Sorry, nothing visual to go with this post today, but a bit of a wordy update instead.
I’ll start with what I’ll call ‘outside news’, the things that have happened that actually exist outside of my head for others to see! I recently took part in my first exhibition at the lovely Real Food Store in Exeter. Cards featuring some of my Spring photography have been on sale in the café upstairs since January as part of their ‘Winter Into Spring’ exhibition, which has just come to an end and which featured a selection of artworks by local artists. It was exciting to be a part of as it was all a new experience for me – it was the first time my work had been out there in public and also the first time I had really described myself as an ‘artist’, which felt a bit strange. It was certainly the first time that anybody had ever paid anything for what I do! The people at the Store have very kindly allowed me to continue to sell the cards during the next exhibition, so they are still available. The shop has a really nice, warm atmosphere and it sells delicious food! For more info about the shop and its exhibitions, check out their website: http://www.realfoodexeter.co.uk/
Now for the slightly more obscure ‘internal news’, the things that are still bubbling around in my head but which I hope to start trying out soon. Sometimes I find that I have to just ponder on ideas first before I can do anything with them. A lot of the things I have done so far this year doodle-wise have been smaller drawings, so I have been tossing around a few ideas for projects on a slightly larger scale. Photography-wise, my Holga is loaded, ready and waiting to go, but as I’d like to try out a new direction with photography in general, I’ve just been keeping my eyes peeled for now. This has given me a good idea of the kinds of things that interest me, so hopefully I will get the opportunity to pursue them and get that film moving.
This all sounds a bit vague, but I guess this is just my way of saying that I am doing something creative – honest! – or at least that I have stuff in the works.
Capturing the (Possibly Headless) Black Cat’s Ghost – February 2013 (Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W)
Another image from the first roll of film used in my Holga. I used the Bulb switch for this, resulting in a slightly eerie blurred effect. It’s kind of a messy picture, but there’s something about it which I find quite surreal and creepy (not least because I was expecting my cat to look slightly more normal!)
Isolation – Exmouth, March 2013 (Holga 120N, Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W)
Another image taken using the Holga, this time on the estuary at Exmouth. It can often look quite bleak, particularly if the tide is out, but I find it an interesting place as it has a real sense of drama and atmosphere about it.
At first glance this almost looks like a castle or ancient building of some kind, shot against the sky on a clear day. But it’s actually another photo of Exmouth beach, rotated 90 degrees. You can just see the slightest ripple in the ‘sky’, and the impressions in the surface aren’t ‘windows’ but mounds of sand.
Exmouth beach – March 2013
First Snow at the Valley Park – January 2013 (Holga 120N, Kodak Tri-X 400 B&W)
I was so excited to receive a Holga 120N camera for Christmas and even more excited to take it out for a spin for the first time. I had a film camera when I was a lot younger, but was too young (i.e. not to be trusted) to have anything to do with loading or unloading film, didn’t have to manually wind the film on, and definitely had no aims for using a camera to make art. It was basically a tool for me to document different aspects of my childhood, with my toy collection and various zoo animals ranking highly on my child’s scale of importance.
Using a camera like the Holga gave me the opportunity to rediscover the excitement and freedom of my younger self, and I had a lot of fun trying it out – and getting my first roll of film back was exciting too! This photo was taken on the day it first snowed here this winter, which was sometime in January. It looks like I was on the edge of some kind of moor, but I was actually walking through the man-made Valley Park 2 minutes away from home. It is nestled among the surrounding roads and houses but it is so peaceful that when you are there it feels like you are in the middle of the countryside.
Nonsense Newspaper Narrative No.1: An Army of Dames – newspaper pieces, acrylic paint, fineliner, wallpaper scraps (Sketchbook page, March 2013) [Low quality scan]
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing mums out there! :)
(Imagine a whole string of ‘dames’ trailing away off-page…then you might have an army)
‘Layers’, Exmouth – March 2013
Keeping with the seaside theme of the shells in previous posts, here is a photo from a recent trip to Exmouth. Walking along the pavement above the beach, the layered structure of the scene caught my eye so I stopped and got out my camera. The sea was beautifully calm and smooth and the sand on this section of the beach was relatively flat too, being of that damp, compacted kind that doesn’t yield to your weight when you step across it – unlike the lumpier sand further on that is usually quite churned up from all of the feet that pass over it every day. Although it was a chilly, overcast afternoon this view looked so serene that it was hard to feel gloomy about it.