I enter quite alot of ‘competitions’ on social media photography groups. This is an ideal platform for getting your work out there. You never know who sees your work. I must admit two years ago and more I wouldn’t have joined such groups. I saw them as unprofessional and amateur and the general perception of past tutors were stay away as they were a waste of time. (I studied 18 months photography UCBC, but moved to Fine Arts as I felt I wasn’t learning anything and I needed ‘more’.)
So my views on social media sites has changed somewhat over the last two years. In fact, it is a huge source of inspiration and I am friends with some talented artists who are successful in their own right and have had their work shown in exhibitions and published etc…
Above: A selection of photographs where I have won photographer of the day or best photo of the day and I have had two of my photographs published in the InSomnia photography magazine.
Over the past six years I have produced thousands of photographs in my portfolio. I have also produced wire sculpture, paintings, pottery, video installation, light installation and I have used projection as a means of producing artworks. This is what I have learnt on the fine arts course over the last two years.
I haven’t sold any of my art to date, I produced a series of four artworks ‘ABUSE’ which is about abuse within the British Army. I plan to enter them into the Harris Museum’s ‘Open Call’ in October where they will be on show for three months. The ‘abuse’ series is one of my best pieces of artwork I have produced to date, it’s also a personal project which I hope to build on in the future.
Gaining a degree is of the utmost importance for me. I plan to move to Berlin next year (2020) where I will be based. There I will work in collaboration with fellow artist Uli Mächtle. We are currently working together on a project about the Brexit, before and after. Our work takes us to various locations around the UK including Belfast. We have alot of photographs between us in our portfolio and when it is finished we will publish a book.
I also plan to exhibit my work in art galleries. A friend of Uli and I has bought a gallery space in Hamburg and I plan to exhibit works there but before I can do this I need a degree.
Maybe I’m being a little bit ambitious but my ultimate goal would be to have my photographs published in Magnum.
*To delve into the rich history of Magnum Photos, which was founded in 1947 by the photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa,David Seymour, George Rodger, and William Vandivert *
I have also had some of my photographs printed professionally onto Acrylic and Brushed Metal at Whitewall.
Below: Slideshow of the acrylic I had printed at Whitewall and photographs of artworks I entered into our group ‘Austerity’ exhibition.
THIS is what was missing. I did the two year foundation course in photography with tutors Sean McAllister and Carlton Watt. I didn’t choose Fad at the time because I didn’t believe I was talented enough for a fine arts course.
The foundation course turned out to be incredibly valuable for me as an artist and I learnt skills and valuable information that stays with me today. Actually, it was a motorbike accident I had 24th December 2012 which prompted me to enrol on the photography foundation course. I had zero confidence and was clueless about current affairs etc… I had no idea if I would even be ‘any good’.
As it turned out, I had two wonderful tutors whom believed in me. I had some talent which would grow as time went on and I learnt more. I cannot praise those tutors enough to be honest, and I’ll never forget them. It’s because of them, where I am today where my photography is concerned and the knowledge I have to date.
Since I met fellow artist Uli Mächtle my photography improved tenfold. Working alongside professional artists is a valuable lesson.
Having said that, since I decided to move over to Fine Arts I have learnt so much more. I have produced paintings, sculpture and so on, things I never imagined just a few years ago. Being taught by professional artists is fantastic , I consider myself lucky to have artists Jamie Holman, Steven Baldwin, Jo Neil, Sarah Hardacre, Bill Kelly, Kim Stuttard as our tutors.
I CAN do these things, the work I have produced over the last two years and particularly this last year (Yr2) is testament to that. I have alot to learn, I’m learning something new everyday. We continue to learn until the day we die.
As artists, we are able to channel our grief through art. As human beings, we have our difficulties. Personal, Deaths, Depression, it’s all channelled through our art. I have completely shut down over this past four months due to the sudden death of my dear mother. My dear father just eighteen months before and the attempted suicide of my son. All took its toll on my mental health and physical, it’s been mentally tiring. Artists go through complete shutdowns during their careers and each are different in terms of recovery. I am still grieving and the recovery is ongoing. I have struggled. The one thing that has kept me kind of sane (you never really are) is painting and photography. I call this a ‘mindless’ state where your brain is only able to cope with simple mindless activities. Because of this, I have fell behind somewhat with my WordPress. But I have lots of pieces of artworks and photography in the meantime.
Below: Photographs, M.E.A
Photographs from the Harris Museum.
On Sunday I helped with the photography for Jamie’s commission.https://superslowway.org.uk/news/artist-jamie-holman-announced-for-politics-of-fabric-co-commission-for-lancashire-encounter-2018-and-fabrications-2019/As part of our creative futures brief it’s important to work alongside and experience what it’s like to work in a gallery or museum.
This photograph was taken outside the entrance to the museum where the lighting was quite dark. I use Lightroom to edit my photographs which is a valuable tool for professional photographers. With this photo I used a tool in Lightroom which enabled me to under expose the background and just have the flag in the picture. Sometimes you take a photograph with something in mind. You might want to make it black and white for example with lots of grain. I like to experiment with my art. Some photographs need only a little contrast added or clarity to define it and make it sharper.
You are able to store photographs in a catalogue and everytime you import your photo’s you create a folder. This way you are able to find your photo’s when you need to. My folders are listed on the left handside of the picture, above.When you export the photographs onto an external, it is displayed on the screen like a contact sheet. Rather than print contact sheets out, you could screenshot the computer screen and upload onto WordPress digitally.
Some photographs I take are out of focus. Sometimes it’s deliberate and other times it’s not. Just because a photograph is out of focus doesn’t mean it can’t be used.
AboveThis main subjects in this photograph are out of focus but the building in the background is sharp. This was a mistake but I have used it to my advantage. Usually when a photo is out of focus I will make it black and white and reduce the blacks and increase the whites which I did above. It’s really about aesthetics and what looks aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
AboveThis photograph was out of focus with movement. The people in the photo are blurred and almost unrecognizable which is one way of dealing with ‘ethics’.Some people don’t like having their picture taken and some people don’t mind. The people in this photo knew they were going to be photographed. This picture works better ‘because’ it is out of focus. Saying that it’s not really an outstanding award winning image.——————————————————————————–CREATIVE FUTURES SUMMATIVE EXHIBITION We had a group meeting about an exhibition as part of our Creative Futures brief.We discussed:VenuesDateOpeningThemesLeasha wrote an email to the Dean asking about a possible venue for our exhibition. She wrote who we were, mentioned our recent success with ‘The Great Austerity Debate’ exhibition. We suggested possible dates and that we would invigilate during opening times…Eleanor has set up a Facebook group with options for us to vote a possible theme.Paula recorded our conversation whilst discussing the email.We all decided to think about themes and any other ideas and we would have a group meeting Friday dinnertime.Today, 11th February we had another meeting regarding our exhibition.Leasha emailed the Dean at Blackburn Cathedral but she was given the wrong information. So today during our meeting we suggested she give them a phonecall. She was given correct information and she was able to email the Events Co-ordinator.We all agreed that the working title would be [How does society affect Identity]The title of the exhibition would probably be:[IDENTITY]Leasha mentioned posters and Gaz suggested we use the ‘challenge 25 poster design’.
We said we would use the “I.D” card as a template for our poster. The left hand side would be a blacked out silhouette, and the right side would have the information of our exhibition including times, dates, titles etc….Paula suggested we talk to two students from the third year of fine art, Lydia and Emma for advice on marketing and any ideas and tips they might be able to give us.Susan volunteered to design the posters as she is currently studying on a course at the university with tutor Sam.Eleanor suggested making a small booklet/brochure with photographs of each students artworks in the exhibition. However we would have to think about costs.I suggested we each put some cash into a ‘pot’ but I’m not sure if this would be a good idea.We spoke about vinyl stickers from the making rooms but we can’t organise anything until we know what space we have available. [In the end we weren’t able to have vinyl lettering as the machine at the Making Rooms had broke down]The whole group walked to the cathedral in order to have a sneaky peek at the Crypt but it was locked. Leasha will hopefully organise a day/time for us to visit.I mentioned food but we want to see whether there is a cafe available (if we get the space).We talked about using a charity like we did with the Austerity Debate exhibition but decided it wasn’t neccessary for this exhibition.When we did our Austerity exhibition we could have advertised better. So this time, I would like to email the University Marketing Department. The local radio and Lancashire Telegraph are also an option.Eleanor said she would like to be in charge of the floor plans.Paula mentioned facilities in the Crypt…Our tutor also suggested:Site visit.. photographs. Floor plan. Site lines. Curation. Plugs. Fire escapes. Toilets. He suggested setting up a separate Facebook page dedicated to this brief. He suggested we do experiments, research and developing work. He suggested we have a planner (which we already have available to us). He suggested we find out what does Identity mean as it is a broad subject and there are different levels of Identity.Firstly, we need to arrange a venue and are hoping to book the Crypt at Blackburn Cathedral. If we are not able to book this venue we will probably decide to have the exhibition at the Bureau Centre for the Arts. We are all weary about this though as the communication isn’t so good and we feel they don’t do enough to advertise the space.———————————————————————————-Wednesday 12th June 2019[In the few months that I wrote the above I lost my mum suddenly to cancer. As a result of this, I wasn’t able to attend meetings and do as much as I would have liked.]As I mentioned above, Eleanor Driver made a group page in which we were able to vote on which theme we preferred. We had a short discussion on identity… Lancashire heritage, Northern, Brexit, Gender, Children Wearing Makeup and Feminism.The theme IDENTITY recieved the most votes.Gaz suggested we use the Challenge 25 identity card for our exhibition poster which we all agreed was an excellent idea. Susan offered to make a design for the poster in Photoshop.
Above ‘Identity’ posterSusan passed the file on to Paula so it could be changed if needed whilst she was on holiday. The photo above is the revised one.Our venue was booked in at the Bureau Centre for the Arts, sadly the building caught fire and a huge part of the building had burnt to the ground, completely gutted. This led to Tilly Stark calling an emergency meeting. We considered the public library as an alternative, I also offered to pay the fee for the crypt at Blackburn Cathedral. Finally, it was decided that we would use the space in the 3rd year studio in the Victoria Building on the 5th floor.Susan was our chosen treasurer as we all put £5 into the kitty to cover any food, drinks and marketing costs.I suggested making a brochure of our works in the exhibition however costs were an issue so we decided against this.Jamie suggested setting up a group fb page dedicated only to this exhibition, Kristy organised this and the group page was called Creative Futures.
Above: Screenshot of the post I posted in creative futures and our main BA FA Yr2 group.I was keen to get the group photo as soon as possible as we didn’t have long before the exhibition and I was worried it wouldn’t be printed in time as our exhibition only ran for a week. We arranged a time and day that I would take the photo and email it to Amy at the Lancashire Telegraph.
Above: The email along with the photograph I took of the group I sent to Amy at the Telegraph. I hadn’t heard from Amy for some 4 days so I sent her a private message and another email. She replied apologising as she was sick and off work but would run the story upon her return on monday. It was quite a relief as I didn’t want to let the group down.
Amy ran the story which was printed in the paper and available online.
Above: Screenshot of Leasha Anderson’s post.