Putting up

I painted, I hung, I cleaned, I hammered, I cleaned some more.

A big part of putting up the exhibition was teamwork and we all came together making it possible. The first day I and some others painted the back wall which was a horrible two tone of orange and green. We decided on painting it grey which I feel worked really well with the space. Putting up the fake walls came next and then we began to hang the work. Instead of this being every man for himself we continued to work together and help each other in hanging our work.

After the opening night we have been taking it in turns to staff the exhibition, making sure someone is there at all times to speak to people and for security.

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Speech

For the opening night/private view we have asked Paul Smith to say a few words to everyone there but also feel that the students should say something too. SO me and Sean wrote this speech which will most likely be read by Sean but is not just our words. Although we wrote it we tried to capture the thoughts and feelings of the entire group, and to thank for them all the people that made this and the whole degree possible, including each other. So here’s what we have:

 Thank you all for coming and welcome to Raw format photography ba degree show.

I remember at the start of this year Shaun Hides saying that 10 minutes from now we’d be graduating…..well try 30 seconds lolololol

We’ve had tears, laughter, jokes and Fights. We’ve been told off, and been lazy, we’ve needed a few kicks up the bum but at the end of it all we’ve pulled together some fantastic work and done ourselves proud as individuals but also as a group.

 In this room there’s a wide selection of subject matter each one like a child to its owner, who has watched it develop and hopefully will now see it flourish.

 There have been problems along the way either overcome or learnt from, and this exhibition is a testament to all those who were a part of it both students and staff.

Over the last 3 years we’ve been moulded by Jon Worth’s Open classes, Paul Smith’s Professionalism, Helped on our feet by Matt Johnston and been nurtured from on high by Jonathan Shaw and Sean Hides

which gives us a good chance to give all of our thanks to them and their dedication to us.

 We’ve evolved as a group, we’ve lost some on the way but we’ve also gained a few too. We’ve experienced the last 3 years together and I personally couldn’t think of a better bunch of people to have spent them with.  before we all go our separate ways it is great to be able to share something like this with each other.

 So thanks again to each other and all the people who helped us along the way, John Levy, Graham Mac, Greg, Craig, Bex, Anthony, Kevin, Sadie, George, Amber’s mum and dad, Jenni’s mum and dad, all the mums and dads…. None of this would have been possible without you. All the best for the future and enjoy the evening you’ve all earnt it.

 Oh and one more thing. We do have another exhibition in London starting the 17th of June so make sure you come along.

Summary

The thing I have learnt about making work is that it always changes from day to day: the meaning, the message even my own mind or the subject matter. This project was testament to that after changing a lot since the fist proposal. Due to contacts becoming unavailable, a death in my family and my new job at a production company time was also against me. However, I never take the negative and always enjoy learning from new experiences and I believe I have produced something of worth and quality with this project.

With each new hurdle my project developed into what it is now and like most cases is stronger for it. Instead of focusing outwards on other people I changed direction and focused inwardly on myself. I think this was an important realisation for me, as I needed to first get my head straight with the subject mater before looking at other people. I am a huge nature lover and so in that respect I am an expert in the field. I have spent lots of time in different places, picking up knowledge and skills surrounding the outdoors and because of this I feel more concern for and closeness to nature. This was something I wanted to get across in my work, as it is important to me. I find it hard being back in Coventry where I feel secluded from nature and my memories seem all I have sometimes, that and the longing to return. This is why the film developed as it did. I also wanted to make a comment on how society is also secluding itself; we no longer care for nature because of our detachment from it. The prints on clear plastic mirror these two things well.

Inspiration for this project came a lot from my own experiences but also from people like Sally Mann for her emotive style of photographs, which lent to my own and films like ‘Among Giants’ directed by Chris Cresci, which deals with nature as a subject and those who protect it.

I was given a chance to increase and show my skills in photography and film editing and working with a subject matter that I am passionate about really added an experience to the whole process. Usually my editing would be fairly story based and although there is a certain narrative to my film it was more about the emotion and the feel and so I was able to be a bit more experimental with it, really using sound and visual techniques to bring out me memories and feelings on a screen.

Overall I am happy with the outcome and have developed all aspects of the project into a workable piece, right down to the way I will exhibit it. It has shown my adaptability when faced with difficulties and an ability to develop a project despite initial plans not coming to fruition. These are skills that will stand me in good stead as a professional.

Inspired

I found a short film today that has won many awards and hits home with me and my current project. It is about deforestation and the people that live in the trees to try and stop it. It is not packed with interviews, facts and figures  but is minimalist and emotive. The limited dialog within (from the main character) is short and succinct and everything he says has meaning and adds to the film greatly. There is no waffle. Facts appear on screen as text to give context and leaves the film to speak for itself through the beautiful shots and sounds.

It is the kind of environmental subject matter that I intend to go into post this project.

Among Giants from Rainhouse Cinema on Vimeo.