walking in london, see places i never usually see. i thought it would be a nice idea to walk along tube lines especially the northern line seeing as i live at the end of it and near the station. after a little google i stumbled across this

this person has walked every single tube line in london. now i'm not that ambitious for an easter project but it is very helpful because there are maps and average distance times for walking which is good for me =)
tonight i'm also going to look at other walks that i could do around the city, maybe taking in specific tourist sights. it'll also give me chance to take some photos for my 'background people' project (designing wanted posters to find the people in the background of photos). my main inspiration for  my walking project is richard long who took walks and made a note of certain things he saw or heard during the walk. i'm going to decide on different themes, maybe per walk or one for the whole time. i haven't decided whether just to focus on the visual and have colour or object themes or branch out and make a note of sounds i hear as well through my journeys.

last week an ex-interactive arts student came in who now works as an animator and one of the things he's started in keeping a sketch book and recording randon moments he's sees. i used to do this when i was at college and it's inspired me to start it again.

today i had my group tutorial. generally positive feedback but a few things i need to work on are the development and research in my projects. i have lots of ideas i just need to record and develop them sufficiently not just go with my first idea.

that seems to be all for the day, now my kite needs making =)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

and all we've been through

had a fairly cultural saturday yesterday. went to see a few a couple of the smaller art galleries around manchester with a friend from my course.

first off was untitled gallery which currently has a show by marc provins, a photographer based in manchester. first off the gallery space, it is quite hidden away but i loved the magic of going to find the gallery, reminded me of the smaller galleries i went to see back home in london. i did really like the photography by provins, the work is looking at the unexpected and seeing the unexpected. the photos are small moments of life that people usually walk by, anything from a sun pattern on a car to a squashed hedgehog on the road!

secondly we went to see an exhibiton in kraak gallery in the northern quarter by a group of fine art manchester met students. again i loved the space but the work was not quite there. just small things like paintings not hanging quite straight or parts of work that have been cut out not quite straight. there also seemed to be a large gap between the artist statements we read and the work that we saw. i was impressed though with work by sean liddle and bianca lemus. sean liddle's work seemed the most confident and i liked the style and subject choice by bianca lemus.

we then went to the chinese arts centre where there is an exhibition called human error by household and dario uteras. re-makes of household appliances we take for granted such as printers and scanners have been made on a large scale so we have to work them. it was a fun exhibition to see and even better that you could interact with it. only bad part of this exhibtion is getting my finger caught in the 'scanner'!

in other essay is done! i'm so happy =)
now back to my 'normal' practical work instead of panicing about the essay.

as it's coming up to the end of the academic year i've found that i've had lots of good ideas but i've not been very good at putting these ideas onto paper. i'm going to use the easter break to actually get some physical work done and not jus think lots about my ideas i need to do something with them!

Monday, 28 March 2011

children of the revolution

been doing a few little pieces to keep me sane whilst i plod through this essay.

i've enjoyed just doing these simple pieces of art and getting back to the basics of my practice.

a few days ago darren, ryan and myself went to see the space in salford shopping centre. it's quite a nice space (apart from bring painted cream!) and is right in the middle of the shopping centre. a good space for a first exhibition i think.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

how come you dance so good?

today i had a little mosey around the cube gallery. upstairs there is an exhibition by OSA looking at rearranging objects from around manchester based on works by kurt schwitters. i liked the way that the pieces blended into the existing space in gallery and really took over the place.
downstairs there is an ongoing piece of work by jason minsky and william titley. they are looking into the development and growth of manchester especially one particular event where a village was destroyed to make way for the growth of a lake in the lake district so manchester could have enough water. they have been researching the lost village or mardale green and have made a model village out of kendal mint cake which they plan to flood with water from the lake.

in other news i have bought a plant in a can. it looks like an odd shaped coke can and you peel  off the top, add water everydy and ta-da a plant in a can. ive bought lavender and pansies. i thought it would be nice to make my room a bit more summery. on a side note from this i love it when it starts to get sunny in england. none of us know how long the sun will last so we make the most of it today. i went out to the park at lunch and it was full of people all sunbathing in shorts and skirts and even some with flip-flops. one day of sun and we go crazy. no wonder the rest of the world think we're weird!

Monday, 21 March 2011

war, children, it's just a shot away. it's just a shot away.

so, i'm currently working mostly on my essay.  i have been working on other practical work but i know if i start anything concrete now then i won't do my essasy!
however, i have been doing a few little doodles and experiments in the studio just to see what happens. working with no idea in my mind just doing whatever pops up in there. i also have an interview this week to work for a new manchester arts and music magazine that is starting up so i've been doing a few illustration-y pieces for this to show the editor. they seem to be going ok but i haven't worked in this style for a while so it's hard to get back into it.

the 'working title' that i'm in with a few other people from my class now has the official title of MISC. we have a gallery in salford that is interested in showing our work so after my essay i'm going to get cracking on doing a piece for that. i want to work on the people in the background in photos. doing like a 'wanted poster' type thing and searching for these people that happen to be in my photos. i have looked up the legality of this and it is fine. the only concrete rules are about getting up in someones face when taking photos or documenting someones every move (aka stalking) but hey the paparazzi do that so yeah these laws do get broken regulary! i haven't decided whether to use existing photos i have or go about manchester taking photos.

i've also been to see the anish kapoor exhibition at the manchester art gallery. i did like the powdered colour and wax pieces but i particualry like his pieces using plain really dark colours. this work is all about the experience of it and in the informational video that is in the exhibition it says that kapoor creates 4-d work he uses time as well as the 3 dimensions. i like the pieces because they have a 'deepness' to them and you feel you can got lost in them.

Monday, 14 March 2011

sun in the sky you know how i feel

progress is slow. basically. continuing to make the bar scene, now made the actual bar and the shelves at the back of the bar.
a few of us in my class are getting together so we can do exhibitions together...kind of a collective but there is no links between our work and practice. i think i'm going to start a project for this to get some kind of idea of what i want to do for our first exhbition. this has come at a good time, i'm starting to lost steam with my animation project and it'll give me a chance to step back from my animation and come back at it soon with more enthusiasm! haven't quite decided what i want to do for this project but i have a few ideas circling around my head that i would like to exapand on.

i've recently found an artist called mariel clayton who has been making scenes of killer barbies. i like the pieces becuase although they are funny whilst being slightly disgusting! the sets have also been really well made. i've found i've enjoyed making the sets for my project a lot (i thibk more thatn i'll enjoy animating) . I would like to try this idea of making a set and photographing it. making a set scene.

i also like the work of designer Rita Botelho. i particularly like the simplicity in the designs. for example the 'ring for another' glass design. this is a cocktail glass design with a bell in the bottom, looking at how wealthy people could just ring for their servants to get them another drink.
i also really like the 'hanging' earring series. this is a series of silver wire earrings with small figures of people on them who like they are climbing of leaning against the wire. again i love the simplicity of this and also the turning of something everyday like an eariing into a work of art.

right that'll do for now

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

de do do do, de da da da

so latest pictures from my set design. i feel ready now to start test filming some things with the park scene just to see what i can do and how my animating looks, things i need to work on on the set and in my technique animating etc. i have already seen just from taking these photos that the park scene would look betterwith more leaves on the tree. looking at it face-to-face you cannot notice this butonly from a photo can you see.
in the pub/bar scene i have made the stained glass windows for the doors. like with the leaves on the tree this does not look as good on a photo. i think i shall have to have some back lighting for animation to make this secction stand out more.
today i  went to see the exhibtion 'the people you're not' at the cornerhouse in manchester ( part of this exhibtion was an idea by harry hill which involved set designs. what i likes about these designs were the different levels within them, like old puppet theatres with areas going into the background of the scene. i want to bring these different levels into at least more of my sets although how is another question!

i have recently read quirkology by richard wiseman. ( wiseman is a psychologist who looks into the weird in everyday life. some of his studies have included whether star signs/ date of birth actually have any effect on your personality, which city has the fastest pace of life and the power of suggestion. the experiments into the power of suggestion caught my attention. one particular group of experiments involved making participants believe there were spirits in the room just from suggestion, this was done by simple trickery wih objects on a table then making participants believe and actually see the whole table move just be saying it was. another section that interested me was research as to why some people claim to see ghosts and feel 'something' in the room. this was found to be a particular very low sound wave that although we cannot hear it our bodies can feel it. it is sometimes refered to as the brown note because of the effects it can have on people's bowels when listened to in large doses! people were found to feel more moved by a piece of music when this note was played and it has also been found that you can hallucinate and see ghostly mirages when hearing this note. my research into this field continues...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

hang me up to dry

first things first, my animation. i've taken a break from the burger place until i decide what else i need to make and i have now started to make a bar/pub set and a park set. so far in the bar/pub i have made some laminate flooring out of lolly sticks and in the park i have made a tree in one corner and i'm starting to make grass. i came back home the other day and i've spent the time writing the storyline. so far i just have the basic plot outline, i now need to pad it out a bit and get details down so i know exactly what to do when im filming.

recently someone from my class has been organising an exhibtion at the art corner in fallowfield for late april. after much deliberation about whether to have a theme or not all of us who are involved decided on the colour 'red' as our theme. this means all our work can be tied together but still have chance to be diverse. we had to write a proposal to be part of this. i have decided to use the skills i learnt in bookbinding to make books looking at the colour red. i have been looking at collecting red objects and also looking at anger. however, this is still early days and there wil be more to this in my final pieces.

last night i started to experiment with book making and have a go at making hard back covers. i just made a simple brown paper bound hardback notebook and also a book made of plastic pockets. i thought having a book made of pockets would be another way of displaying found objects. this was harder to make then i first though because the pockets are made of shiny plastic so it was hard to keep them in line whilst trying to sew them.

at uni there are films shown every monday evening and i went to see la jettee by chris marker. it is made up almost entirely of still images telling the story of a man who is sent into the past and the future to try and save his own time after world war 3. i found the film captivating and it draws you in to the storyline. because you are not seeing everything or hearing any dialogue apart from a few mutterings you make uo your own parts to the story.

last tuesday i went to the whitworth gallery to listen to their tuesday talk. it was by a curator called gabriel coxhead. parts of his talk were interesting but mostly it was fairly dull and him pausing to try and think of longer words to say to sound clever.

on a better note as a class we went to liverpool on thursday. we went to see the nam june paik exhibtions at fact and tate liverpool but we also went to see the underwater exhibtion at bluecoats. we started off at the fact museum. i was very impressed with the laser cone in the first room and enjoyed sitting under that and looking at the shapes created on the fabric. the rest of the works were video art which i can appreciate but are not really my thing. we then went to the underwater exhibtion (which ironically had video art which i liked!) the videos i liked were jellyfish lake by dorothy cross, becoming light by bill viola and he drowned in her eyes and she called him to follow by janaina tschape. my favourite of these is jellyfish lake. this is because it looks so serene and beautiful, this is due to the images but also because there is no sound in this piece. i think sound sound have shattered the calm feeling of the piece. finally, we went to the tate liverpool. after seeing the video art by nam june paik at fact we didnt really want to see any more or pay the entrance fee so we just looked round the permanent exhibtion there. my favourite piece there was axehead by tony cragg. i liked this because he's collected all of the objects and the differences between them but that they are bought together in this one piece.

Friday, 21 January 2011


so a slight correction needed from my last blog about the whitworth. it was not alec finlay giving the talk it was tim machin. i arrived late to the talk so i didn't realise they had changed the speaker.

now update on the animation...
i have started making one of the sets to my piece and it's taking slightly longer than i first thought!
i've started making the burger place where the spoon will work... here's my progress so far:

so yeah this has taken me 2 days to do!
saying that it has been quite fun and i'd prefer to spend longer on it and it look good on the camera than really bad!
(i also like how in this photo you can see the evil clown (arch-enemy to spoon) just poking out from the side)
ill post more photos when ive completed this set and when ive made more sets, props etc

now... on wednesday i eventually had a book-binding induction. we got taught how to make some books just from a single sheet of paper, how to stitch books and then we made concertina books with hardback covers.
i really enjoyed it, especially seeing some examples of different types of books we were learning how to make. inspiration for the scope of things i can with a simple design.
i got a couple of books about book making from the library so i'm going to give those designs a go and see what happens. watch this space...

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

outing to the whitworth

after umming and ahhhing about whether to go or stay in bed i decided to head on down to the whitworth art gallery for their tuesday lunch time talk. the artist this week was alec finlay.
after initially not liking his work i started to appreciate the thought process behind his pieces. hiw works are quite minimalist and he likes to make something out of nothing so flyers, leaflets and a large amount of blutack are in his work. the piece i liked most from the ones he showed us is called 'birds' and is silouhettes or british birds cut from a birdspotting guide and stuck onto a wall. although in terms of style it was no different to his other works for some reason this one i felt was more beautiful and was more aesthetically pleasing.
although i not sure i like how his works look and the execution of them i do like the fact that he uses 'normal' everyday objects in his work, turning the everyday into a work or art.

now for my project, yesterday i had a mid-year review of my work in front of 2 members of staff and about 6 other students. i was happy with the work i showed and although i hate presenting anything i think it went ok. i did realise however how scatty my work is and that i do flit from one project to the next very quickly. i now see the need to keep at a project and push it forward and not just abandon it.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

and now back to reality

after a busy, fairly tiring but fun christmas and new year break i'm now back in manchester.
my schedule during the holidays has meant my work has been somewhat limited but i have found a few items to possibly use in my animation. i've found charity shops have been the best source for things to use and i found in my local oxfam a scary china clown that turned out to be a teapot.
i have still been thinking about what to do for my animation and i'm torn between a few ideas but in the next few weeks i'll have the time to experiment and try to eventually learn how to use computer animation software properly.

over new years i was in rotterdam in the netherlands for a taize meeting. taize is a community in france and each year they have a european meeting over new year in a different city around the continent. each year thousands of young people accend on a european city, this year there were around 25,000. i loved the fact there were so many people especially in the prayers with all the people singing together. i like the idea of so many people being unique and individual but coming together to make something new.
after the meeting i stayed with a friend in groningen which is in the north east of the country. it is a university town and still has lots of the original architecture (only a small section was bombed during the war). it is quite a pictureesque town especially along the canal where my friend lives where there are all the old warehouses that have been converted into houses.
whilst in groningen we also climbed the martinitoren (martini tower) which is one of the oldest towers in the town. despite being slightly scared of spiral staircases i managed to get to the top and get down again.

because of being involved in the taize coomunity i have friends from all over the world. whilst seeing a lot of my friends in rotterdam i thought i could show about the journeys people made to get to rotterdam or the journeys i have had and will have seeing them in their own countries. this is still early ideas that are forming but i wanted to do something to bring together the exerience i had in rotterdam.

lastly, a few days ago i watched an animation of peter and the wolf directd by suzie templeton and a short film called cashback directed my sean ellis.
i loved the animation style in peter and the wolf and the lack of speech in it made it much more beautiful and made it have a dream like quality. the whole 'look' of the film is very cold and dark but that doesn't stop there being beauty in it. i especially loved the ice skating scene and the animation here.
cashback is about an art student who works the night shift in sainsburys to pay for his course. to make the time go faster he imagines time has stopped and he can imagine what he wants. in parts this film was enjoyable and funny but i think more could have been done with the main character stopping time. in the film he stops time, undresses female customers and draws them, i think i would have enjoyed the film if he had stopped time then made something funny happen. the rest of the film is funny and entertaining but it completely changes when he stops time which spoils it slightly.

so these next few weeks will be ones for experimenting and hopefully having a finished animation at the end!