Note to PHO2008 & DIS2601

siology is a collection of thoughts, inspirations and creative processes which have contributed to my practice in first, second, and now third year studying photomedia and art.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Other Foods

Claudia suggested that I explore other food types other than eggs/eggshells. I've returned naturally though perhaps not permanently to the lighting studio to photograph these objects, including avocado, rock salt, fortune cookies, peaches and pickled onions etc. I chose these foods for their texture, sculptural form and organic aesthetic. I've continued with the close up crop composition which I felt was most successful in the egg photographs, and really pushed to abstract the objects themselves so that the images rely more on form, colour, shape etc than the subject matter.


Finally starting to develop a cohesive folio, I've found that printing images - regardless of how refined/relevant they are to my final concept, helps me get a grip on which stage of development my work is at, and in which direction I feel I should lean as I go. Note to future self: Stop thinking about it and just print it! Pin it up and move it around and tear it down in frustration if it helps... just get it out of your head and onto paper so you can hold something real in your hand!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Suspended Sculpture

I really don't feel these are working, which is disappointing. I'm finding that I'm coming up with ideas without trying them out in a practical way - obviously once you actually make a sculpture like this and photograph it, the process will lead in an unexpected direction. In this case I don't think it was a good direction... The domestic background is especially difficult for me to work in because I'm finding that it seems irrelevant and skews the meaning of the image. The work is no longer about form, it is about the uncanny, which is not just a deviation but a major change of track. I'm not going to persue this sculpture idea just yet, but Bernhard Blume's action shots are intriguing and create a similar abstraction through movement rather than this staged, deliberate stillness which I find quite stagnant and suffocating.

Bernhard Blume

Kuchenkoller, 1985

 Blume and his wife find a great balance between the narrative context and the surreal abstraction I'm sort of aiming towards... There is a humour here which is refreshing but also quite powerful.

Framing, Formalism, Simplicity

Framing and zoom completely change the entire photograph. Above, I've got a very material, formal, painterly image which relies on shapes and aesthetic, as opposed to subject matter/context like the image below. Yet both photograph are of the same egg in the same setting. There is too much information in the bottom photograph, too much going on. The egg shell, which is beautiful in its own right, is reduced to part of the frame, alongside other competing and probably irrelevant background forms. The above image is more confident in its simplicity. There is enough information there.

Hannah Collins

The Fragile Feast, 2011
"I realize that when we analyse a dish or a style, we notice composition and technique, but rarely do we realise that the product we are eating has a history. Hannah has portrayed what lies behind each of these ingredients and has pulled on the threads until the origins of a series of emblematic products have been reached. Each product implies a territory and reflects the people who have worked it for many years, often following ancestral techniques and procedures". 
Ferran AdriĆ”, 2011 

Ed Ruscha & Photo/painting

my own photograph

Approaching photography from a painterly angle: form, shape, colour, light, 'art objects' (ed ruscha)

Ed Ruscha, Untitled (three kids in a bed), 1959

Asphalt Jungle, 1991

Photoshoot 1

I've been collecting egg shells for weeks now, and last week I finally put them to use in a simple photoshoot using crushed shells within a domestic environment... I'm trying to overcome my tendency toward the blank studio background by working in a natural space with tungsten lighting: lamps, sunlight, windows etc.
tungsten light: have to be careful of that yellow colour temp

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Gel Medium

Is, hopefully, going to help me transfer photographic prints onto the surface of egg shells!
I'm planning to photograph at close range a variety of building/house materials like brickwork, weatherboard, stone, windowpanes, fencing etc. and then print these images (via a temporary tattoo style method) onto egg shells, which I'll then break and sculpt into whatever takes my fancy... perhaps the suspended sculpture I've been planning, or a giant broken egg shape, or just simple miniature mounds of broken shells. This sculpture might form a final piece in its own right, or might become a still life subject in a studio/real-world photograph. I'll discuss the ideological ins and outs of this big plan later - my head is going to explode with excitement!


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Empty Egg Shells

Although I've been working (last year) on plain black or white studio backdrops, of these images (google) I am actually most drawn to the bottom two - with natural real-world settings which do not upstage the subject but add an aesthetic complexity which is quite beautiful. I think my natural tendency is to overcrowd an image/idea with too much subject matter/conflicting or confusing issues. To avoid this and help myself cut back this complexity I've been photographing on a plain background - but these images demonstrate the usefulness of a natural setting if it is chosen and photographed/framed intelligently.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Helmick and Stuart Schechter

"Fata Morgana: an optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water, often with inverted reflections of distant objects, and results from distortion of light by alternate layers of hot and cool air. Also called mirage."

Pae White

Pae White's suspended sculptures are simple and hold a humble elegance which I'm drawn to in terms of presentation and concept. A white space seems to be typical of most suspended installations - though I was pleased with my work last year in a dark studio, photographing minimally lit objects so they popped out from a blackness and created an more ominous and stylized mood to White's sculptures. I think it's important to consider this idea from the point of view of a photomedia artist - there will be different things to consider if my final artworks are to be photos of the sculpture, rather than the installation itself. Also to note - the strings in these installations are visible, though not obvious, and still they do not detract from the magic of seemingly floating objects.

Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger

Brainforest - a booklet documentation of Steiner and Lenzlinger's sculptural installations including The Falling Garden (below), installed at the 50th Venice Bienalle (2003).

I'd kill to see this installation in the flesh, the scale is breathtaking and I imagine walking through the 'Falling Garden' would be magical. I'm ambitiously considering creating a similar suspended sculpture made of everyday, mundane objects or perhaps eggshells and other fragile materials, hoping to create a sentimental, nostalgic mood while also commenting on the inadequacy of keepsakes as a gateway to memory and experience: what we own does not necessarily compare to who we are and I believe objects and heirlooms should play a less important role in our idea of self than they do in today's age. Also a self-reflective observation on the ability of a photograph to capture truth - a photographic print is, after all, only a record of the exterior surface of someone or something. It gives limited insight into anything below the surface, just as memorabilia can only bring back so much of a person who has died, or a memory which has faded.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Cornelia Parker

"There are only a few images that are not forced to provide meaning, or have to go through the filter of a specific idea"
The shadows!! similar effect to a mirror - a self referent within the artwork, places the artist and the viewer within the artwork itself.

I would love to make a return to the sculpture this year and perhaps lean away from the sequence and work on a single, large sized and ambitious artwork. Parker's suspended sculptures are beautiful and also quite cold and unsentimental, which is topical in terms of my interest in nostalgia and the projected meaning of objects. I'd like to create a similar artwork using smashed up second-hand homewares, commenting on the fragility of our material safety nets and the impossibility of a mere object, whether it be a house, an heirloom or a piece of furniture, being a source of emotional comfort. It would also be interesting to include people within the sculpture, and dissect our human reactions to the violent treatment of keepsakes we almost consider sacred.


I'm fascinated by the narrative we project onto an otherwise meaningless object (image), and would like to examine this human desire for sentiment and nostalgia. As a beginning, I considered the idea of house becoming home, and the way a physical and material space can become a place of emotional comfort - providing a feeling of belonging and safety. In a natural diversion toward my own experiences, I returned to the houses which became my homes as a child. We moved around a lot, sometimes not staying in one place for even a year. This prevented me ever becoming truly attached to a place, a house etc. and cut short the gradual process of connecting to space and object on a sentimental level. On a quick photo shoot I tried to capture this idea of the 'shell' of an architectural structure, often quite boxy and inorganic, never quite becoming a home. I hope to create a gap between myself and the buildings (strengthened by the photographic medium itself creating a gap between reality and two dimensional copy), a disjointed reality, a sort of broken sentimentality that is never quite fully formed.

the garden as a frame - cropping

The letterbox as a mimic home - an interesting symbol for fake sentimentality.

Claudia suggested that this autobiographical subject may be a little too close to heart to successfully create such a gap, as it will be muddled and subjective in my own mind and this may come through in my work. It is also difficult to extract architecture from its environmental context, so perhaps working with objects instead will provide more freedom for disjointedness and absurdity. However I do find the juxtaposition (I hate that word!) of organic and 'natural' garden and plant life creeping around and often framing these cold, boxy shells of houses interesting - could ba  possible diversion to explore later.

CCP Opportunities

Some competitions to enter! Time to start exhibiting!


After a very long break from creating I've experienced the grace period i needed to start afresh in 2012. Out third year studio is very open and flexible, with a lot more freedom to explore artistic (photographic or otherwise) paths naturally and without constant deadlines/set projects. I've loved working in the studio, a choice I may not have originally chosen to persue had I been left to my own devices, and hope to continue in this direction, perhaps leaving traditional portraiture (as in second semester's 'Generations' triology) behind me and picking up where I left off at the end of last year, photographing objects and looking at the importance of the material in our own ideas of self and identity. I've found that tight cropping, both with framing and lighting techniques (especially darkness), has been intrinsic to my practice so far and will certainly explore these artistic choices this year. I also hope to steer a little away from the idea of a series or sequence which has been a requirement in 2011... In high school I loved working on individual, singular artworks of a grand scale and I feel a pull to do so again now. A return to the sculptural side of photography could offer a possibility of really stretching myself aesthetically and emotionally. Although I have a high regard for 'candid' street photography, or staged photography within the realm of 'reality', I feel more control and freedom in myself and my subjects when I remove them from their context and consequently create a disjointed absurdity which leads the viewer to experience an image on an intellectual level, rather than the easier tendency to judge a photograph on how beautiful it is, or how real it looks (I have already established my reluctance to consider a photograph as a direct window into reality: impossible!).