Wet Plate Collodion Workshop #photography

Last week I attended a wet plate collodion workshop at the University of Lincoln after being contacted by one of the photography lecturer's. This technique has intrigued me since I saw my own technical tutor produce similar wet plates in my final year.

Michael Schaaff led the workshop for wet plate collodion and clearly demonstrated his depth of skill and experience in the technique. It was great to see the level of dedication he gave to his practice from sourcing the materials to the occasional DIY large format camera or dark box; something I've considered myself. I found the whole process in perfect balance between science and art where the photographer really exhibits a labour of love to prepare these plates.

While I can understand that unpredictable results may yield a certain level of frustration, it is the element of surprise and happy accidents that I look forward to harnessing in my photographic practice. As a printmaker and photographer, I value the imperfection that has been lost in digital media and the idea of the craftsman perfecting their craft.

Overall, the process was complex and will probably require a couple of workshops before attempting myself but I look forward to when I do. It was a great way to network with other practicing artists and photographers in the local area and I look forward to similar opportunities in the future.

See Michael Schaaf's website on wet plate collodion HERE

Photographs courtesy of workshop attendees - Kate Genever and David Neve

Printmaking Fellowship 2014-15

I decided a couple of weeks ago to hedge my bets and apply for a printmaking fellowship at the University of Northampton. Unknowingly, my application failed to send so I'm glad I sent a following email. Luckily they were very understanding and offered me an informal interview even though the deadline had passed! Well interview day arrived. After a brief tour and a chat about my portfolio, the Lecturer in Printmaking was nice enough to offer me one of the five printmaking fellowships then and there.  This one year opportunity involves a commitment of one day a week supporting students, while another day will be spent using the facilities to develop my art practice. After looking around the facilities and meeting staff members, I am definitely not regretting my application. Plus the fellows are able to exhibit at the Avenue Gallery, a space on campus. This will be a great chance to develop my portfolio for MA applications and to build on my experience in working in Higher Education.

After quite a turbulent year with a lot of change, this opportunity is certainly welcomed. I was apprehensive about visiting the degree show at Loughborough this weekend knowing that a whole year has already passed since my own degree show. Where has that time gone?! It's nice that I will be able to go there knowing that this year hasn't been a complete creative stalemate and that I have something to look forward too.


Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol #collectionlinc

I realised that it's been a while since I last posted. Now working full-time, it's hard to find the time for most things let alone blogging but I try my best! So for the past couple of months, I've been invigilating the exhibition, Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol at The Collection and Usher Gallery. Originally exhibited in Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, it was moved to Lincoln. As this exhibition is drawing to a close on 30th March 2014, I thought it definitely deserved a post!

As you can probably guess, this exhibition held a series of works by Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol. These notable figures in modern art really pushed the boundaries (at the time) what could be considered art. This exhibition while dark for some was for me, beautifully lit. I felt that the works really shone off the walls. The works ranged from the bold wood cut by Matisse, to the delicate etched lines by Dali. With these, I was particularly amazed by the level of detail that I kept discovering every time I studied these works again and again. Then there were the delightful Monroe's that stole the show due to their vibrant colour.

Some members of the public would often ask me what the difference was between a 'print' and an 'original' clearly assuming that these works were mechanically made and not handcrafted by these amazing artists! I definitely think that there should have been some explanation detailing these printing processes because for me, that's just as interesting as the final product.

So overall, it's been an insightful experience to invigilate a great collection of works at The Collection and Usher Gallery, and very rewarding to see the general public visiting. Some even more than once!

(Images courtesy of BBC)


(Late) New Years Resolution 2014

Originally I didn't post this as I thought it might be too heavy for the celebratory festivities but never mind, I'm going to post it anyway. 31st December 2013

With it being the last day of 2013, I couldn't let it slip by without one last post. I would be lying if I said that this past year went smoothly. Third year was hectic with my dissertation, degree show and the London show, then finishing off with graduation. After three years of hard work, that day should have been a highlight, but sadly someone very dear to the family passed away unexpectedly. On top of that, we had to move house twice (myself, three times) so it was all very chaotic.

As a family, we're still working through our grief where we will be met with a year of firsts. A first Anniversary, Christmas, New Year, Valentines and Birthdays without my Grandma. I keep trying to remind myself and others that it's about changing traditions and embracing the new. It's unfamiliar territory, but I guess if there was a small silver lining it's brought my family closer, plus there's always someone worse off than you, right? So, onto the positives! 

New Years Resolutions:

1. Embrace the new 

I'm going to be starting a new job in January, while it's not my dream job, it will lead to other opportunities hopefully community/arts related. I will also continue with my volunteering at the local college and The Usher Gallery while figuring out if I want to do a PGCE, MA or just do both? I like collecting!

2. Art practice

As I've already mentioned, things have been hectic. My parents, lovely as ever are helping me set up a studio in the garage, hopefully in the New Year so that I can start creating and developing a portfolio. I've managed to get my enlarger working finally!! 

3. Be pro-active

Now that I have another job, I can change my focus onto other things. Applying for residencies, art competitions and exhibition opportunities.

4. Continue blogging