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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Monday, 31 January 2011

Dialogue between myself and wolstenholme over the last few days


Rachel Armstrong January 28 at 1:58pm
Hi Priya,
We are a group of 7 2nd year fine art students from LJMU who have been informed that there maybe a possiblity of exhibiting in Wolstenholme. We've put together a proposal and attempted to send it to John O'Hare but we haven't yet heard back from him. Could you advise us of an alternative contact or pass on this message please.

Many thanks,
Rachel Armstrong 

Priya Sharma January 30 at 1:46pm Report
Hey Rachel,

John is no longer coordinating the space, it is myself and Caroline Smith who arrange exhibitions. It would be best to send the proposal and examples of the contributing artists works to: wolstenholmecreativespace@gmail.com.

Thank you and look forward to hearing from you,

Priya Sharma.


Rachel Armstrong January 31 at 9:05am

Thanks for your advice Priya,

Ive have sent the proposal to the suggested address
looking forward to hearing from you,
 

Rachel

Friday, 28 January 2011

Wolstenholme Follow up

We have not had a reply from Wolstenholme and are starting to panic about getting the exhibition up and running. This afternoon we had a meeting with Peter regarding the situation and decided to go about contacting the Wolstenholme guys in a different way. We managed to find a group on facebook about the space and messaged two of the admins shown on the page. Hopefully we will have more luck this way. We have decided that if by Friday the 11th of Feb we have failed to receive a response we wil start looking for a different space. Although we have been unsuccessful so far in our approach we have already learned a lot about working as artists and the difficulty of working with artistic people. 

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Collecting materal

Whilst in town today I decided to collect some film footage. I started by using my digital camera and simply filming my surroundings as I walked through Liverpool city centre however I began to feel increasingly more self conscious and uncomfortable as I began to get some puzzling looks then the battery died on my camera. I started filming using the camera on my iphone which enabled me to capture footage in a far more discreet way and also allowed me to concentrate on what I was filming rather that feeling self conscious.

The footage I managed to capture was interesting due to the effect created by using my iphone. The footage is distorted and fractured even before editing and much like my edited under water film the lack of clarity and visual satisfaction make the pieces interesting. As I was carrying the camera from my hip I was unaware of what I was filming therefore when looking back it is apparent that most of the footage is taken of above eye level. This is uncomfortable to watch as we cannot see directly ahead of us and we feel less in control of where the the film is taking us. I'm not sure how relevant the pieces are to my project however the nauseating effect they have on the viewer is possibly something to consider using. 

video

video
             

The Blue coat- Underwater

This morning I paid the blue coat gallery a visit. There is currently exhibition on called 'underwater.'

http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/events/926

I found the exhibition quite disappointing  as a whole due to its lack of substance however there were two video pieces that were particularly relevant to my own practice.

  • 'Around 375 million years ago, our ancestors crawled out of the waters...' by Dorothy Cross is a 6 minute video piece showing a woman totally submerged in water apart from her nose and mouth. Surrounding her within the water are an infinite number of Jelly fish. The Jelly fish caress her body and seem unfazed by her presence making a seemingly terrifying prospect appear to be completely the opposite, both soothing and idyllic. A lot of emphasis is given to the movement of her hair within the water. It dances is if it were part of the water. Neither the Jellyfish or the vulnerable naked flesh see the other as a threat allowing both to exist as one. The film works perfectly in a very traditional gallery environment (a boxed off dark room with a viewing point)
  •  I was unaware that a piece of Bill Violas work was being shown in the blue coat and due to the fact that I've only recently been interested in Violas work, getting to see a piece first hand was a really exiting experience. 'Becoming light' explores the relationship between light and life. Instead of total submersion causing a sense of anxiety (like in my film) the sensation of being underwater is expressed as a feeling of freedom and liberation. Two figures one male and one female move around below the water entwined within each others presence. They appear to be lost within each other and infinitely connected due to there complete submersion. This particular video brings forward the idea that being totally submerged in a physical sense also allows total submersion within ones own thoughts and self (or in this case each others) without any influence from the outside world. The film is shown on a small flat HD screen due to its HD quality. It is surrounded by various other pieces. I felt the other pieces interfered with the serenity of Bill Violas piece. The piece deserves to be shown in a room on its own without any outside influence for the viewer to be sufficiently absorbed.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Wolstenholme Group meeting

We had our first official Group meeting today regarding the exhibition that we are proposing for Wolstenholme creative space in April. During the meeting we collated all our project proposals and created an email to send to the Wolstenholme team outlining the overall proposal for our exhibition. We have our next review meeting with Peter Appleton this Friday between now and then we intend to arrange a meeting with Wolstenholme so that we can look around the space and arrange an exhibition date.      

Pipilotti Rist

Due to the issues of femininity and sexuality that were brought to light in my previous video I was advised by Juan to look at Film artist Pipilotti Rist. Her style of film making is totally compelling. Not only in visual content but in the way she uses scale, space and sound to emphasize her subject matter. The film piece 'Ever is overall' has obvious sexual connotations surrounding the feminine stereotype however the thing that creates the impact is the composition of the screen.


As mentioned in previous blog entries the problems I have faced are the number of projectors available and also the lack of space available to conceal technical equipment within the boxed off area. Using a split screen technique such as the one Pipilotti uses is a good alternative way of projecting multiple film sequences without having to use multiple projectors. I also like the idea of contrasting two pieces of film along side each other. I will go on to experiment with split film projections.

         

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The anxiety of anticipation

I have recently noticed that the time I am at my most unsettled and nervous is when I am waiting for something to happen. For example if I am waiting for a train or waiting to see a doctor. No matter how trivial the event may be it is the active process of waiting for something to happen and the anticipation that causes the feeling of anxiety rather than the event itself. Once the event has commenced (the train has arrived or I'm sitting in the doctors surgery) the feeling of anxiety more often than not disappears completely. I intend to collect footage and create a film that plays on and emphisises this feeling. My idea is initially to film various situations where anticipation occurs with the intention of creating a film with a continuous sense of anticipation and therefore anxiety.

initial thoughts-
  • Create a continuous loop with lack of narrative (waiting for something that never happens)
  • I need to make sure the film is engaging (as waiting can essentially be very boring)
  • Try filming the arrivals at Lime street station (without getting arrested)

Current focus

I mentioned after my last review that I intended to work on a film sequence involving water. After looking at various film artists who use water (such as Bill viola.) I decided to tackle the idea in the same way I have my previous films, by collaging together and editing snippets of footage. I collected footage of myself struggling underwater and have begun to piece together the various slices that appear relevant. I have edited the series so that like in the majority of my other films the subject is out of focus preventing the viewer from being able to absorb the image of the drowning figure fully. The image never settles leaving the viewer visually unfulfilled which undoubtedly causes a sense of anxiety. I chose to use myself as the subject as this film in particular focuses on my own personal experiences of anxiety attacks.  

video
           

Monday, 17 January 2011

Freelancing?!

Last week we attended an event that introduced us to the world of working as a free lance artist. I found it reassuring to hear the various successes of people working in the art world. I learnt that if you have a business mind and entrepreneurial outlook on life then you are very likely to succeed in the majority of what you do (as long as you have something to sell) and the free lunch was rather nice. However the major problem I encountered with the day was that I don't have a business mind or an entrepreneurial out look on life so found it rather difficult to relate to the majority of what was said. I have never been able to see myself having an unreliable income. The fact that I took a degree in fine art completely contradicts this seen as fine artists are expected to live very unreliable and unpredictable lives. The idea of living off the art work I make and sell terrifies me and I know that whatever I end up doing after my degree will have to provide me with some form of financial stability. I guess i'll have to find a way of using my degree in a more predictable and reliable way!    

Friday, 14 January 2011

The time over Christmas I spent on my work mainly consisted of getting used to using Final cut as an editing program rather than i-movie. I found myself spending unnecessarily long periods of time trying to work out how to achieve seemingly simple effects such as - making My various films black and white and removing and editing sound. Final cut frustrated me. Not only how complicated film editing had become in comparison to the previous program but also the fact that I'd willingly spent 60 odd quid on the program and that it had slowed down my laptop a considerable amount! After a good 2 hour session trying to make sense of you-tube tutorials with no luck I began to write a list of all the problems I had encountered (in my new lovely moleskin notebook.) On the Monday I got back to uni I went straight to the Mac suite and asked the technicians to go through my list of problems. What it taught me about my own work process is that I need to be more open to learning new skills and also be open to the fact that new skills take time and focus to perfect. Ive realised how I need to exploit the very readily available help and support available at uni whilst I still can and to not be afraid to ask for help. It also taught me that Macs are not as seamless and perfect as they claim to be!