Saturday, October 13, 2012


Been very quiet again on the blog front....I'm back at Uni again and trying to get moving with my dissertation and major project research. Neither have been defined yet, which in part is perhaps a bit worrying but they will both relate to archives in some way.

I just came across the artist Zoe Croshner and her new work exhibited at MOMA on the archives of Michelle Dubois so I want to look into her work a bit more...partly why I'm writing this blog so I don't forget her name. I have a feeling this could well be helpful for for my dissertation and may also give me some ideas for my project.

For my major project I want to do something with the contents of this box - which contain old family photos on my father's side of the family. So I'm starting to sort through the contents. It's all a bit daunting as there is so much content it's hard to know where to start. So I've started by trying to categorise them and I'm making connections between times and incidents that were (probably) not previously connected, and then try out some possible sequences, edits. My next job is to scan some of the photographs and try and work with them flat. Quite what will evolve from this, who knows...

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The deadline for the Portfolio part of the Professional Futures module was yesterday, where the brief was to produce a website and a printed portfolio. For the printed portfolio, I decided to go against the grain and produce something a bit different - mainly as I didn't feel that a typical printed portfolio (a box of large prints) would really truly reflect my interests or work.

I particularly wanted my interest in book making to be part of my work, so I chose to make a set of mini books / publications, which are approx 125mm x 160mm in size. In addition, as my work is predominantly project based, I really wanted each project to be seen in its entirety rather than images viewed out of context. So in preparation I undertook a short course at the brilliant Bookworks, where we learnt about different bindings. And with this new knowledge, here is the end result - everything, including the box, was handmade by me!

Overall I'm pleased with them, particularly as it's my first proper attempt at making books on my own - although still not sure it's quite what is required for the module. Of course having made them I spot all the little things I would change if I'd had more time, money, paper...Unfortunately the print quality of some of The Island of Secrets images are a little below par, so at some point I will remake it again, and on hindsight I wish that I'd made it as a hard-back book and put a cover sleeve on it. For another time...But my favourite has to be the book '20' - I used some basic sugar paper and I think the images work really well on this. The concertina is also quite successful - I think the perspective of the images works really well with this format. For the project Changing Rooms I had always wanted to create a set of postcards - so I made a set of small prints the same size as the books and a simple band to keep them all together. I like the idea that they can be interactive - and not require a huge amount of space to see everything!

Images from all the book projects can be viewed on my website.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Island of Secrets: Part 2

Just to follow up on my earlier post, here some sample page spreads from my The Island of Secrets book. I created two versions - one a larger hard-backed book and a second smaller soft-back version. Although some of the images may benefit from being seen on a larger scale I actually prefer the smaller one - being smaller, it somehow has more of an intimate and 'secret' feel to it.

The hard-backed version was bound by Wyvern Bindery in Farringdon, and I made the smaller version myself. Some of images from the book can also be viewed on my new website here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Island of Secrets

I have been extremely slack posting to my blog.....just never seem to have enough time. However, the following are some sample shots from my first ever book The Island of Secrets, which was produced for last term's publishing module.  The project explores the merging of the built and natural environments of Orford Ness, Suffolk and the secrecy surrounding the atomic bomb testing that took place during the cold war period. I will post the whole book up the meantime, here's a taster of what's to come.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Historic photographic processes

Spent a good week at the end of July learning about some old photographic printing techniques at the Centre for Photographic Conservation.  We mixed lots of chemicals and prepared various papers to produce photogenic and salt paper prints, albumen prints, calotypes and cyanotypes.  I think i like the albumen prints the best for the slight bronze sheen, but they all have their qualities - and the detail is amazing.  Lots of experimenting to do now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pinhole photography

I have been going back to real basics and trying out pinhole photography over the last few weeks.  It's not been altogether successful to date (for me anyway) but Laurence and I did manage to produce this interesting shot using a shoe box pinhole - exposing onto paper.  At first we didn't think it had come out and didn't bother rinsing it the chemical residue has created some interesting effects.  It has an almost 19th century feel to it, which I rather like.   The experimenting continues....

Monday, June 27, 2011

George Shaw & the South London Gallery

I'm liking artist George Shaw's work at the South London Gallery - photo-realistic paintings of Tile Hill housing estate in Coventry.  They are essentially banal, recording an often overlooked part of the urban landscape, and the absence of people is slightly unsettling.  Yet, at the same time they are beautiful.  The detail in them is amazing.  The SLG also has a rather nice cafe and book shop that my friend Robert introduced me to, so I'm already looking forward to my next dinner visit!  

© George Shaw

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Changing Rooms

A community building that appears anonymous in the landscape.  A building that should be – or would have been - a hub of activity with stories to tell; yet it seems it’s now unrecognised or has been shamed.   This typological series is the start of a survey of park changing rooms – many now out of use, decaying remnants of former times.