Final CRIT

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On Friday we had our final CRIT of the semester and the final CRIT of our education at the University of Cumbria.

It was our last chance to get feedback from the lecturer on our Final Major Projects and therefore a very important session.

I had printed out 4 sets of diptychs and two contact sheets with most of my edited photographs on.

As I cannot submit my exhibition layout in the portfolio I have decided to hand in diptychs portraying the good and bad sides of being a highly sensitive person which my project is all about, and diptychs are also a good way of showing that.

It seems to be a returning subject for me to work with the good and the bad sides of things. I like to try to separate the two. Last semester my main project was based on the picturesque and the sublime, whether they could work individually and how they work together. I also did a previous project on the rubbish that is being thrown carelessly on the ground in the Lake District National Park. This was also about taking the bad away from the good, but in a different way. For this project I ended up with double exposures instead of diptychs though.

My CRIT went well and I got some good feedback to be able to finalise my project over the next couple of weeks before handing in my portfolio and then starting to print my photographs for the exhibition. With my contact sheets I, was able to see how my photographs work together put on the wall, and I was quite pleased with how they look. They are colouful, intriguing and works well together. I am considering printing out contact sheets to put in my portfolio as well, I may even try to arrange the photos as I would like to mount them on the wall.

The way I am going to display my work is going to be something close to this:

I like the way the photographs have a sense of continuity and look fluent but still a bit confusing. After the feedback I got from the CRIT I am now planning on having two mp3 players along with my work, one with overwhelming noises and one with pleasant sounds, again the good vs. the bad. I will have room to place the two next to each other as they won’t take up much space. I also realised that the best way of hanging my work will be using pins, even though the photos will be printed full bleed I think that is the best and safest solution.

I am also going to have either one or two spotlights pointed at my work from the ceiling. As I am hoping to make the viewers slightly overwhelmed the light will contribute to that, as the paper I am working with is very reflective, and the viewers may have to move around a bit to be able to see all the photographs due to the glare from the lights.

I have a few more shoots planned over the easter holiday, but I am definitely starting to feel like I am getting there, and I can’t wait to see my work finally on the wall in less than two months.

The Side Gallery Newcastle

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On Friday our lecturers had arranged a self-funded study trip to Newcastle to visit the Side Gallery and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. We also managed to have a look around the Laing Art Gallery, which means we manage to see a total of 6 exhibitions in one day.

At the Side Gallery, they had three exhibitions on, one on each floor.


The exhibition on the ground floor was called You, Me and Autism. It was portraits taken of autistic people by an autistic photographer, Colin Potsig. Potsig had taken that human interaction, which is usually difficult for people with autism and captured it in form of portraits. The portraits were printed in both black and white and colour and were framed in simple black frames and hung up close to each other in a row around the room.


The exhibition on the first floor was called Under Gods. It was created by photographer Liz Hingley and was about the different religions found around a specific street in Birmingham. The photographs show the huge amount of different religions from all over the world existing in this small space in England, and how the children are still capable of playing and getting along despite the differences. It is a very interesting series and with little stories next to the individual photographs, it becomes a story on its own. The photographs are individually framed and were hung around the room with space between them to separate the stories. Overall a very interesting exhibition, although I would have liked to see some more multi-faith meetings between people besides the children.


The last exhibition on the second floor was called The Prospect of Immortality. I found the series by Murray Ballard both creepy and fascinating at the same time. The series is about people being frozen after they die, in hope that maybe one day the human race will find the cure for death and bring them back to life.

The photographs show us the equipment, prospective patients and even current patients. The big prints make the project more dramatic, especially the advanced equipment looks more daunting in the large-scale. The full-bleed photographs hovering slightly off the wall adds to the sort of mystery about the whole thing but at the same time makes it look more clean and sterile along with the medical theme. I would have loved for the patients’ stories to have been on the wall next to their photograph, it would make it more this slightly surreal subject more real. I suppose it is almost like donating your body to science, but with a prospect of getting your life back at the end of it. It all reminds me of an episode of Dr Who.

The Prospect of Immortality is the one projects I remember the best as it is a subject that is very difficult to comprehend and it makes you consider the subject of what happens after we die. I would also love to read the book that started the whole idea, the fiction behind the science.


Unfortunately, I am not able to go to Format Festival this year even though I would have loved to, it was such an incredible experience two years ago, but being able to visit these exhibitions in Newcastle was a decent alternative, even though Format is quite a lot bigger.

The Side Gallery was an amazing little gallery tucked away in a little alley, and it is a place I will definitely visit again the next time I find myself in Newcastle.


http://www.amber-online.com/side-gallery/

http://www.formatfestival.com/

Another Day – Another Shoot

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I went for another shoot for my final major project today.

For my highly sensitive persons project I have to different approaches to the shoots. One is where I go to a populated and noisy place, and the other is where I go to a quiet place where I am less likely to run into too many people.

These are the two major aspects of the trait I have chosen to focus on, being overwhelmed and needing peace and quiet before dealing with stimulation again.

These are some of my latest photographs for my project, I am still happy with where it is going, and I am planning another shot this weekend.

 

Research Presentation

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This week I did my Research Presentation. It is a presentation where we talk about the research we have done for the Final Major Project, which photographers we have looked at and how we want to expand on the project and work with the research.

As my project is about the highly sensitive person, I talked about the different aspects of the trait and about how it affects people day-to-day lives. I started the presentation by showing the photographs I took in first year when I initially started the project. They only just touch the surface of the subject but are still helpful to my project.

I also talked about some of the photographers I have looked at for inspiration, I talked about William Eggleston, Rinko Kawauchi, Pat Walton and Gergana Petrova. All of these photographers have done projects that have the aesthetic I am hoping to create with my own project.

At the end of the presentation, I showed some of my new photographs for the project and explained that I am currently happy with the progress I have made, and I can’t wait to show everything at the Degree Show.

Overall I am pleased with my presentation, although It could have been more fluent. I had so much I wanted to say about the project, but only 20 minutes to do it in.


This is one of my newest photographs for my project, and I absolutely love it. The way the sunlight disrupts the reflection in the puddle, it is such a great spring photo.


Exhibition Planning

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Yesterday I received a box of the paper that I am planning on printing my work on for the Degree Show. I am very excited, it is even better than I thought it would be, now I just need to test it out.

I am also getting closer to putting together a markup of how I want my work exhibited. I am taking inspiration from photographers like Wolfgang Tillman and Rinko Kawauchi.

Kawauchi’s installations:

 

Tillmann’s installation:

I like the organised mess on the wall. The structure of the installations that looks professional yet unorganised enough to be intriguing. I am also very drawn to Kawauchi’s use of colours in the first photo, and that is something I would like to replicate in my exhibition.

I am wanting to show my work in a corner, as it will give it a three-dimensional feel, and the viewer can get almost emerged in the work. However, I need to be careful that it doesn’t end op being too heavy and messy to look at. This is why I have chosen some very glossy photo paper that will create a shine if I can get a spotlight pointed at it during the show. This will hopefully brighten up my installation.

I would really like to create an installation that will resemble a stained-glass window of a church. Stained-glass dates back to the 7th century and is a form of art in itself. My family and I have visited churches everywhere we went since I was a child and I always found all the artwork the most fascinating, especially the colourful windows with pictures in them was intriguing for me as a little girl. The church windows usually tell a story, an illustrated story usually taken from the Bible. The artwork in churches, including the stained-glass windows has always been a way to display spiritual or religious preciousness, a way of illustrating one’s belief. Displaying art in churches was one of the first forms of exhibition, and with art also being displayed in palaces it was a sign of wealth, power and knowledge. Later art became more of an attraction and art exhibition was found in places like the circus and marketplaces and the most expensive in private precious exhibitions. Today people associate exhibitions with museums and galleries; paintings and photographs hanging on white polished walls and objects displayed behind a protective layer of glass. I would like to combine the contemporary and the old ways by using the white walls in our studios and also using the visual inspiration from the stained-glass church windows to make my work come together and create a visible experience for the viewers.

I know from photographing artwork at a Danish church that there are certain artists that are known for creating religious art that is then displayed in different churches. It is a different and interesting form of exhibition, but regardless of the settings you are still exhibiting your art. My project is not religious, but if I can make my viewers looked at my work with the same fascination and awe as I looked at those stained-glass church windows as a child it will make me very happy.


The paper I am using is from a brand called Sihl Masterclass. It is not a brand I have come across before, but so far I am very impressed with the quality of the paper, and it has almost exactly the look I am looking for, and I am hoping it will make the colours of my photographs stand out beautifully on the wall.


https://sihlmasterclass.com/product/metallic-pearl-high-gloss-photo-paper-290/

Booklet with the church art I have photographed

 

Course Recognition

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As I am not British, I am planning on returning back to Denmark after I have finished my course. But it can actually become a little difficult for me to find a job with a foreign degree, which is why I will need to get it validated.

Due to the nature of my course, and the fact that it doesn’t exist in Denmark, I will have to get the Ministry of Education to validate my education in order for future employers to understand the nature of the course I have done. It could mean the difference between getting offered a job and getting rejected, simply because the employer does not understand the value of my education.

I came across the information about the validation when I was looking through a website of a company that I have applied for a job with. The website led me to the Ministry’s website with a detailed description of how to get a course validated. It is not possible to do before I have finished my course, so I need to wait until I have my degree and final grades.

It will also have an influence if I should decide to do any further studying. Regardless of the country, I decide to study in, it is a good idea to make sure my own country actually recognises my degree. So although I would probably have to study abroad again to expand on my photography degree, I am planning on getting my degree validated as soon as I have all the necessary paperwork as it will improve my chances of finding a job.

 


Volunteering

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I have always been very involved in the thighs that are going on around me, and that hasn’t changed in university. I am still very passionate about the community I am part of, and it is important to me that I do my part in order for everyone to be happy. I also think that it is too easy to just complain instead of taking action if you are unhappy with something.

A big contributor to our University experience is the University of Cumbria Students’ Union (UCSU). As I explained in an earlier post, I am on the UCSU Panel where I am the International Students’ Representative, but that is not all I do. I am also a Student Academic Representative and a Student Trustee. As Student Academic Rep, I represent my classmates at Staff-Student Forums, and I am the person my classmates can go to for help, or if they are unhappy with something on the course. As Student Trustee, I represent the entire student body, all of the UCSU’s members, at the Trustee Board meetings. It is all roles that I take very seriously, and I have a great relationship with the UCSU staff and I work with them to make sure I do the best I can for my constituency. I was elected for all three roles and had to campaign for both the Panel and the Trustee roles.

As the UCSU is a charity they must have an Anual General Meeting (AGM) where their members are updated on how the UCSU is doing. This year’s AGM was held Friday night at the Fusehill Street campus. The current Sabbatical Officers presented what they have accomplished since they started in July 2016, and the CEO explained what the money had been spent on, and what the finances looked like for the previous academic year.

The UCSU had combined the AGM with Sabbatical Officer election results and the Volunteer Thank You evening, and to my surprise, I was given the UCSU Volunteering Award!

I am passionate about what I do, and love going to all of the UCSU events because it is always so much fun, and the staff and the other volunteers are some of the best people to be around, as all of the staff have the most amazing positive spirits. But I was so honoured that I received this awards and it just shows that they really appreciate the work that I do.

I am so happy and really incredibly proud of this, and it just made everything I do so much more worth it!

 

During my time at university, I have also volunteered at two different photography conferences, Redeye Hothouse and Visualising the Animal. I have gained so much experience from everything I have done, almost more than I could have gained in a paid job, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I know that wherever I manage to find a job, I will be just as passionate about that company as I am about the University of Cumbria.