Posted in Coursework, Part four ~ Landscape and identities, Personal Projects, Research and Reflection

Starting Part Four

I was so wrapped up in Snippets that I realised I worked for twenty hours over the weekend. Needless to say, all I could think about was the assignment my studies, and to sit down and read something normal made me feel empty. (I always seem to go to the extreme of what I do) Luckily I realised this wasn’t good for my health as I was so frazzled and exhausted by the end of the day I could barely walk. At least I finally completed my assignment, but then I couldn’t study for several days after. Little and often should be my mantra.

But the reason I mention that is because my frazzled brain generated an interesting dream that I felt I should try and create somehow. I was on a storm-wracked beach and in my typical dream fashion my breathing was very tight (meaning I couldn’t breathe very well in life, thanks for sleeping on my bed again Skye) and I found it hard to move. My feet become stuck in the sand and to make the nightmare complete the raging sea rushed past me. In seconds I was stuck on all fours and the water was up to my neck, I was trying to cry out. Mum came to my rescue and I was freed of the water and as I was I saw that the water was receding and all these jewels and necklaces had been left behind of people who had been taken by the water. There were so many and in my head I thought I could hear the words of the people who were left behind. Their last thoughts. In my mind (despite my near death experience) I decided to do an assignment about it. I took photos of them resting in the pools of water on the beach and then wrote (the way I did in Snippets) the thoughts or imagined lives of people.

When I woke up I wondered how I could incorporate this into an assignment or a personal project. Whilst I’d be lucky to find so many jewels on a beach I was certain I was certain I’d find litter and other things brought in by the water and left by the people. Perhaps I can write their stories or imagined stories in the pools of water by the objects.

Suddenly I find that there are only three assignments left, one for the critical essay, two the self-directed and three the transitions. That means this idea has no place in the assignment but I would still like to work on it as a personal project. For the self-directed Assignment, I want to do a murder mystery of the landscape. I may lay it out like a game of Cluedo or my own game with photos of the evidence. When I say murder mystery of the landscape I don’t mean a human’s death but literally an element of the landscape that has been killed in some way. I had this idea from the moment I was to embark on the Landscape course and I’m excited to see what I can produce.

I was reading about Assignment Four this morning and thinking of my subject for the critical essay. At first I was going to focus on Plato’s Cave but it said,

  • Your critical review must relate to your current practice or proposed future bodies of work. This will help you to contextualise your practical work.

So now I’m wondering about exploring the use of text and captions in landscape work especially as the past two assignments have focused on words.

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

Assignment Three – handwriting

Thoughts –  The font for Assignment Three seemed sterile, it wasn’t connecting with me. There is no emotional connection, the assignment is all about people but it is too detached, drawn away from the action like mechanical figure walking on with not much emotion. Some fonts had a pleasing effect but didn’t offer the emotion I needed. I recalled my research of the project ‘Falling Sickness’ which used handwritten notes from sufferers. Also, my future plans to amend Assignment Two will be to write the poem by hand.

Snippets on a Sunny Day

With that in mind I used my apple pencil on the Ipad with the app Procreate I wrote down the Snippets by hand. Instantly I knew I didn’t need to try any more fonts. These words transformed,  they captured the emotional connection on a personal level that I was seeking. It also reflected how I captured the Snippets in the first place, scribbling them on a scrap piece of paper.

Snippets - Handwritten - ChloeHalstead

With the written work completed now I just need to write all the Snippets by hand on the photos. To continue with the journalism mode I captured the images on my iPhone as it was always on hand when I unexpectedly visited the beach.

Posted in Coursework, Research and Reflection

Structuring my Blog

As I wrote on my blog I’d started to lose some motivation with the course, looking back I find it hard to believe as all the passion and motivation has come flooding back all due to a wonderful blog entry on the OCA. I was feeling overwhelmed in notes, and papers, written work for the assignments scattered everywhere. Everything was a jumbled mess of chaos. I read this article about student David Price and the way he structured his work and learning log was so inspiring! I realised the OCA wanted us to consider using such a method and as I tried it all the inspiration was back. I could see all my research, my notes, my written work wasn’t flowing endlessly over pages, instead, it was spliced into neat paragraphs with my art on all sides. At first, I was worried that this was copying but someone pointed out the OCA had featured it purely for that reason.

Here is an example of how my Assignment is now structured. I created it in Canva, it works like InDesign and I love the flexibility it offers.

Assignment Three-2

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

Snippets – Lytham Square

Of course for a photography assignment I couldn’t present my work without actual photos (at least I don’t think I can, perhaps I could submit the words on just white paper and on the back is the photo of the area.) but I’m interested what anyone can derive from the snippets of conversation I’ve overheard without seeing the photos.

Snippets began as a personal project but when I came to Assignment Three I realised it fitted perfectly. I decided to focus on the psychogeography of several locations around Lytham/Fairhaven and in different seasons. Had I thought in advance I would have shot the other locations in the Summer but I only added the extra locations recently.

I’d appreciate any feedback on what you think about the character of the people or this area, the weather, the time of day. Whatever anyone can derive from it. If you scroll down the photos of the area with detail are there.

Lytham Square 

“Them gloves you know, like I got…”

“Snow shows”

“Yeah that’s what I were thinking”

“Ooh ooo”

“Costs keep going up but wages stay the same”

“This bloody car came tearing round the bend”

“THAT was loud!”

 

Lytham High street

Oh I mean he’s asleep
I love to see the sights but…

Yes yes…since…yes!

Do you want to look there?I’m not bothered…No I’m not bothered either, I’ve got enough stuff, I just sent loads to the charity

Yeah yeah!

Ah, no…good girl. She’s got an hour

I forgot the bread

What’s she get up to?
Hahah

For a while cause we went to St Annes

It were briiight when we first saaaw it.

Outside the Co-Op

Oh that’s my taxi

Seven seven seven

Yes who…who do you think you are!

Yeah that one, heh!

 


 

Lytham Square

IMG_9974.JPG

The words describe the area immediately with the use of ‘was’ instead of ‘were’ It also seems that the focus of all Snippets remains associated with the cold, “Them gloves you know, like I got…”  I must be the only Plurophile (rain lover) as the weather seems to bring out negativity and sombre subjects,”Costs keep going up but wages stay the same” Added to the bad weather, low light and moody sky there were few people. Small talk to strangers is non-existent.

Lytham High StreetIMG_9975.JPG

Though the viewer can’t hear the accent of the passers-by I can assure you it was very Lancashire with draawn out syllables in the case of “It were briiight when we first saaaw it.”

Outside Co-Op

IMG_7845.jpg

Despite several people passing by no-one stopped to exchange small talk with strangers, this project has highlighted the image of the current social world we live in when we talk all day to others just not verbally, only by text.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Imitating Georges Perec

I decided to do something similar to Georges Perec -An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris (1975) I enjoyed the book greatly and I agree that it appeals most to writers, or artists as we I think are those who are most enchanted by the past time of people watching.  As there’s a school near-by and it was time for the children to be picked up I determined to write down everything I saw. I found it very addictive and the pace of my writing echoed the intervals of busy and quiet periods in the street. When only one person passed I’d go back and correct spelling mistakes or write in more detail. When it was fast my fingers were flying so fast over the keys I had to ask Mum to leap up and tell me the colour. We both found ourselves fascinated by the characters and I learnt some interesting and slightly sad facts. Of the whole street, just one person smiled and it was because they were staring curiously in through our window.

I was especially interested in the families at the beginning, in a sense they became the main character and I enjoyed watching them return laden with children and school bags. Interesting even though their situation had now changed they still kept the tense expressions. It was sad in a way. Very few people seemed to relish in the enjoyment of picking up the children and the craft projects they were showing them, instead focusing on leaving, getting to the car and continuing with the routine. Of course, I understand they are stressed and focused but the other day I sat in a cafe sketching for an hour all the people I could see. Afterwards, someone asked why everyone was so serious and sad in my pictures and I sad honestly that it was because no-one smiled. Couples faced each other their expressions blank and serious while they sipped their tea barely speaking. I wonder if they drove home and said “Oh what a lovely drink together’ It seems a sad insight into the current profile of the world. No-One Smiles Here.

My Notes 

Several minutes before school time. Everyone pointedly ignores the no parking signs on the road and fills up the road with Black SUV’s mini coopers and a van.  They also double park. Chaos will ensue later.

Man in a black puffer jacket walks by staring ahead intently twiddling his brightly coloured car keys in his hands.

A lady in a designer black puffer jacket walks by arms wrapped around herself shivering, before checking to make sure her coat is straight.

A lady trudges by in a black coat and blonde hair. Black coats are all the rage it would seem.

A serious Chinese man with greying hair walks past. No-one seems to smile.

A lady in a bobble hat

Green yellow and cream

Head down against the wind

A lady walks by with unusual attire. A long anorak one quarter is check, another part grey, it swings around her feet as she walks with her head down against the cold wind. Her bobble hat a flurry of unusual colours, green yellow and cream. Perhaps a tribute to a football club.

A family pass, their mother turns to stare in. Even though they can’t see me as I’m on the other side of the room she stares in curiously. I find it amusing, she’s reinforcing my assignment and the interest in people watching. Hundreds of people appear children. A mother stares in the lounge with a big grin. even though they can’t see me just as I’m curious about what is happening

Suddenly there are floods of people appearing with children.

A man holding a green bottle

A lady with a  bobble hat

Chinese man. I can’t see his son but I see the bright red bobble of his hat bounce along.

Children race by.

Everyone is wearing bobble hats.

Two similar looking ladies talk animatedly by their car with dramatic hand gestures

An older man in a M&S striped scarf (well it likes like my Dads)

Norwegian print bobble hat.So many people it’s hard to keep track

So many people it’s hard to keep track

Lady in the black puffer jacket is followed by a stream of kids. Before she checked how her coat was neat. Now she struggles to open the car door, weighed down by multiple school bags, music book bags craft projects and school letters.

A serious man strides by still serious his child jumping by his side.

Big brother grins as they walk along. Only the second adult to smile.

Bobble hats bobble hats everywhere.

Everyone still seems serious but the children bounce so happy

Ah. Car chaos has begun/ moving off, sudden braking, Reversing. The person can’t get out and looks irritated.

Lady in strange clothes returns. I can’t see her child.

Mini car tries to do an inconvenient three-point turn nearly reversing into our driveway. This isn’t uncommon. Most people block our driveway and even reverse in to turn around.

Girl races by in a Unicorn shaped hat cute! Breaking the flood of bobble hats

A hat minus a bobble.

Serious man in scarf leaves in his car, he’s still serious. More double parking.

More double parking.

Grandpa looks glum.

No one seems to be smiling. They’re stressed about the parking

Children go flying by like fish in a current. So small under the doorstep. All I can see is the tops of their bobble hats.

Lady and family huddled up against the wind.

Miserable lady with pink bag.

Everyone so serious clutching letters and school bags.

Cars flow out with serious faces, lady adjusts her hair as she drives.

Cars leaving.

Lady in dramatic black velvet hood walks past. Child looks eagerly at cars

Lady with wild frizzy hair and tartan dress walks by. I immediately stop writing one description so I can write about her hair.

Children in back of car playing animatedly as they drive by.

Emptiness for a moment

Sound of cars and children in distance.

Waiting

Waiting for more people to pass by

Is it over?

Bobble hat minus bobble drives by.

Lady with long black scarf walks by with child. It looks cold outside. car exhausts.

Lady with frizzy hair leaves, her hair fills the car window.

Then the street is empty and the sounds of the car fade into nothing.


A passing thought is how much of my own character was seen in my writing. Whilst George Perec wrote with a dispatched, straightforward way I feel we both struggled not to write more elaborately and descriptively and invent stories for the characters.

Posted in Assignment 6 ~ Transitions, Coursework, Research and Reflection

A New Year – Progress on Assignment Six

A new year brings refreshed enthusiasm and resolutions to focus more on my course. I’m grateful that I gave myself a fortnight off over Christmas as I had been starting to lose focus and enthusiasm in the course. I was told that not everything in life is enjoyable especially degree work but I think I was in a rut. By the time the fortnight away from the course had come to an end I found myself slightly drifting and realised I was missing the course and the focus it gave me. I think in life with anything a break is always good as it gives you clarity. Therefore I’ve been looking forward to returning to my course today.

I have been checking on the Playmobil house in the garden for some time and it’s incredible to witness the diverse gathering of foliage that has entombed the house. As one plant lives and dies it withers away to allow a stronger plant to rise up and take its place. When I set out the small Playmobil table and radio at the beginning of this project I presumed that they would be blown across the garden. Remarkably the tiny radio, only the length of a paper clip has stayed resting on the soil and the table has been blown through the patio doors, into the house amid a flurry of mud and curled up leaves. I will investigate further but it doesn’t seem as though there is any sign of insect life inside the house. The bike has been swallowed up by the plant life and I can not even locate it anymore.

I created a video in the evening, to me it has the feeling of a haunted house. The small DOF adds to the mystery and obscurity.