Category: photography


As the focus of my MA is on the effect of colour in the environment on the mental, emotional and physical state, i have found myself also looking quite deeply at pattern on walls, and the effect it has on me. In my final year of my BA i had a go at designing wallpaper and i remember thinking how much harder it was than designing patterns for fabric. A successful wallpaper design is one that can be pasted on all four walls and looked at and enjoyed day after day, week after week, even possibly year after year….where as we don’t usually spend anywhere near that amount of time ¬†gazing at the material our clothes are made out of – we may gaze at our soft furnishings more – but we certainly dont usually paste the fabric all over the walls and then try and live with it! ūüôā

What i realised very early on is that when looking at wallpaper the eye instantly tries to find a visual path through the pattern, as our eyes need to find a place to rest during the process of collecting information. Possibly it is because of my Irlens syndrome, but i find a vast amount of wallpapers make me feel uneasy – they are too overstimulating, and some of the designs i feel would be best used on stationary or on fabric as there is just too much information within the design. Others will cause me to gaze deeper and deeper as i try to work out the pattern, and my eyes set off on a journey throughout the design.

But as well as looking at wallpapers i have been looking at any sort of pattern and design that is wall based and is big enough to have an impact on us. I went to the Westfield Centre in Derbyshire a few weeks ago to see my son, and the first thing i noticed (possiby even before the design) was the wonderful feeling within the building, relaxing, friendly, open and inviting – not at all what i usually experience in these places….

I took a fee pictures of the designs on the walls and also on the mood changing lighting that was around the restaurant and fast food area – i found it quite mesmoric..

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

Lighting and wall patterns at the Westfield Centre Derby

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I came across some other really interesting walls today and this time the pattern was on the outside of the walls instead of the inside, and even more fascinating was the fact that they were on the walls of a school building in a little, out of the way town in  North Wales.

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

Contemporary patterns on a school building wall in a little town in North Wales

The designs were subtle yet very effective, their contemporary style blended well with the more traditional buildings around it, and as the light hit the building you could really appreciate the vastness of the pattern.

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

The scale of the pattern on the walls was breathtaking

Again i noticed that the patterns design was very much based on flowing, making me think of water, and it was extremely calming and relaxing to look at. The pattern seemed to journey from left to right, following the path our eyes take to read it – but then on the side walls changed to horizontal. I am starting to wonder if we find a pattern more relaxing if we can read it in the same way as we would read a book – from left to right, and if the pattern is uncomplicated, with the lines only running in the one direction at a time?

But what a lovely surprise on a dark and gloomy winter night, to come across such a beautifully adorned building!

 

 

‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese” – Book Jacket

This is the first of 2 books i have written and illustrated whilst at uni. This book isn’t written in rhyme but is a ‘play on words’ full of interesting sounds and tongue twisting sentences that encourage¬†children’s¬†vocabulary and speech. At the same time the book is all about how we shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to us, and what can happen when we do! it also brings up the issue as to how children choose to deal with their anger….as the cat in the story has 2 definite choices…you have to read it to see which one he chooses!!

The illustrations were created using 2d cut out images and then building 3d sets , placing them in there, lighting them to create interesting shadows and then photographing them. It was a totally exhausting but very worthwhile experience where i felt i learned so many skills such as photography and layout and composition as well as colour choice and balance. I also took the book through the whole process of printing which in itself was quite a challenge!

The book is a 32 page picture book, which i hope to find a publisher for in the near future, I feel that because of the way it is¬†illustrated¬†it offers something a¬†little¬†different to the world of children’s books, and the children that have read it have given really great feedback, so fingers crossed that i can find a ¬†publisher who also¬†thinks¬†the same hey?

The birds sing the cat to sleep, while he is guarding ‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese’!

‘BANG BANG BANG popped the piles of pongy poo!!’ (from the’Yummy Creamy Cheese’)

 

I just recently watched this you tube clip about how Andrea Dezso goes about creating her amazing ‘cut out’ installations and the logistical nightmare she seems to have especially with the lighting, that she said took 2 days to set up – mind you she does have ‘lighting experts’ to help her – not like me….battling away all by myself!!

Her work is amazing, and she is so super talented, doing anything from cut outs to model making to animation and embroidery animation, i find her a true inspiration and she also seems like a really genuine person as well.

Last week we had a Critical Studies lecture that talked about what sort of message we as designers and artists are putting out there to the world. We were shown some really quite shocking adverts that had been around in the 1940’s and 50’s where women were belittled, and patronised and shown as being less of a person as a man, and although we all laughed at the images they did at the same time feel uncomfortable to look at, as we all seemed to agree that this just wasn’t right. However, when it came to images that were still being created in the modern world, where supposedly inequality is no longer an issue, i was mortified to see an image that was put forward by Dolce and Gabbana in 2007 that displayed an image that showed a woman laid on the floor with a man on top of her and other man standing around in some sort of voyeuristic male activity.

I noticed on the following website    http://www.adrants.com/2007/02/dolce-gabbana-ad-cartoonish-edginess-or-g.php that the author tried to defend the company, even though the advert had been banned in Italy, saying:-

“What, exactly, is going on in this Dolce & Gabbana ad and does it really matter? Don’t fashion labels get a pass when it comes to raciness and imagery that connotes culturally questionable activities?

 

An interesting thought is that the words i put into the search to get this image was "Dolca and Gabbana, gang rape" and this is what comes up!!a

 

I wonder what exactly went on in that meeting room when the presentation for this advert was given, and what the sales pitch was? You do not expect this to be happening in the more ‘enlightened times’ we are ‘supposed’ to live in. I have also come across a photographer who also creates images that i find questionable. I have challenged him as to why he feels the need to create these images, and his answer is that it is ‘Art’…i think we need to be very careful what we categorise as Art, and also about what message we put out to the world and where our responsibilities lie.

 

For what reason??

 

 

I think there is enough genuine suffering in the world without us feeling the need to 'stage' it!

 

 

How old does this girl look to you? - what message does this put out to the world? - that it's ok for young girls to be so outwardly sexual? - who is the target market here?

 

I have to say that all of the above images sicken me, the made up images of violence particularly as i have been a victim of violence myself and don’t feel it should be portrayed in this way, and especially the last image, probably because i am a mother myself, but i am sure that my feelings are echoed by many.

Below are some images of furniture made by an artist called Allen Jones – again, they are simply beyond belief….a woman is obviously (in his eyes) a sex object that holds such a low station in life that you can sit on her or rest your drink on her..

Allen Jones's 'chair' creation

A range of furniture, including a Hat Stand!

I understand that in the Art world there should be room for creativity without too much censorship, but i feel that we have now entered an age where ‘shock tactics’ are often used under the heading of Art, and that with the knowledge we have we should be far more responsible and take into account the message we are putting out to the world!

Jean Wilsons "Current" installation

Chrissie Smiths "Aquis sculptural glass"

For these photographs i had to use my mobile phone camera as my 12 mega pixel camera won’t do them, and also i do admit to doing a couple of light adjustments on iphoto afterwards as i wanted to give an older ambience to the photographs. I am quite pleased with the results i must say, and so much have the photographic bug!! – thank God for digital photography otherwise this would be costing me a fortune!

Fishing boats tied up in Rhos on Sea

Rhos on Sea Harbour

I must admit that i have started to really get into photography! After years of not being able to afford a camera, and using my mobile phone i bought a little 12 megapixel Samsung camera in the sale at Argos a few months ago, and have never stopped snapping away since! The images below were taken at the Coastline Blue grass music festival that i went to recently, although the music was excellent i found the beautiful skies to be even more of an attraction. None of these images have been adjusted on the pc, to be honest i don’t like photoshopped images as i think they can seem very ¬†false if you aren’t careful.

The sun sets over the Bluegrass festival

Bubbles in the sky!

Last night we were invited up into the mountains, near Llandudno, to go to the ‘Coastline Bluegrass Music Festival’. I took little Ben with me, not really knowing what Bluegrass music was, or what lie in store for us. I have to say that i was very pleasantly surprised, the music was fabulous, totally uplifting, and really skilled musicians (especially the guy playing the banjo!) Below is a group called RAWHIDE who were from Belgium, excellent!

Ben had a great time trying on the unusual hats that were for sale!


and i managed to find a few arty photos to take…the only flags i could find were near the wheelie bins, but hey ho!

Found some great patterns amongst the clothes stalls –

and saw some amazing sunsets!!

I found it slightly strange that whilst at the BWknd i became fascinated with the flags and the trees rather than the famous people popping in and out. I sort of felt that the beauty in the colour and design of these amazing flags was far more appealing than some of these bands who are mega famous now, but no one will know wh they are in ten years time!!

I have always been drawn to pattern, in fact as an 18-year-old i wanted to do textile design as whenever i looked at anything i would see the pattern first (still do to be honest). i don’t know who designed these flags, and the pictures really don’t do them justice, but they were totally huge and really awesome!!

and now for the arty shots!

Lovely tree!!!! :0)

The calm before the storm - we wait for the crowds!

A couple of months ago i was asked by the BBC if i would attend the R1BW in Bangor in May and be part of the

BBC Headroom experience, providing on site massage and Reflexology, i obviously jumped at the chance as so many people wouldn’t be able to attend due to the lack of tickets and it was an experience NOT to be missed!!!

26 massages later (in 2 days) my hands and wrists are sooooo sore that i wont be typing too long tonight, but i have to say it was worth every ache and pain as the people who i met, the experiences that i had were so surreal, it was like being thrown straight into an alien world – but a good alien world,and i think it will take me a few days to process everything that happened.

I didn’t realise until i got there that we were to be massaging on the grassed area at the entrance to the small Headroom tent, which housed the show ‘The Surgery’ presented by little Aled (what a total sweetie he was – i did tell him that he should clone himself as everyone should have an Aled) and so as we were working for the BBC we had access to all the production areas where all the famous people went for a drink or a rest (or came zooming up on those speedy little buggies along with their entourage and security, and then slipped in the back of the tent) but i often found myself standing next to someone pretty famous or chatting to them in the kitchen etc – it was just a very strange experience!

The Headroom/Surgery Tent - before the site opened to the public

I must admit to not being too sure who everyone was, but i do remember Scouting for Girls, Biffy Cliro,Lost prophets, Kids in Glass houses, Pixie Lox (is that right?) who very kindly gave me an autograph for my little boy, Fearne Britton, Reggie Yates who came and interviewed us, Vernon Kay who came for a massage, Jo Whiley (who seemed really lovely and down to earth, Meet me at six (not sure if that’s right…but sounded like that) Jo McCeldry, Chipmunk,and i’m sure there were more that came in but at the moment i cant remember..i will put some photos on later and try to remember who they were.

Scouting for girls,,,,yummy!!

i think that this one was Lost Prophets but can remember, will ask my teenager later..

Getting ready for the Guitar workshops with the different bands, in the Surgery tent

no rude comments about the size of the boobs please!!! lol