60 Minutes at work

I would be lying if I said I love my job.  I certainly do not.  I love the idea of my job and it is probably this that has kept me banging my head against the wall for almost 16 years because the institutions I work for certainly haven’t covered themselves in glory when it comes to actually using my skills, experience or education.  I used to be called a Learning Technologist, even for a period of time a Senior Learning Technologist, these days I am an Academic Developer, but in truth I am a check box that universities like …

Art School

I am starting at Open School East on Thursday 8th January.  I’m kind of daunted and excited by the whole thing.  I’m most worried about being so much older than everybody else, including all the tutors, but also about my lack of basic artschool.  I should be ok though. I have set upon a project about gentrification, though I am pretty sure the system is awash with this kind of thing.  Nevertheless, I am personally interested in the changes that have been happening around where I live and I am even more interested in the lives of the people who …

Cyanotype

A lack of darkroom made me start to consider other ways of getting images on to paper.  It seems so long ago and so unlikely now considering all of the darkrooms that have sprung up all over the place.  It’s been the saving of my relationship with photography because I am bored if it is just click and print it as close to how it looked in the first place.  I love the preparation, the thinking, the discussion, mixing chemistry, coating, all of it.  

portraits

I’ve recently been taking portraits for the wax project.  I have never seen myself as  portrait photographer because I feel uncomfortable looking closely at people despite the fact I do it all the time, but in a furtive and private kind of way.  I know and like all of these people, one of them I have known for over 20 years so I have had plenty of time to study him at close quarters.  I really enjoyed doing it and may do more in the future.  It is funny that these have turned out so well as it was inadvertent.  …

24 Carat Glided Badgers

I went on a gilding course this weekend.  I learned a lot about the process.  I had no idea that gold leaf sits on a cushion and the cushion is made of bones and chalk and mud. The first thing we did was melt some rabbit skin glue and I felt right at home after that as it smells like gelatine, because it is basically the same thing. Then we made gesso.  I have never really given much thought to what goes into gesso, but proper gesso is basically glue and chalk. It made a much more satisfying goo than …

why do it: redux

I have been thinking about the motivation to photograph a lot recently.  Thinking about why I do it and ruminating on why other other people choose to do it too.  I have an account on eyeem where I post pictures from my phone.  I use the filters which I would never do on on flickr and prettyfy my shit until it looks a lot like everybody else’s.  I never considered why I treated those things differently to the stuff I put on flickr, I just did it. It is the way it is done, I am part of the gang …

and lith

Sometimes, when you lith, you need something else to be doing in the mean time.  I was making some liquid emulsion prints yesterday and they are kind of time consuming, I was using rollei multigrade emulsion because the substrate is kind of soft and I wanted the text to come out.  So i made a lith at the same time.  Of course, it might have made more sense to not do it completely in old brown, but then I wouldn’t have had the entertaining two hours rocking the tray and then the added excitement of heating the soup to about …

manual dexterity

Yeah well, after my mawkish last post I thought I should write something about art’nshit. My mother, her again but be patient, well she made, as in MADE me learn to type at school.  There was some shame attached to this because typing was a CSE subject and I was an O Level student destined for great things and non of them were labelled typing pool.  To illustrate just how trangressive my mother’s dictat had been; I was supposed to be a talented artist skilled in painting, perspective and pottery, skilling up was the way to go so when I did …

You are never far away from home even if you can’t go back

Before I left São João del Rei I went for another little walk and came to a church where a wedding was taking place. The church was full and outside people like me were rubbernecking and taking photos of the service. The bride and groom were at the alter standing stiffly as the priest said those priestly things. Suddenly everybody stood and I thought it best to walk away so I went outside into the bright sunlight and walked around the side into the shade. A door was open and I walked in. Music started to play, I think it was …

Baby slippers

When I was six and a half, my parents sold our house in an Oxfordshire village and moved us to the spa town of Malvern in Worcestershire. We went from living in a modern stylish light and airy house in a sleepy hamlet that could barely sustain a shop and pub even in the 1960s, to a massive Edwardian chunk that sat on the main road to Worcester, in a place made of hills, redolent with the twang of banjo. Everything is massive when you are 6. Even babies are big and bulky. I had been used to a manageable …