Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

A Mother’s Pain – Closed Doors

I feel such emotion reading the last words of this story. I can feel her pain so much, the sense of hopelessness. I feel the same thing when I see my sister so ill, this dark shadow creeping across the world stealing people’s live’s away and leaving them in suffering, agonised filled darkness.

Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

Chris’s Story

Today is Chris’s story. I met him very recently via a M.E magazine ‘friendship page’ And now it feels as though we’ve always been friends. With darkness comes light.

His door is open to show how he is starting to win against the M.E and re enter the world behind the door. He also contributed this adorable little elephant.



Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

Closed Doors – Kat’s Story

I met Kat while drawing occasional artwork for the M.E magazine she was in charge of and we quickly became close friends. One thing M.E and Lyme does is take away your hobbies and passions, but we fight back and find alternative ways to still achieve those ambitions. I’m lucky to have so many wonderful people fighting this condition and we unite to create a Spoonie army.

Today whilst I feel little better, I spent about a minute trying to decide how ‘my’ was spelled. I even was preparing a text to ask Mum!

The initial project started featuring front doors but I soon realised that everybody with these conditions mostly spent their time housebound or, heartbreakingly bedbound and their bedroom doors were the doors which were closed on them.

I felt Kat’s story was very moving, it’s that bit at the end that is really a punch in the stomach, something needs to be done in the medical community but we are like ghosts, they don’t see us, refuse to believe in us while we fade from reality.



Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

Sophie’s Story

The first doors have arrived and something unexpected has arisen out of it, I’ve met some lovely new people, we’ve shared our own experiences and stories and reinforced the kindness and love of the spoonie (people with chronic illness) community. We are all in this together.

So far I have doors from everyone from the USA, the Uk, even the Netherlands. Regrettably I wasn’t able to complete the project for M.E awareness week as I just wasn’t strong enough, everytime I worked I ended up with a headache and felt too exhausted to do anything all day. This isn’t a failure, if anything it is a positive reinforcing the project and my own personal experience and showing how the illness changes everything.

Sophies Story – in the form of a poem she wrote


Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

Closed Doors – Greta’s Story

I had a great response from my search for M.E and Lyme suffers doors.

To mark M.E awareness week and Lyme awareness month here is the first door. I asked the suffers to send me a photo of their door showing the life that is behind and is so often ignored. The door is symbolic in many ways and one such way that came out of the project was how many people especially in the medical field have shut their door on us. The door is slammed in our faces and we are told it is all in their heads. Dismissed, just like that to live a life of pain and suffering. The injustice is almost as painful as the excruciating pain our bodies are wracked with. For the moment I am featuring the two together but it shall be presented in a photobook format.

This is Greta’s story

Assignment Five - Greta.jpg

If you are a Lyme or CFS M.E sufferer, please comment below if you would like to take part. All I need is a photo of your door showing the top and bottom and some words on your story, what you want people to know about the condition or even a poem.

Posted in Assignment 3 ~ Spaces to places, Coursework, Research and Reflection

Response to Tutor Feedback

I’ve got my feedback for Assignment Three. I’m very pleased with the report though there are a few things my tutor mentioned that I felt I had done. My response is highlighted in a block quote.

Tutor Feedback

An ambitious submission that fulfilled your brief. Further research always benefits a submission. In this case it makes sense to hone down your submission to one, possibly two, ways of working. Great explorations though!

I presume by this, Les means the many ideas that come from my finished Assignment. As physically all that was involved was the photo of the seafront and the overlaid text. I always find it difficult to hone the resulting meanings down to one straight meaning but that is the beauty of art, so many responses are gleaned from one piece of work.

Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Photography/Creative Arts* Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment.  In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Feedback notes from our phone conversation and some after thoughts:

Well done for challenging yourself and producing plenty of work.

Contextualisation is always key whilst studying – who is influencing you, whose is the work that aligns with yours, look for historical and contemporary references.

Aesthetic level, experiment much more, upper nad lower case, many different fonts, take lead from refs

Chloe – I did include with my assignment a few pages featuring over twenty different versions of font which I included as we had discussed it in an earlier Skype session. Including the foreign translations he had mentioned. 

I’d noted that I liked the ‘type set’ look, which harked back to the original cut and paste styles of montage. The new handwritten notes work well too, signpost your references for choosing to work this way – Jim Goldberg?

I mentioned in my Assignment that I had come to this conclusion myself after deciding the type set was too mechanical. I wanted to bring my own energy into the work via the hand written personal text; I also referenced James Smolka – Falling Sickness. And discussed handwriting here

Perhaps look at Barthes’ critique of text alongside image.

The references we discussed – Kippin, Knorr, Burgin (check your spellings), Kruger, Doherty, Ken Lum – you have mainly looked at. Gillian Wearing takes you into Strand/Evans territory

Perec is a great reference. Great to see you emulate the methodology.

Mark Durden’s Photography Now is a very handy resource for answering, ‘who’s doing work around this…?’

On how to find other references: spin off from the first artist you find, look at who they’re curated with, who curated them, where they were shown, what else was shown there, geographically and historically who are they close to…

This is very helpful

As you’ve seen Sophie Calle’s explorations and psychogeography are both great resources for you to hook a project around, this ‘solid ground’ helps you branch out on your own.

Take care with using “My opinion” change to “my understanding” (“based upon…”)

Overall good writing again, make sure you signpost your understanding of the works you are discussing and how they influence your assignment

Very happy with this.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

Lots of honest reflection, as you progress you will return to these. Your film was very poignant. I felt the footage of pyres from 2:50 onwards had more impact than the ‘stock’ flames.

Perhaps I will repost the video with the flames engulfing my face at first. I had imagined the little flame starting soft and rising up but perhaps the subtle approach isn’t required for a piece of such pain. I’m glad the video was well received. I will try and create some more personal projects in response to the course reading.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Don’t be afraid to return to Bate, Bull, Wells (or Barrett, Clarke, Jeffrey, la Grange) to build on what the course points you to. Many of them would reference John Taylor, for example.

I have quite a big order coming from Amazon now

Learning Log

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis  

Your blog is well laid out and easy to read. You have signposted much of your process but you need to demonstrate the linkages to reading (as opposed to internet searching). Again, good reflection, you are still very critical of your work, or even ideas. Picking the camera up and ‘doing’ is one way to break through these blocks – we all have them, but they’re not negatives, they are what we wrestle with to move on.

This is great to read as I’d been trying to make my blog a lot more neater and easier to navigate. It is hard with such long posts but I’m glad it has worked. I like what Les wrote about these blocks not being negative but instead are a part of the process.

Suggested reading/viewing


For assignment 4 – discuss how text/caption affects photographs, don’t be afraid to build from Bate/Bull/Wells.

For Assignment 5 – Kennard Phillips, Jo Spence, Loraine Leeson, Allan Sekula and Martha Rosler. From among your tutors – Garry Clarkson, and my recent

This is all great. I will start working on Assignment Four now and continue with side projects in the background.


Strengths Areas for development
  • Very good research
  • Good level of experimentation
  • Good reflection on course reading
  • Clear citing of references
  • Highlighting the final pieces
  • Extending research beyond course reading

Very happy this. I do love researching but I need to increase the amount of reading research. I was given another armful of art magazines, The Review, from the nearby art gallery so will start contextualising from there. I’m not sure what Les means by highlighting the final pieces so shall ask him.

Posted in Assignment 5 ~ Self-directed project, Coursework

Do the scary thing first – Assignment Five

“Do the scary thing first and get scared afterwards” Beatrice Baudelaire – A Series of Unfortunate Events

This was already my go-to quote in scary situations yet somehow after talking to my tutor on Skype the scary situations I was facing dwindle into pale insignificance. Situations such as being at an art lecture and summoning up the guts to ask a question, for my voice to echo around the room with everyone looking at me, or to go up to a guy my own age (still not happening). After what my tutor wants me to do suddenly I feel I could speak to every guy my own age, heck I could ask them if they wanted to have a coffee.

I was talking to Les (my tutor) about Assignment Five, the self-directed project and how I wanted to simulate and capture a murder mystery of the landscape. “Something about, fracking,” I said chewing my pen thoughtfully. At the word Fracking Les suddenly burst into life, it was clear he approved thoroughly of the idea, burned with fury at the injustice, the fact that our local constituency had reached a verdict against the Fracking and then was immediately overthrown, the government crushed us, stamping on the local constituency as though we were a small ant that was messing up their caviar sprinkled five star afternoon tea.

I said I would create interviews. Just as I was about to say that I’d use my Godparents and friends to act out the role Les said:-

“The frackers and anti-frackers,” he said animatedly. I suddenly realised what he wanted me to do

“OH, I don’t know about that!”

“No do it, do it do it! Actively engage with them and see what they want, they’ll want to talk to you…”

Luckily I was making notes at top speed because my stomach was in turmoil at the thought of going up to these people to photograph them, interview them, but Les was continuing, find them online, go to the websites, go round to their house to interview and take photos.” According to my Mum who had just walked through the room my face was already burned with shyness and gasping like a landed fish!

My tutor said I shouldn’t feel scared about pointing the finger, that he and everyone would be behind me. That makes me feel like I’ve been pushed into the frontline by all the police, their shields against my back pushing me into the middle and all the anti- Frackers as my army.

Well, the course wanted creativity. And if I want the best mark I guess I’ll have to summon up some guts. I am a brave person. I feel I’m a coward, that I’d always be the person the zombies got, or the character in a movie who cries through the whole adventure.  But that’s in my own mind. When I’ve actually been in a truly scary situation somehow I can become very strong, take matters into my own hands. So I will do this. I will be brave and contact these people. Even though it makes my heart pump hard and my stomach to squirm with snakes I’ll ‘fright’ through it. Because already since speaking to Les it’s about the little people, how our way of life and freedom of speech is a myth and we are controlled by those higher up who do what they want, stamp on who they please. Whilst I feel very very uncomfortable using the word, the murder mystery is almost a rape case, they are raping Mother Earth, our lives and freedom. We may be able to speak out about it but they don’t actually listen which means our freedom is an illusion, something given to keep us quiet.  Some dare not speak out against their attackers. I do think this assignment will turn into something else, something I hope, quite powerful. Les said not to start with wondering what the result would be or how to go about it. He said to have no pre-conceptions or ideas just to launch straight into it. I guess Ill have to calm the squirming snakes and do this.