Another flowershoot (backlog)

So here is my following shoot of flowers, I believe these ones are much much better than the previous lot, the use of Camillas takes these to a new level of feeling like gore. Although I must admit the fake blood left in these shots on the plate is quite disappointing and more often than not was distracting

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Roses with lighting (backlog)

Above you’ll see some of my roses. These are just some experiments with lighting. Tinkering with the lighting studio. I’ve found I’m quite partial to 1 directional lighting, usually disliking the more even ones as the shadows help give a creepy edge to it, and the less harsh light actually sometimes makes things look more meaty. Although the tray’s dirtiness might be an issue

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Some thoughts on a new semester (backloged)

Some reflections

Thoughts on last semesters photos (informed partially by crit)
-Very much on the right track
-Less about what I originally envisaged, being about beauty, but more about repulsion and attraction. Beautiful and inviting to look at until you notice the grotesque.

Humanistic elements, almost as if from the inside of anyone. Grotesque from the combination of animal and vegetable.

An element of defilement is also part of the work, an active role has been played in their change rather than simple withering.

Involuntary sculpture

The work has a strong surrealist element to it aswell

So … Things to look up
Irving Penn
Joel-Peter Witkin
L’Amour fou : Photography and Surrealism
The grotesque.
The surreal

One of the key things I’ve gained in hindsight and my crit is that I’ve been stuck in what I thought my work was about, even though it’s shifted quite a lot from where it started. So I’ll be re looking at Witkin and the grotesque in general once again, aswell as the surreal

The current idea floating in my head about what I could work on though is extending the combination of the grotesque and the animal/vegetable element by using skin as the background and trying to blur the flower into the skin using photoshop to see if I can intensify that element.

So, next will be some shots experimenting with that idea followed by a brief look at those artists/books/movements.

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Artists I’m looking at recently

Gyula Halász (Brassai) Involuntary Scuplture

The surrealist notion of Involuntary sculpture is an interesting one. Although I would consider it more of a unintended sculpture. As wikipedia tells me “Surrealism describes as “involuntary sculpture” those made by absent-mindedly manipulating something, such as rolling and unrolling a movie ticket, bending a paper clip, and so forth.” But what I find so interesting, and one of the loves of macro work is taking these, and making them into something so different that you cannot tell what they were. While this is a typical trait of macro work in general, the Involuntary Sculpture really defines it.

Jacques Andre Boiffard Big Toe

Despite Big toes really not being an object of perceived beauty which is more what I was hoping to deal with but it’s the displacement, the change of context by placing the big toe not only alone, but with no background at all that lends to it’s sudden hideousness.

Andre Serrano Piss Christ

Piss Christ is a rather more extreme, but good example of what I’m aiming at. Piss Christ is exactly what it says on the tin. And that is putting something revered into a different context. In this case for the sake of being controversial, but also forces us to consider how important imagery is given how strong the reactions over this piece of work were. Many of his other works also involve body (or body like) fluids and religious icons. Whereas I’m aiming more for deforming the everyway and what we all use and consider pleasant, but much like Serrano, I’m attempting to warp those objects in ways that are very abnormal and force you to consider what you are looking at, with fresh eyes.

Raoul Ubac

Due to warping the things we love in abnormal ways, I believe this work of Ubac’s seems particularly relevant. Almost having ripped apart the forms of the humans there, and replacing the insides with various bits and pieces really brings up this feeling of being altered against will. The lack of heads especially reinforces this idea.

Hans Bellmer Dolls

It can be hard to narrow down Bellmer’s better dolls, or even cover why I find them so fascinating. But they cover this spectrum of using a genre of object, and warping it so it’s still clearly what it is, but looses what makes it that thing at the same time. Dolls are supposed to be representative of the human figure, representative of the beauty in a way of the human body, but these works do not do that. They alter bits and pieces and show us how ugly and revolting the body can be. How bizarre it is. These works to me at least really force you to re-evaluate our perceptions of the human body and it’s wonder more so than anything else here.

American Mcgee – Alice Madness Returns

American Mcgee is game designer who is well regarded and noted for having an obsession with warping old tales. This in itself is nothing new, but his work with warping Alice in the two games he’s made is quite something aesthetically. While some of the changes are rather simple such as a dash of blood here and there, the changes made to characters like the mad hatter really push him from something amusing and pleasantly insane to entirely mad! (skip to 20:00, approx)

And that’s who I’ve been looking at recently for my photography work.

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Some extra people to look at
Works with mould and roses








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On flickr now!

Rather than using facebook for my photos, which have become increasingly not viable to show to older people and squimish younguns I’ve made a flickr account. Which has the unedited versions of my final submission in it, along with 2 extra shots which were cutr due to lack of consistency. is the place to go. I’ll be attaching a link to the sidebar, but don’t expect a full retrospective of my work there.






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So, why are you talking about video games?

Perhaps more than anything this shows my own insecurities about my love of games more than anything… But I write about videogames in this art journal too because, well, they are the art I interact with most. I’m sure movie buffs write about movies, and fantasy novel fans about fantasy novels in their journals. Because our art is influenced by the mediums most important to us in a consuming sense (people often create in a different medium to the one they love consuming).

While I’m not doing a great job, by putting these kind of things in my journal I hope that I can be bringing video games into the discussion better, given this is easily the most important medium of this century (movies the last) and in the last 10 years have really been proving themselves consistently as a viable medium for expression of something deeper than kill 10 rats (MMORPG reference). Since no one else really seems to be passionate about bringing them to the conversation in the art school, I suppose I have to in some sense.

I don’t believe a modern art education can be viable without any discussion of videogames. I don’t mean to say we need lots of units on it, but we’ve looked in some way at films, music and various multimedia arts through my time at the art school. But outside of one off hand comment in a crit, I’ve never heard anyone other than myself bring them up.

I hope this changes. And it should with time naturally, by the time the people who grew up with PS2s (the first generation of consoles that people started doing serious things consistently) come into the artschool in 10 years or so, video games should be brought into the discussion more. However the chance to bring that discussion to the coming years as opposed to the later years is something I should have been pursuing in year 1 or 2, not 3. But I’ll do so now as I don’t have the chance later.

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