Making room for “X” qualities.

BELOW IS A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS I HAVE ENTERED INTO ONLINE COMPETITIONS.

THE PHOTOGRAPH BELOW “MISCHIEF MAKER” IS ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVOURITES AND I AM DELIGHTED THAT IT WAS CHOSEN FOR THE GALLERY. THE WINNING PHOTOGRAPHS IN THE ‘Vivian Maier INSPIRED GALLERY’ ARE ALSO SHOWN ON INSTAGRAM.

SINCE Vivian Maier CAME TO LIGHT SOME 7+ YEARS AGO SHE HAS BEEN ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHERS OF ALL TIME, INCLUDING ‘STEPHEN SHORE’ WHOM I GAIN QUITE A LOT OF INSPIRATION FROM.

‘Mischief Maker’ also won best photograph in the ‘female fotographer’s foto’ winners club!. (see below)

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A selection of photographs I have entered into social media photography groups and won photograph of the day/week. Photography Social Media Sites are a good way of staying in contact with fellow artists. When I finish my degree, I plan to travel and hope to sell my photographs to glossy magazines. Being part of online groups is a good way of meeting up with people in different countries. For example when I go to New York with university for Four days I am going to see if I’m able to meet up with fellow artists.

Tutor: Steven Baldwin

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This brief is about finding our discipline. I shall carry on with photography and visiting various exhibitions and galleries, and I am sure to get inspiration from that. I always find I get inspired mostly by looking at other people’s work. Especially photographers and I invest quite a lot in books which I think is important. You can’t read enough books. I don’t necessarily have to read the text, as I’m mostly inspired by images.

When i’m out ‘hunting’, I will always have the camera in my hand switched on ready to capture anything that comes my way. I don’t stop from the moment I leave the house til the moment I return.

I have ideas of paintings I want to try, incorporating my photography, maybe collage. On the 17th October I will be visiting Belfast so I am sure to get lots of inspiration whilst I am there.

Below

‘Untitled’ Belfast M.E.A

ABOVE

‘Untitled’ Belfast M.E.A

These were taken outside the Titanic museum. I was drawn to the people, looking at the water. I thought the water it was kind of mesmerising and I think other’s thought the same. It was a deep black with this ripple skimming the surface, the light bouncing off it.

Peace Wall:  the first Peace Lines were built in 1969, they were only meant to be temporary but became wider, longer and more permanent due to their effective nature. Originally there were a few, but multiplied over the years. They stretch over Twenty One miles and most are located in Belfast.

In January 2012, the ‘International fund for Ireland’ launched the peace walls funding programme to support local communities who want to work towards the removal of the walls.

In May 2013, the ‘Northern Ireland Executive’ committed to the removal of all peace lines by mutual consent by 2023.

In September 2017, the ‘Northern Ireland Department of Justice’ published its ‘Interface Programme’ to deliver the commitment made by the N.I.E to remove all Interface structures by 2023 under the ‘Together: Building a United Country Strategy’

Above

‘Peace Wall Gateway’ Belfast M.E.A

I visited Belfast as part of a project my partner and I are working on. We plan to publish a photobook about the Brexit before and after. Ireland was against the Brexit and wanted to stay. I didn’t go on any tours whilst there, I wanted to explore and get a feel of the City for myself. The people were not very welcoming. There’s still a lot of resentment regarding the British army in Ireland during the riots.

Operation Banner

Operation Banner was the name for the British Army in N.I from August 1969 – July 2007 as part of ‘The Troubles’ riot. it was the longest continuous deployment in British Military History. The British Army was initially deployed at the request of ‘Unionist government of Northern Ireland’ to help the ‘Royal Ulster Constabulary’ during the 1969 riots and to assert authority of the British Government in Northern Ireland. At the peak of the operation, around 21,000 British troops were deployed.

‘The Docks’ Belfast M.E.A

This photograph is slightly overexposed and the tones neutral.

This was inspired by Nadav Kander (below)

The photographs look overexposed and the tones are muted. It is a foggy day which adds to the atmosphere of the photograph.

Respond:

When I look at other Photographers work I tend to respond to the images. When I am on a ‘shoot’, I respond to my surroundings and this impacts how I choose to edit the work later on. The image above (Belfast Docks) for example is really an uninteresting view. It’s how you choose to interpret that view that makes it a picture. Sometimes, my images hardly need any ‘retouching’. I do not use Photoshop, I prefer Lightroom which is what most professional artists prefer.

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Above, Belfast, M.E.A

A selection of photographs I took whilst I was in Belfast.

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Above, ‘Peace Wall’, Belfast, M.E.A

I walked into a residential area to get an idea of what the wall looked like, it seems odd having this monstrosity on your doorstep, ‘caged in’.

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Above, ‘Peace Wall’, Berlin, M.E.A

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Above, Belfast, M.E.A

This was a small exhibition I visited with some original photographs from the riots and inside people’s homes.

Above, Nadav Kander

This was taken along the Yangtze River in China. It is the longest river in Asia and the Third longest in the world stretching 3,964 miles!. More people live along the Yangtze River the live in the U.S.A!.

Above ‘Soar’ M.E.A

Taken at Belfast harbour. Taking inspiration from Nadav Kander (below)

I get alot of inspiration from photobooks. I think it’s important to look at other artist’s work. One artist in particular I’m interested in is John Bulmer. His photo book plays a very important part in the documentation of every day life of ordinary people and how times change over the years.

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Above, John Bulmer, The North, 1960’s 70’s

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Above

Lady leaving a fruit and veg shop, Belfast, M.E.A

This reminds me of my childhood when my grandparents lived in Mill Hill, Blackburn. Going back nearly forty years ago it was a thriving little community with local businesses selling fresh fruit and veg, butchers, and at the fruit and veg shop you were able to buy fresh fish. All this has gone due to the popularity of supermarkets. Local businesses are unable to compete and are forced to close. Takeaways were a luxury that you had once or twice a year. We ate fresh fruit and vegetables and meat and were better for it.

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Above, John Bulmer, The North

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Above, Second hand stall, Accrington, M.E.A

Here, I have responded to John Bulmer’s photograph above. When I am out with my camera, sometimes I look at the scene in front of me and think to myself  “Ooooh, this reminds me of a John Bulmer photo I saw in his photo book”…

Past photographers/artists pave the way for future artists. They give ‘permission’ to make this kind of image, because it’s already been done before. For me, there is no right or wrong, I frame my photographs as I see fit. Composition comes naturally, the more photographs you take the better you become and you will find that you do it without thinking.

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Above, Second hand stall, Accrington Market, M.E.A

The people in this photo were totally unaware I had taken their photograph. Most times, I walk with my camera in hand by my side and shoot from there as I walk by. or, I might stand outside looking around me whilst shooting in quick succession. It’s a good way of taking photo’s without being challenged. I must admit I have difficulty understanding the word ‘ETHICS’. I just think it’s a shame that the most people nowadays automatically think you’re either a terrorist or a paedophile. I DO have my limits though and there are certain photographs I will not take, but there aren’t many. Because I have difficulty understanding the word ‘ETHICS’, I shall use this as the subject for my dissertation in my final year. Maybe I will find the answer as to why I have the need to do what I do. But I think that my photographs in comparison to others’ aren’t really that much of a big deal.

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Above, Second hand stall, Accrington Market, M.E.A

I really don’t know how these stall holders are able to survive. Walking around the market more than half of the stalls are empty. I would imagine the rents are cheap because they are outdoors.

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Above, (top and bottom)

Accrington Outdoor Market, M.E.A

I recently visited Burnley and Bolton and was surprised to see that these once thriving markets are half shut down. Blackburn market was once a thriving market going back forty years ago, I remember going to the market each week with my mother and grandparents. It’s such a shame now as all of that is gone. Our old outdoor markets have been pulled down to make way for a new multi million pound bus station. The shopping mall has been extended in a million pound investment which is supposed to bring people into Blackburn from the surrounding areas. The rents are so high that market stalls are having to close because they’re unable to make a living. Now, we have no market to speak of as half is shut down.

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Above ‘Having a fag’, Clitheroe Kates, Blackburn, M.E.A

I see this electric chair parked outside this pub on a regular basis. It’s shocking to see men stood outside the pub at 9 – 9.30am with a pint in their hand. I always liked the idea of doing a project on this subject. It’s sad to realise that some people cannot wait for their next pint.

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Above ‘Arm Wrestle’, Blackburn, M.E.A

The man in the photo is ‘mentally challenged’, I like the camaraderie of the man and youngsters. They could easily have ignored him or laughed, but didn’t. The older man challenged a few of the youngsters to an arm wrestle.

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Above ‘Homeless’, Blackburn, M.E.A

Above are some photographs I took in my home town of Blackburn. Every where you look is poverty. The man in the top picture clearly has mobility problems however it doesn’t stop him from going to the pub. What else does he have to live for?. It may be his only pleasure in life. The middle photograph is a man challenging a group of children to an arm wrestle. This was taken outside the bus station where teenage kids hang out. You only have to sit outside for half an hour and observe. The poverty is there for all to see only open your eyes. It’s quite depressing really. Most shocking of all is the photograph I took of a homeless man above. I have seen this man eating food from the rubbish bins on Darwen Street. This happens on a regular basis, not only him, but I have witnessed others’ eating leftovers from discarded pizza boxes and polystyrene trays.

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/17254424.tributes-are-paid-to-man-found-dead-outside-boots-in-blackburn

This is why I take the photographs I take. I want to show the side that people refuse to see. In the news this week was a report of a UN Special Reporter on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, has reported that “the introduction of Universal Credit has caused extreme hardship but could easily be reversed by the government”. Source: (METRO) online)

Our government says “No there isn’t”. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that working class people are being forced to use food banks, not just people who are on the dole. Our children are starving going to school hungry. Millions of people are living in misery.

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Above, John Bulmer, The North

People took pride of their homes in those days. It was common to see women on their hands and knees scrubbing the stone flags and sweeping rubbish from their front doors.

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Above, John Bulmer, The North

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Above, ‘Backstreets’, Accrington, M.E.A

This is a bit like ‘Documentary Photography’. You wouldn’t see this in the 60’s. I like to be able to look back at old photographs and see how much it has changed.

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Above, ‘Accrington’, M.E.A

For me, this photograph is the epitome of poverty. It’s plain to see that the people who live here are poverty stricken, lower class, or maybe working class, since nowadays the working class are having to turn to food banks and government handouts.

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Above, ‘Rooftops, Accrington’, M.E.A

These photographs I took around Accrington could easily have been taken in the 1960’s or 70’s.

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Above, ‘Live! In! Room!’, Accrington, M.E.A

I exhibited the above photograph as part of our Year 2 ‘The Great Austerity Debate’ exhibition. I had the photograph printed on Acrylic ultra HD Metallic Print.

The photograph was taken with a 400mm zoom lens, (hand held) overlooking the backstreets and terraced houses with buildings in the background of Accrington in Lancashire.

The title, refers to this space as a whole. Every square inch of the frame is filled with houses, backyards, church, buildings, there are unseen corner shops, and various businesses which have closed down or are boarded up. The people who live here know nothing else. They carry on with their daily lives in this ‘space’. They take the kids to school, go to work, (if they’re lucky enough to have a job) they pick the kids up from school, they come home, they cook tea, get the kids ready for bed, wake up the next day and start all over again. This is their ‘living room’, this space, for some, will be all they know.

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Above, Audley Range, Blackburn, M.E.A

Children playing outside their house.

ELSWICK KIDS & YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT by Tish Murtha

(Social Documentary)


Tish Murtha’s work is an important documentation of 1970’s Britain. Social Documentary Photography inspires me the most. During my two year photography foundation course I learnt a lot about different photographers many of which I admire immensely. When I think about ‘ETHICS’ it makes me wonder.

I do what I do ‘BECAUSE’ of what I learnt on the foundation course!. These artists and their bodies of work are important enough for us to be ‘used’ as part of the foundation programme. For example below:

Sally Mann


Sally Mann is best known for taking photographs of her children. She didn’t take the photographs because she liked taking photographs of children, she took them because they were there and it was easy for her whilst they were growing up.


Above

Sally Mann, Body Farm

It is this body of work that gave me the idea of ‘The Doll Farm’.

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‘The Doll Farm’ – Ongoing Body of Work, M.E.A

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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

My intention was for this ‘Body of Work’ to be ‘Obscene’. If for example, an art critic was to regard these images as being ‘obscene’, then I have done my job properly!.

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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

Out of all the images, I would say that the one above is my favourite. For me, it is obscenely obscene. This body of work gave me the idea of my ‘Prostitutes or Dolls’ project. I made a huge triptych collage of my own images of photographs I had taken in Berlin of working street girls, along with photographs of the dolls.

The message behind it was:

These girls are trash, they are used, abused and discarded, in the same manner as the dolls. The dolls in the photo’s are obscene in the same manner of which the working girls are classed.

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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

The image above is another of my favourites. Here, I have cropped right into the image showing only the open mouth of the doll and nose. Dirt is visible on the doll’s face which fits in with the obscene theme.
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‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

This image above reminds me of a young woman left for dead in a wooded area. I must admit I am fascinated with all things morbid. Pre – foundation course I hated anything relating to morbidity and refused to look at or watch videos relating to anything even remotely violent.

Above

‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

Byker – Amber Collection

Above

BYKER, ‘Rooftops’, Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen

Below

‘Round Our way”, Blackburn, M.E.A

Here I am responding to Sirkka’s photographs from her Byker series.


Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen is a Finnish photographer who has worked in Britain since the 1960s. Born in Myllykoski, municipality of Sippola, Finland in 1948, Konttinen studied photography in London in the 1960s, and co-founded the Amber collective, which moved to Newcastle in 1969.

From 1969 Konttinen lived in Byker, and for seven years photographed and interviewed the residents of this area of terraced houses until her own house was demolished. She continued to work there for some time afterwards. This resulted in the book Byker, which in David Alan Mellor’s words “bore witness to her intimate embeddedness in the locality”. In 1980 she became the first photographer since the Cultural Revolution to have her work exhibited by the British Council in China. Konttinen’s next project was a study of girls attending dance schools in North Shields, their mothers, and the schools. The book Step by Step, which influenced Billy Elliot, came from this.

Below

‘Round Our Way’, Blackburn, M.E.A

All of the photographs below were taken ‘on my doorstep’ using an unusual ‘point of view’ (composition.)

 

Above

‘Untitled’, Blackburn & Hebden Bridge, M.E.A

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‘Darwen Tower’, Darwen, M.E.A

Above Bottom

‘Thwaites’, Blackburn, M.E.A

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Above

‘Elderly Lady Having a Nosey’, Blackburn, M.E.A

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Above,

‘Heather’, 1971, Siirka-Liisa Konttinen

Quote: Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen: ” I heard music coming from a derelict house,” …

“This was one of the last terraces before the final demolition, and there were no steps left to the house, but upstairs I heard music, piano, coming out of the windows”. … Sirkka entered the house, climbing the rickety staircase to where the music was coming from. She found a girl, Heather, “Playing the piano, banging the notes that were kind of stuck and unstuck”.

Sirkka and Heather started talking, and Sirkka taught her a simple tune. “I told her if she ever wanted to come and play, she could come and play it on my piano”… Heather showed up a few days later with her little brother. On Sirkka’s piano, they played the tune together.

Who? For almost 50 years, the Amber Film and Photography Collective created and collected work to represent marginalised communities and their disappearing landscapes. “We felt that the working class were not represented and if anything, were parodied rather than given a genuine voice,” explains Finnish photographer and founding member Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen. This week, Newcastle’s Laing Gallery will present a retrospective of their work, an exhibition Konttinen calls “long overdue”.

What? Row upon row of terraced houses set on the hillside, an old man inspects his pigeons, a young woman applies make-up over the kitchen sink. Konttinen renders the people living in this dilapidated landscape with charming humanity. “Newcastle was a stunning visual place to be in,” she says. Konttinen found herself in Byker by coincidence, but realised it was symbolic of the regeneration projects happening around Britain at the time. “It was never a slum, it was always a very proud community established over generations, and they wanted to stay that way. But the gap between demolition and the houses being built was years, and people had to move out and never came back.”

The resulting body of work, from street photography to composed portraits in people’s homes, finds a resilient and proud human spirit amid the outwardly harsh living spaces. When the developers finally moved in, she moved on to other projects, but her photographs toured the world as social documentary and sublime compositions.

Why? As social documentary as art form enjoys favour anew, this internationally acclaimed portrait of extinct Britain makes for powerful viewing. What’s more, Konttinen returned to Byker in the late 1990s and shot new residents, including new asylum seekers, for Byker Revisited. Many of the old families were all but gone and she found a troubling shift in tempo. “What you see as poverty in the old Byker was really just neglect,” she explains. “The community were very proud and I used to see women regularly scrubbing their own doorsteps, the streets were kept clean. People looked after each other. The difference I see now is that unemployment is in its second or third generation, which has resulted in a very different kind of poverty. There are houses where even the police wouldn’t approach.”

Amber set out to represent the working class, and in a new age of austerity, Kottinen sees their message as more relevant than ever. “This government is not going to be good, we already know that,” she says. “It’s going to cause a lot of homelessness and suffering. It’s not just affecting the poorest, but the next poorest too with the Tax Credits disappearing. It’s terrifying.”

Above

A selection of photographs I took on location inspired by various photographers.

BFI Screenonline: Amber Collective (1969-) Biography

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/502352/index.html

 

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Above

‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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Above

‘Untitled’, M.E.A

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‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A

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Above, ‘Kids of Accrington’, M.E.A
I got inspiration with the above photographs from Tish Murtha and Sirkka-Liisa Kontinen.
These kids were making a nuisance of themselves whilst we were sat in a cafe, kept banging a ball against the window. We were told they have been making a nuisance around the town centre. My partner went outside and told them to ‘move’, to put it a nice way!. They ended up following us for two hours shouting abuse at us, spitting at us, throwing stones and glass etc…

This is what they know, it’s how they are brought up. They have no respect, it’s not really their fault because the parents are the same. And their parents before that. The difference between these photo’s and the Tish Murtha photo’s and Konttinen’s photo’s are thirty years ago kids made their own entertainment. They had manners then, they didn’t go round swearing at their elders. These kids are the kids of the future and it’s not looking too positive.

When I’m out ‘hunting’, I photograph a wide variety of subjects. Basically, I photograph what I see. I’m not thinking about it, I just do it. Being a street photographer is risky business nowadays. Tish Murtha LIVED it. She photographed where she grew up and I do the same. Except times have changed, people are suspicious and think when you are holding a professional camera you’re up to no good. I often get asked what am I doing. But if I walk around taking photo’s with my mobile phone, nobody says a word.

Personally, I would be more bothered about people taking photo’s on their mobile phones than I would with a professional camera. Paedophiles don’t walk around with five thousand pounds worth of equipment are they.? It’s so easy for them to take photographs of children or prey. I just think it’s a sad world when people are suspicious of you either being a paedophile or terrorist!. I think as artists, our work is vital, it’s important to document everyday life. Imagine if Murtha or Konttinen hadn’t taken the photographs they took?. Not just them, but other photographers too, like Vivian Maier, Diane Arbus, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Elliot Erwitt Saul Leiter, Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, William Eggleston, Gordon Parks, and Sally Mann, Nan Goldin (below) to name a few. Some of their photographs are iconic.

Below

Nan Goldin

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Above
C|0 Berlin, M.E.A

 

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Above, ‘Untitled’, C|O Berlin, Germany, M.E.A

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Above

Mark Rothko, Untitled 1969, Acrylic paint on paper

I get inspiration from different sources, not just photographer’s. Mark Rothko, above, has been a huge inspiration over the last few years, as well as street photography, I also like creating Abstract. When I see something, instantly an image will come into my mind. When I press the shutter, I know what I want from that particular image. Not ALL of the time, but sometimes. I like LOOKING at other artist’s work. When I’m out with the camera, everything I see, I see in pictures. Almost like the world is my stage and it’s a never ending theatre. You never know what your’e going to get.

I work in MANUAL setting, I don’t work in AUTO. This means, every photograph potentially needs a different setting, say if there’s extreme sunlight one minute and it’s dull the next. I have to change the settings accordingly which can become a bit of a problem. Sometimes you have only a split second to take the photograph. This can lead to some photo’s being underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too light). If not too badly under or over, you can usually correct it in Lightroom. It’s just a case of adjusting the exposure. Sometimes it can work in my favour. For example: (the eight photographs below):

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Above, ‘New Year Eve, Berlin’, M.E.A
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Above, ‘War Zone’, Berlin, M.E.A

The two images above I have overexposed, by increasing the exposure slightly, increasing the whites and highlights and reducing the blacks. I was told by one of the tutors whilst on the photography course at UCBC that ‘ANY imperfections whatsoever and he would delete the photograph’

I disagree, for example, ‘War Zone’, Berlin was published in the inSomnia photography magazine. I overexposed this image on purpose, it is a good example of one of those (I know exactly what I want from this image moments) as soon as I have pressed the shutter.

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Above ‘War Zone’, Berlin, M.E.A

This is the ORIGINAL RAW FILE. As you can see I changed it to Black & White in Lightroom and I overexposed the photograph to make the white area surrounding father and child look more like an ‘explosion’.
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Above, ‘The Watchers’, Berlin, M.E.A

I have completely overexposed this photograph leaving just a sliver of building with windows visible.

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Above, ‘Leila & Malika with a Rifle’, Blackburn, M.E.A

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Above, ‘Leila with a Rifle’, Blackburn, M.E.A

The two images above, ‘Leila & Malika with a Rifle’ & ‘Leila with a Rifle’ were taken in Blackburn Shopping Mall. The light wasn’t the best and it was much too bright. However, rather than ‘deleting’ the photographs I decided to use the ‘light’ to my advantage. As the photograph was overexposed I decided to overexpose it some more. I then reduced the Blacks and increased the shadows to bring a little bit more detail into the image. These are my nieces, Leila is autistic and very photogenic.

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Above, ‘Uli’, Berlin, M.E.A

One of my ‘unethical’ moments you could say. Here, Uli was having a coughing fit as I was shooting with the camera. It makes for an interesting photo though. The way he’s leant against the wall with one hand whilst his other hand lies across his chest and the expression on his face to makes the photo. I have once again extremely overexposed the image to add drama.

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Above, ‘Untitled’, Berlin, M.E.A

Another photograph I overexposed.

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Above, ‘Untitled’, Berlin, M.E.A

This photograph wasn’t working for me, I just didn’t like the background on the left side. Here, I decided to completely wipe out the whole of the left side by totally overexposing it until no more image was visible. I did this by using the ‘Graduated Filter’ in Lightroom. You are able to ‘sweep’ over parts of the photograph and under or overexpose, you can reduce or increase clarity, blacks, whites, add grain or reduce grain only on parts of the photograph you want retouching. It’s a little bit like ‘dodging and burning’ in the darkroom except you’re doing it digitally. Every photographer/artist edits their images if only to increase the clarity a little or the contrast, we all do it. Ansel Adams dodged and burned his photographs in the darkroom, as well as Lillian Bassman.

Above, Lillian Bassman

“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” Ansel Adams

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”

For Adams, there was a clear purpose behind his photography. You can see the hours of work he put in to find the right location and time to capture the perfect photo.

Then the hours he spent meticulously developing his photos in the darkroom.

Ansel Adams was a man who instinctively knew good photography, from decades of practice and a life in the art world.

Burning: a darkroom technique

To burn-in a print, the print is first given normal exposure. Next, extra exposure is given to the area or areas that need to be darkened. A card or other opaque object is held between the enlarger lens and the photographic paper in such a way as to allow light to fall only on the portion of the scene to be darkened.

Dodging: also a darkroom technique

A card or other opaque object is held between the enlarger lens and the photographic paper in such a way as to block light from the portion of the scene to be lightened. Since the technique is used with a negative-to-positive process, reducing the amount of light results in a lighter image.

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Above, Ansel Adams, Yosemite

Below are some photographs I have entered into online photography competitions.

I tend to post quite a few of my photographs onto online photography groups. Sometimes my photographs have won photo of the day or photo of the week. I have also had two of my photographs featured in the inSomnia Photography Magazine.

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My photographs featured in the inSomnia Photography Magazine.

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For Christmas and New Year I visited Berlin. Whilst there, I went to the Topographie Des Terrors which is a memorial to the Jews persecuted during World War Two. It’s quite a graphic exhibition but necessary. The horrors of war should never be forgotten. I think it should be taught in schools and also racism should be addressed. It should be a huge part of the school curriculum.

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Outside the Topographie Des Terrors.

When I took the photograph I was stood in West Berlin beyond the wall is East.

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Topographie Des Terrors

We all know about the horrors of World War Two under Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror.

 

Above, Weissensee, Derelict Children’s Hospital, M.E.A

Above are some examples of my recent work whilst in Berlin over Christmas and New Year.

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Above, Belfast, M.E.A

Above are some examples of my most recent work whilst in Belfast.

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Above, Belfast Docks, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above, Belfast Docks, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above, Belfast Docks, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above, Lagan Weir, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above, Lagan Bridge, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above, ‘Primark’, Belfast, M.E.A

This building had set on fire and burnt to the ground.

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Above, Nr Belfast Docks, Belfast, M.E.A

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Above & Below: ‘Terrified Children’, Belfast, M.E.A

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On the right hand side of the top photograph you can see the dummy sitting and in the very top right of the top photograph you can see an evil figure. This was a fancy dress shop and had lots of frightening figures on display outside and in the window.

This mother literally dragged her two small children around the corner from where the shop was and as she reached the corner the little boy in the photograph was scared to death. He ran towards the crossing to get away but his mother ‘DRAGGED’ him towards the shop whilst all the time he was screaming along with the little boy in her arms. Both were terrified!.

In the bottom photograph the mother looks at me towards the lens with a mad deranged smile on her face. She dragged the two children past the shop whilst he was pulling on her sweater to get away.

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Apart from Photography which is my main interest, I have also tried my hand at painting. Below.

 

I did this painting in less than thirty minutes. I used lots of different colours and mixed them together slightly before applying them onto the canvas. I repeated this until I was happy with the finish.

My original idea was to then sand it down using an electric sander to uncover the lots of different layers, but decided to leave it as it was. I added a clear gloss lacquer because the paint was ‘dull’. I didn’t do any research for this, it was something I decided to do ‘off the top of my head’ spur of the moment.



 

ABUSE

My next project I’m working on is ‘ABUSE’

Abuse is a project I’m working on which is very personal to me. It is about abuse and rape cases within the British Army. My son went to Harrogate Army College at the age of sixteen upon leaving school. He had already served four years in the Army Cadets and was looking forward to his army career in the Royal Signals Regiment.

He was to do one year of training at Harrogate and then would transfer to Blandford Army Barracks , Dorset in the South of England.

In Mid-June 2019 he will have served ten years. At the age of twenty six he will be leaving the army for good. He has NEVER been deployed. You see… His fight began before it even started….

Six weeks into his training he ‘Passed In’. Parents were invited down for the ‘Passing In Parade’. As soon as I walked into his barracks where he shared a room with around twelve other young soldiers, I knew immediately something was wrong. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife. I finally understood the meaning of this saying ‘Cut the atmosphere with a knife’, I had an awful sick feeling and my motherly instincts kicked in.

I thought about going into the sergeants office and asking him what the hell was going on!… I didn’t… But I wished I had. One of the sergeants stared at me and I knew he was involved. I even remember his name (Gibson) and what he looks like.

After the first six weeks of training was completed, Nathan would be allowed home for the weekends. Every week he rang begging to be picked up so he could come home for the weekend. It was around a two-hour round trip. One day I went to pick him up. When we arrived home I noticed bruising on his neck. My son was clearly depressed and a shadow of his former self. I went ballistic. He didn’t want to return on the Sunday, but I told him not to worry, I shall be coming with him. I didn’t want him being classed as AWOL.

I spoke to the staff at the entrance and asked to speak with someone in charge, high up. In the end I spoke with the Major. I was furious, I explained the bruising and asked him what the hell was going on. He ASSURED me, it would be sorted out and the Military Police were called in. Three lads were arrested. One left, the others were moved to a different room (which turned out to be opposite of where my son was). I told Nathan if it carries on he MUST tell me and I would sort it out. I would have taken him home, he wouldn’t have returned.

Nathan continued to beg to come home for weekends. I constantly asked him was he ok and whether the bullying had stopped, he assured me it had. It hadn’t… in fact the abuse carried on for the whole year of his training. I didn’t find out the truth until after he ‘Passed Out’ a year later.

Whilst there, he was Mentally, Physically Emotionally and Sexually abused. The bruising on his neck was from when he was strangled with a leather belt. Every day he was beaten and bullied. I know that Sgt Gibson was involved. The whole thing is covered up from the bottom to the top.

 

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In July 2018 my son tried to commit suicide. He is depressed and suicidal but the army weren’t listening. They told him he was ‘making it up’ so he could have time off. The doctors and psychiatrist didn’t believe him either. He was being bullied and this was making him more depressed.

Rather than return to his Barracks in Stafford, he crashed his car at 70mph into the central rail of the motorway. His car was a write off. He sent me photographs as I was in Berlin at the time and wasn’t returning home for two more days. He told me not to worry and that it was an accident. When I returned home though, he told me he crashed his car on purpose because he would rather die than go back to his barracks.

I was heartbroken. It hit me I could have lost my son. And then I got angry. It was a battle trying to get him the mental health care he desperately needed. We went to NHS hospital but they just rang the army up and the army took him back to Stafford in one of their ‘approved’ mental hospitals. Here, it was a battle to get them to give him medication. He was ringing me climbing the walls trashing his room. I rang the hospital and told them they either give him the medication or I sue if anything happens to him whilst he’s in their care. After that they finally gave him the medication to calm him down.

The trouble he was having then was that the doctors didn’t believe him because the army told them he was pretending! So I had to turn to desperate measures. I emailed the army on two occasions previously. I figured I was being too polite. So I emailed them again. I told them: “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with my son. He was raped, mentally and physically abused at Harrogate Army College aged just 16 years old. My son tried to commit suicide by crashing his car because he didn’t want to return to his barracks he would rather be dead because he’s continuing to be abused. If anything happens to my son because of you, it will be in all the national papers and on the news. My 16 year old son has been raped by you and I am bloody furious that you have been accusing him of lying about his depression and suicidal thoughts…”

His Major came to visit him, Nathan said he was appalled. Now, he is on permanent sick leave until he officially leaves on 16th June 2019. He will have been in the army 10 years.

 

The idea for this project grew out of the pain and suffering of my son. This kind of abuse is common in the British Army and it gets covered up.

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‘Horrific statistics’: Male rapes common in UK army, MoD data reveals

At least three rapes and 22 sexual assaults have been carried out against men in the UK military forces over the last two years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed under a Freedom of Information request.

Last February, a 20-year-old man was subject to “assault by penetration” by a group of seven men, The Times reported.

In May, another soldier, 28, was attacked by his seven fellow servicemen, while three other young men in the army – one of them 18 years old – were the victims of penetrative sexual assaults over the last year.

All in all, there have been 25 assaults between October 2012 and October 2014, the report revealed.

The numbers were disclosed by the MoD under Freedom of Information requests. They refer only to information gathered by military police, meaning that the real numbers could be much higher.

The ministry said that it required more time to check if anyone had been prosecuted for the assaults disclosed in the latest data.

“It is over, above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined was happening. [The figures] reinforce all I have ever said about the total failure of the MoD to protect service personnel,” Labour MP and anti-sexual violence campaigner Madeleine Moon told The Times, describing the figures as “horrific.”

Ex-army officer Major Ross McLeod provided details of how the incidents take place: broom handles and other objects are used for penetration to bully and scare the young servicemen.

“Sexual assault and male rape are unfortunately pretty routine army bullying tactics,” he said. “The military culture which has been perpetuated and protected since time immemorial… is one in which these attacks are neither surprising or appalling, but rather entirely predictable.”

From 1995 to 2002, four trainee soldiers died from gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks in Surrey in mysterious circumstances. Though investigations concluded that all the four deaths were suicides, the probes have been criticized by the families and media. Des James, the father of one of the four trainees, said it depressed him “so much to have these things still happening.”

The ministry has insisted that there is no evidence that sexual assaults and rape happen more often in the army than in society in general.

“We recognize the courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offense, which is precisely why we have extensive support systems in place and investigate any allegation thoroughly,” the spokesman for the ministry said.

In total, over 200 sexual abuse allegations by colleagues have been filed by military personnel over the last three years: 75 claims of rape and 150 of sexual assaults, according to figures released by the MoD in March.

http://www.rt.com/uk/216423-army-uk-rape-sexual

Rape and sexual assaults in the military need more than …

The foreign secretary, William Hague, has called for an end to the use of sexual violence in war as part of the fine and timely crusade he has taken up alongside movie star Angelina Jolie. An inquest into the death of corporal Anne-Marie Ellement, a military policewoman who killed herself in 2011 after claiming she was raped by army colleagues, has fixed a spotlight on the issue of sexual violence within the British military. Today the coroner found Ellement killed herself in part due to bullying in the army and the effects of alleged rape. It has also emerged that of 200 allegations of rape and sexual assault between 2011 and 2013 in the military, there have only been 27 convictions.
To begin to understand the British military on any level it is best to start with a round of myth busting. Let us dispense with the idea that the British military is in a meaningful sense a slightly quaint but essentially harmonious family. Healthy families do not regularly inflict acts of sexual violence upon each other, and in the British forces rapes and sexual assaults seem to have become something of a banality. No comparable professional group in the UK appears to rival the military for rates of colleague-on-colleague sexual violence. I would argue this stems from a poisonous mix of unchallenged sexism, unaccountable power and an archaic military justice system.
Say you are a servicewoman or – let’s not shy away from the great unmentionable – a serviceman who has been raped, the spectacle of a court martial with its proven low conviction rates awaits you. If you are one of those people who thinks Blackadder Goes Forth can’t tell you anything about the British military, I encourage you to attend a court martial. They are open to the public, though this is not advertised – such things are generally kept in-house. Indeed, by taking the official path you make yourself prisoner of a system which even some military officers consider to be “kangaroo courts … biased and partisan tribunals bounding inexorably towards predetermined conclusions”.

 

Male rape prevalent in UK army, Ministry of Defence figures reveal

At least 22 sexual assaults against male soldiers took place between 2012-2014

At least three rapes and 22 sexual assaults have been perpetrated against men in the armed forces in the two years to October 2014, according to new figures released under a freedom of information request.

The statistics reveal that a 20-year-old serviceman was allegedly subjected to “assault by penetration” last February by a group of seven men aged between 21 and 33, according to The Times.

A second servicemen aged 28 was also reportedly attacked in a similar manner in May by another gang of seven colleagues aged between 20 and 26.

Three servicemen, one as young as 18, were allegedly attacked by smaller gangs of men in other penetrative incidents last year. A further two male military personnel were subjected to the same type of degrading attack by one alleged perpetrator.

The figures, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), were described by Labour MP and anti-sexual violence campaigner Madeleine Moon as “horrific”.

“It is over, above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined was happening,” she told The Times. “[The figures] reinforce all I have ever said about the total failure of the MoD to protect service personnel.”

Armed forces suicide every 2 WEEKS – the shocking mental toll affecting our young men and women

Details of the suicide rates emerged in the week a new inquest heard Private Cheryl James, 18, was ordered to have sex with another soldier hours before she was found shot dead at Deepcut barracks, near Camberley, Surrey, in 1995.

Private Cheryl James, 18, died from a single shotgun wound to the head at Deepcut barracks in Surrey in 1995.

The original coroner recorded an open verdict.

Now a new inquest has heard she had rival boyfriends, may have been raped the previous night – and may not have killed herself.

 

So I decided to pour my own anger into works of art.

First, I downloaded pictures from porn sites on the internet, men and women. Then I uploaded them into Lightroom, just using my mobile phone. In Lightroom I changed them to black and white. I increased the clarity. I de-creased the blacks by 100%. I increased the whites by 100%. I increased the highlights between 50% more or less depending on the image. I increased contrast by up to 100% depending on the image. I reduced the noise by 100% in every image. Noise reduction is the amount of grain. By reducing the grain it gives a smooth cartoony look ( like above).

Above

The frames have been made 70×70 and reinforced with metal brackets.

The next step was to look for a suitable material. The ‘face’ will be projected onto a stretched material over a 70×70″ frame. The material needs to be thin enough for the projection to show through as I shall be stood on the opposite side of the ‘canvas’ painting the face using Black Dispersion Paint. (Below)

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Above, the frame is attached to the ‘easel’ using C-Clamps. This keeps the ‘canvas’ in position whilst I paint the face.

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The Projector needs to be kept still, so I used a ratchet around the projector and metal drawers it stands on to keep it steady. See above.

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Above, I have put a sandbag into the bottom drawer of the metal drawers the projector sits on. This is to make it harder to be moved if it is knocked accidentally.

I built an ‘easel’ to hold the frame whilst I paint. (Below)

 

The frame has been screwed together and metal brackets have been screwed onto the corners to keep it more sturdy. The base has been screwed into the floor so it doesn’t move.

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These are the four images I decided to use.

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Here are the finished paintings. The next job is to paint a black border around each ‘canvas’.

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I painted the black border around the ‘canvas’ by freehand.

The next step is the camouflage.

The camouflage prints were done the same way as the faces. I downloaded some pictures from the internet and resized them using LightRoom.

The camouflage design will be printed and stuck onto clear acrylic panels the same size as the ‘canvas’ 70×70.

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These are the four designs I have picked. I am waiting for the acrylic panels to be delivered so the frames can be completed. The acrylic panels will be attached to the ‘canvas’,  one inch apart. The face will be effectively HIDDEN behind the camouflage. (just like the army hides rape and abuse).

When you walk around the ‘canvas’ the face and camouflage will ‘move’ so it changes as you look at it.

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Above

I bought some clear plastic pipe and cut it into approximately 1″ pieces. (see above) and this was placed around the acrylic panels.

Using a sharp knife, I sliced down the side and opened it up and put it onto the acrylic panels. This was to give it extra protection and stop it from ‘rattling’ in the frame, it also protects the acrylic/corners from breaking.

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I used pine (top left) as a framework for the acrylic. Each piece wasn’t cheap at a cost of around £12 per strip, I bought 6 strips. But I don’t want any frills. This piece should not be glorified.

I used basic 2×1 for the framework for the ‘canvas’, and this was painted black (see above) as were all of the frames. I used BLACK DISPERSION PAINT for this. I wanted a blackest black paint.

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Above

Next, I sat the acrylic panel on top of the ‘canvas’ frame. Then put the pre-cut pieces of painted black pine around the four sides of the acrylic. (see below)

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The pine frame was positioned around the acrylic and screwed into place. (see above)

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The first of four paintings is finished.

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Photo: Uli Mächtle

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I placed the four pieces of artworks near to a radiator. The acrylic needed to dry out. The print had to be put onto the acrylic wet using soap and it needed to be in a dry place.

These are my four completed pieces of work.

‘Abuse’ Part 1 of 4

‘Abuse’ Part 2 of 4

‘Abuse’ Part 3 of 4

‘Abuse’ Part 4 of 4

Finishing these artworks has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I’ve cried myself to sleep. I haven’t slept. I’ve been worried about my son committing suicide again. I’ve worried about his health. I haven’t been able to think straight. I haven’t been able to get out of bed. I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything else but THIS. It was a bittersweet feeling completing this project.

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I have entered the set of four ‘Abuse’ paintings into the Open Call at the Harris Museum in Preston. The leaflet says that ALL artworks received by 16th February will be INCLUDED in the exhibition as long as you take your work by the deadline. I shall be going to the Opening Night.

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ONTO THE NEXT CHAPTER:

There was one more important piece of artwork I had to finish before my ‘Abuse’ journey was complete…

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Abuse’ (above)

Black Dispersion on Polyamide, 70×70.

This is a painting of my son, Nathan. I remember this day well. It was the first time we had seen each other in six years. I wasn’t allowed to talk to him, his wife wouldn’t allow it!. If I saw him in town, she wouldn’t let him talk to me and would drag him away. I was lucky if I saw him once a year if that.

Here, I had travelled to Stafford to see him for the first time in years. This photo was taken in Asda supermarket in Stafford. He looked so sad, depressed, and clear to see, suicidal. I took this photograph as he was in a different world. It upsets me to see it. I had to paint it.


Feeling Inspired For The First Time In Months:

Photography is my first love, but I enrolled on the Fine Arts course after I studied Photography on the Foundation Course at the beacon centre with the fabulous tutors, Shaun McAllister and Carlton Watt. I decided to follow onto the Photography degree across the road at UCBC. However, I wasn’t really learning anything constructive. Something was missing. So after two years I decided to enrol on the FINE ARTS DEGREE.

I soon began to realise that this is where I belonged. I think having a FINE ARTS DEGREE as opposed to a PHOTOGRAPHY DEGREE carries more weight. I am after all a Visual Artist and I work with different media.

Although I class my photography as ART, I wanted to turn my photographs into works of art. This was my idea from before I started the ‘abuse’ project, but I needed to do the ‘abuse’ paintings first in order to be able to carry on.

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Above:

I made more frames and stapled the POLYAMIDE to them. I use polyamide because it is a thin material and the projected image is able to shine through so I can stand on the other side to paint.

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I used an image of my photographs I took whilst on location in Berlin and printed them onto acetate.

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Above:

Then I projected the image onto the Polyamide canvas (see above). I used a Black Dispersion Paint as it is a very dense black, black.

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Above:

I have had Three books printed of my artworks so far. I have also had two of my images printed in the inSomnia Photography magazine.

For my next painting I decided to use the photograph from the front page of one of my books. (see above)

This photograph was taken in Berlin. It is an image of a man sat on some steps with a shopping trolley. Homeless people tend to use these in order to collect as many plastic and glass bottles as they can. Each plastic bottle is worth 25 cents and glass bottles are worth 8 cents each. Berliners recycle their plastics and bottles, in exchange for cash receipts which they are able to use off their next shop in the local supermarkets like Lidl and Netto. Most tourists don’t know about this though and they throw bottles away. This enables homeless people to collect and use towards food. it’s how most homeless people survive.

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Above:

Another one of my photographs I took in Berlin, using a 400mm lens, (freehand), Of the Berlin Skyline.

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‘Power station Berlin-Wilmersdorf’, It is the electric utility plant in Berlin, Germany.

The power station Berlin-Wilmersdorf is a power plant which went into service in 1977 in BerlinWilmersdorf.

Construction of the facility, which belongs to the BEWAG, started in 1973.

At the time of construction, the three power engines are MS9001B gas turbines, manufactured in Belfort (France) by a cooperation between Alsthom and General Electric.

It has three blocks with a power of 110 megawatts, each equipped with a 102 metre high chimney. This very striking facility received an architectural prize in the 1980s. It is not located nearby a river and therefore must take its cooling water from underground. There was an explosion on January 2, 1992 in one of the blocks. It is run by Vattenfall Europe, a subdivision of Vattenfall.

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I made my first mistake. I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of ‘shading’, and I ruined this painting (top right corner). However, I don’t see it as a fail. I see it as a valuable learning curve. I decided to ‘use’ this painting as a ‘tester’.

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I bought a wide brush and a sponge in order to ‘test’ my shading in an attempt to get it right. The plastic serving spoon I use to get the paint out of the 2.5litre tin into a small plastic pot with lid as this is easier to use than holding a heavy tin of paint in your hand. Using the serving spoon is easier than trying to pour the paint as it is very thick.

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Above:

I used the ruined painting as a ‘tester’ for different techniques. I used an almost dry wide brush with hardly any paint to try and create a shading effect. I also dabbed the brush on to the polyamide to see if this worked. One way is to use very tiny dots of paint to create shading, but for me, I didn’t think it worked as well. It is also time consuming. I used the sponge to see how that worked as opposed to the brush. Personally, I preferred the wide brush. It is much easier to create shading in a sweeping or circular motion. My technique still needs perfecting and the only way to do this is to DO IT.


INSPIRATION

I got the inspiration for these paintings from my partner, Uli Mächtle who is a professional working artist. He has painted some fantastic paintings using this technique and inspired me to try some of my own. The difference between his works and mine is, I use my OWN pieces of art to create another piece of art.

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Above: Uli Mächtle

I think these paintings are amongst some of his best works of art. I was greatly inspired and I knew I wanted to do something similar using my original photographs.

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Above: Uli Mächtle

He also does ‘Light Objects’ which are sometimes very intricate. The measurements have to be exact in order for the pieces to fit together.

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Above: Uli Mächtle

Uli works with mixed media, as well as paintings and his lighted objects, he is also a Visual Artist (photographer), Set Designer, Screenplay Writer, and Videographer. His past job was a Construction Site Manager in his early twenties. I refer to him as a genius as he has an I.Q of 160!. Like me, Uli is self employed now as he hates people and prefers being his own boss!. I on the other hand don’t hate people, quite the opposite, but I prefer being my own boss. When I am out on a location shoot I prefer being alone although when Uli and I are working together we compliment each other very well. He likes architecture which I hate and I like people which Uli hates, so we tend to get all the photographs we need between each other.

We support each other and having a partner who is an artist is fantastic and we are able to brainstorm and give each other ideas for future projects. He’s also a brilliant mathematician which is handy when making frameworks which need to be EXACT, like the ‘abuse’ frames, which needed to be exact for the acrylics and added framework to fit together perfectly. This is his department.


INSPIRATION CONTINUED:

Taking inspiration from Sally Mann’s, Body Farm body of work, Uli and I came across a pile of discarded dolls on a bit of a rubbish ‘tip’ in a backstreet of Blackburn. I took as many photographs as I could, and revisited the site to take more. It was quite eerie to be honest and it instantly reminded me of Sally Mann. So I decided to name my doll series ‘THE DOLL FARM’.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

I have included a small slideshow of some of my doll farm photographs.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

I have included the original photograph in the slideshow above. Along with the final image. I have also decided to paint a clear gloss varnish on this series to make the black ‘pop’. I took the original photograph above at home. I have a big bag of dolls I have collected from outside. I saw some discarded dolls around the corner from my house and decided I should bring them home so I am able to use them in the future.

I placed this barbie doll on the carpet and took a photograph using only my mobile phone. I then exported the photograph to Lightroom which I have the app on my mobile phone, I find it handy if I’m out and see a photographic opportunity and I only have my mobile phone handy, I will use it!. In Lightroom I reverted the image to black and white, and by reducing the blacks, increasing the whites, increasing clarity, increasing luminance which gets rid of the heavy grain, I was able to get the photograph ready for printing onto acetate.

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Above:

‘Varnish Test Piece’, M.E.A

Before painting the final painting with varnish I used the ruined painting I did earlier as a tester. I bought a cheap tin of clear gloss varnish as I had used it previously in the first year of fine arts and I found it worked well.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm’, M.E.A

The photograph above is the original and is my favourite from the series. I find her very vulgar and quite provocative. The original photograph was taken on my Canon 5DS. I re-edited that image on my mobile phone using the Lightroom app. It took quite a lot of work, there are still some areas of white that I wasn’t able to eliminate however I am not too worried as I shall simply paint those areas with the black dispersion paint when it comes to painting the piece.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm’ for the painted series, M.E.A

I have added a slideshow above of the photographs I intend on using for my ‘The Doll Farm’, painted series.

I had a discussion with my tutor, Steve, about where I was ‘going’.

I couldn’t really answer this question, yet. I feel this is something I simply have to do, and it’s taking me on a journey to somewhere I feel I have to take but I don’t know where that will be until I get there. all I can say is “I have this intense urge to create these paintings”. I do however intend to exhibit them in the future. They will appeal to some and not to others but for me this is fine. I suppose the best compliment I could get from this series is “They’re creepy as hell”!. I will know I did my job well.

Before I continue on this journey with The Doll Farm series, there is a small number of paintings I wish to paint before I am able to completely move on.

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Above:

Photographs, M.E.A

Before I start my painted doll farm series, I want to start work on the above set of images. Most of these are very personal for me and I would like them included in the final body of work.

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Above:

‘Dirk’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion on Polyamide, 70×70.

I painted this painting of Dirk, a friend who lives in Hamburg. I have painted quite a few paintings and I am using them as ‘experimental’.

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Above:

‘Fiete Muck’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion on Polyamide, 70×70.

I painted this portrait of my partner’s dog ‘Fiete Muck’, also known as ‘Baby Bear’. he died in the summer of 2018 aged 15 years old.

I will be painting this again because I am not happy with the end result. The last image, (above) I have ‘tried’ to put shading around him but it didn’t quite work out. I preferred it without the shading with a white background.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm, Painted series’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion, White Gloss Paint and Clear Gloss Varnish on Polyamide, 70×70.

I intend to make a series of the painted dolls. they are quite unique, a little bit different, and I would love to have them exhibited.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm, Painted Series’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion, White Matt Paint and Clear Gloss Varnish on Polyamide, 70×70.

Here, I took a photograph of this barbie doll on my dining room floor (above) and in Lightroom on my mobile phone I was able to change the image to Black and White and reduce the blacks and increase the whites. I also added clarity to the image to make it sharper in order for me to paint it. I had the image printed onto acetate and used a projector to paint the image onto the frame.

When the painting was finished I put a very thick coat of the black dispersion paint to try and add texture as the paint is very flat. I then used an ordinary clear gloss wood varnish to varnish the painting after it had dried. this will also protect the painting and make it more durable. because I have used a gloss varnish on the painting it had ‘dirtied’ the white areas of the doll, so I have bought a white matt paint and I shall paint the back of the doll with the white paint ignorer to get some more white showing through.

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Above:

‘The Doll Farm, The Painted Series’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion on Polyamide, White Matt Paint and Clear Gloss Varnish, 70×70.

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Above:

‘Leila’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion on Polyamide, 70×70.

This is a painted portrait of my niece, Leila Maria Kader. She is Seven years old and autistic. She is a perfect model for making portraits as she is usually in her own little world and not aware she is being photographed. This is especially good because the photographs aren’t posed.

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Above:

‘Roadsign Series’, M.E.A

Black Dispersion on Polyamide and Red Acrylic, 70×70.

This is a photograph I took of the Berlin Skyline with my 400mm lens, (freehand). The first photograph on the slideshow above was taken from my book with a mobile phone. I painted the image onto the polyamide using a projector. Because the image didn’t reach to the edge of the frame I decided to paint a red border using acrylic paint. I didn’t care whether the red border was straight or not, this wasn’t really a concern so I painted this free hand. I thought it looked like a roadsign so I decided to call it the “roadsigns series”. I plan to do maybe a set of four.

 

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