Study Abroad Exhibition Preparation

I decided to set up my assignment pieces from my study abroad in Ottawa to determine whether I liked the idea of bulldog clips to display my work for the study abroad exhibition coming up, and subsequently for the week 8 and final exhibition. I found that it was more successful than anticipated. I was able to put foam between the clip and image to avoid damaging the print, which was successful for many of the prints.

The most unsuccessful parts of this pre-run was the lighting of the area I was in, and the ‘squeezed in’ rushed effect that was produced with the work crowded together. I would have liked to have seen how the frames worked also, however these were too large for the images themselves and the images kept slipping in them. I am going to look for another option before the exhibition and ensure that they are displayed in an area that shows them off, rather than hinders them.

Photography Developing Process in the Darkroom (UK)

Developing in Reading is a lot more of a hands-on process than it was in Ottawa, due to the fact that I am now trained in using and mixing the chemicals for film development myself. The process of readying the film is also the same, doing it in the dark to prevent light contamination and then placing it in the light-tight container for development. On the first roll of film developed, I did this in a blacked-out bag that was light-tight as we were unsure whether the room was. This was successful, and thus I tried just taking it out in the darkened room. There was no visible light contamination, so I now know for the future that I am able to do it just on the surface, rather than in the bag.

Working out the process according to the Ilford manuals, what we remembered and the instructions I had from Ottawa allowed us to produce a relatively fast developing process that is easy to follow;
Developer – ILFOSOL3
Ratio: 1:9
300ml per 35ml film
20C water temperature

Tap tank
Invert x4 during first 10 seconds
Tap tank
Repeat invert x4 each minute of development
Tap tank
Drain 10 seconds before end
Ratio: 1:19
300ml per 35mm film

30-60 seconds agitate constantly
Ratio: 1:4
300ml per 35mm film

2-5 minutes agitate constantly for 30 seconds
Tap tank
Repeat every 30 seconds
Tap tank
Fill with water
Set up with tap
Wash for 10 minutes
The film is then safe to pull out and dry

The first film I developed was an out of date Kentmere ISO100 film, which turned out to have a good contrast and high quality. This was shot with the automatic settings of the camera. I then developed an Ilford ISO400, which is one of the film that I am used to. I was surprised with the results as it was shot in manual, which showed to me that I was able to successfully use the camera that has been passed to me. I now cannot wait to shoot and develop more film, mainly looking at my stairs sculptures and setting them in different environments.

Week 6: Adding Handrails Design 2

After adding handrails to both the original matchstick staircase design and the remake of the original staircase, I decided to also add handrails to the second matchstick staircase design. As before in the first two staircases that I have added handrails too, I feel that this has added more reality to the sculpture, allowing me to fully utilise it in the way that I wish to in the photography pieces that I am aiming to do. Despite the staircase now looking more realistic, I have found that the handrails now show the angle that the stairs sit at, as while drying each compartment was not flat to each other. This is something that I will look at manipulating through the photography, whether it is more derelict, or simply not capturing the whole of the stairs.

Week 6: Adding Handrails Design 1.2

After adding handrails to the original matchstick stairs, I found that it seemed to be more realistic, which will help to create an augmented reality. I then decided to add the handrails to the second version of the first design – where the cereal box branding is not visible. Again, the overall effect here is that the staircase is more realistic, and more in line with those that I have been finding. I am intrigued with how these stairs will come out, especially with the more natural wood that will be visible in the black and white images.

Study Abroad Exhibition Poster

After coming back from Study Abroad, there was a feeling that the artwork created abroad was not going to be displayed within the University of Reading. As the student representative, I spoke to some of those who went abroad and the head of year 3 studio. It was agreed that there would be a mini study abroad exhibition to showcase the artwork, universities and countries that we went to. I designed a poster for the event using outlines and flags of the countries of those who are participating in the exhibition. This includes; Australia, America, Canada, Finland and Hong Kong.

The exhibition, Same Faces Different Placeswill be held on 25th February 2019 at 4pm in the Spur F Gallery of the University of Reading Art Department.


Study Abroad Exhibition Poster UPDATE: we realised when booking the intended gallery space that it was being used on the day we wished to use it. This means that the venue has now been moved to the TOB1 Corridor (between spur C and E) and the AV Room.

Week 5: Adding Handrails

Within the Matchstick Stairs Design 1, I felt like there were lots of successful elements. I did feel, however, that there could be more added to make the stairs more like their original design, and more realistic. This is where I added in the hand rails, or banisters, to the stairs. This not only made the stairs look more realistic, but I felt that there was now more structural integrity. Many of the matchsticks are just stuck on the sides, and then to each other, but it works to make the realistic and still hollow design. I plan to spray paint this black, so that it stands out against a background that the camera will pick up as grey.

Lindsay Seers

Lindsay Seers is often known for her use of internalising the camera where she used her mouth as a camera, and her lips as the aperture and shutter. The images that were produced as a result of being in her mouth would be framed by her teeth, stained with saliva and tinged red with blood from her cheeks.

In a visit to Stockholm, Seers photographed anything that was associated with her step-sister through streams of associations and connections. There was an attempt to reconstruct the past through moving history. This leads onto Seers work of highly personal narratives while interweaving concepts of science, philosophy and photographic theory. These works help the investigation into how cinematic and photographic technologies shape us. The personal narratives include plot devices that ‘mimic the rupture at the heart of image production, creating a dramatisation of selfhood in all its melancholy and failure’ (Matt’s Gallery). The photography Seers uses is an act that creates experiences rather than records them, extending the boundaries of photography.

Artist Talk: Sandra Sterle

Sandra Sterle introduced a series of work that occurs even seven years; running around a tree. This started as a CD Rom and the development of characters over years. As Sterle travelled, she had the feeling that she herself was different in different places and relates this to the characters and fiction that is created in the CDs. It starred as an ironic gesture that related to the thought that you have to fit into something that you don’t necessarily know how to define. The clothes that she wears during these performances help her to get into the mindset of the characters. This changes as she gets older through her mentality, questioning the simplicity but multilayered structure, entering into the role of the peasant.

Sterle uses a series of postcards that also corresponds to the idea of moving to a smaller country and connecting to the element of rural life. Again, this is similar to that of the CD Rom.

The videos created are an endless run around a tree. The first was created using HI8 video recording and made Sterle question about how she is preserving the method of recording. She also designed posters of the HI8 system and this is included in the exhibition. Seven years later, Sterle repeats this process of running around a tree. On purpose, she has changed the central circulation, however the age of the woman is not something that could be controlled. Because her age has changed, she now runs slower, but the recording device is now better.

There is an element of allowing herself to play while making these videos, showing off that they are all unique. It is not about the purity of the space but rather a performative gesture relating to the space. There are also elements that are being added to her works but she does not know where they will end up, only that they will be repeated in the video and performance every seven years. A sense of deformed recycling and challenging new ideas.

Week 5: Making Matchstick Stairs Design 1.2

I took the original design of the matchstick stairs, which I found very successful, and made another. This is because on the original design, you are able to see the colourful branding of the box no matter how you positioned the stairs. In this design, I inverted the pattern of the cardboard box for the opposite facing stairs, so that now, the branding of the box is not seen. I found that this time round, the stairs are not as sturdy as the first set, and thus it may mean I need to build some supports out of the matchsticks. Now the branding has been covered however, the aesthetics of this set of stairs is much better.

Week 5: Making Matchstick Stairs Design 2

This was a new design for the matchstick stairs inspired by my wanderings around the university and the various types of fire escapes that they had. This one in particular is a staircase that is on a building across from the art department. I thought that it was suitable for my second staircase design to be inspired by the UK, while my first was inspired by Canada.

I followed the steps I took when making my first set of matchstick stairs, creating individually well structured elements. Unfortunately, when I placed all of these components together, it did not stand the force of sitting on a wall at one end, and the floor at the other. There was a buckling in the centre.

Although I enjoy the design, I worry that this will not stay together as I move it around and photograph it. I am therefore going to stand back and think of a structural component that I can add to these stairs. I am also looking at adding hand rails.