Welcome to my blog


From October 2016 I have embarked on my PhD research after being accepted on to the programme at Christ Church University, and this blog will document the paths which I will be following!

It was initially designed to show the research and development of my ideas behind the photography projects which I undertook during my Year 3 BA (Hons) degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.   Since the completion of the course, from summer 2015 onwards this blog will also show freelance commission work which has been undertaken exploring both photography and film  and evidence of any photographic opportunities which have arisen.

Thank you for your interest and I can always be reached from my contact page.

31 Dec: Updates and The New Year

Is it just me or do others find New Year’s eve a real conflict of emotions? Do we always ponder over what has happened during the last year – its ups and downs and then try to at least think positively about the coming year?


This has taken over more than I ever anticipated, but being part-time I mistakenly thought that if I pulled out all the stops I could perhaps finish early and save a few pennies in the process!   Although I have the time to do it I need to find a better work / life balance so as to keep up the momentum but have some fun at the same time.  I had my first Review in November which seemed to go well, but since then I have had a major rethink about the structure of the thesis and am hoping that when I see my supervisor in a couple of weeks time she will agree that this would be a big improvement.

During the year I made great progress by firstly interviewing John Jolliffe in Mells Somerset.  He was instrumental in Florence’s diary being published and was able to fill in many pieces of the jigsaw.







Whilst I have not been very active using social media it was through using Facebook that I was able to make contact with Florence’s great-nephew Mark and in turn her nephew (now 95) and his wife (93)!.  This led to my meeting them for lunch near Guildford and talking about Florence.  I came away feeling that I had made new close friends who were so interested in what I was doing.  So this was a very good way to finish the year.









Just before Christmas I went to London to see the Dali / Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy.  At last I was able to see a painting that has been on my ‘must see’ list.









I had been told many years ago was told that this very powerful painting by Dali was usually hung at the end of a long room in the art gallery in Glasgow, so it was the first thing the visitor saw when they entered the room. So to see it locally was one visit not to miss.  However its position in the Royal Academy was not so impressive as it was on a wall with other paintings, so rather lost.

Turner Contemporary Research Group 

I have found that towards the end of the year my role documenting the meetings has seemed to be less needed.  If it was a meeting to merely discuss progress and did not present many photographic opportunities, then I have not offered my services unless asked.  I also found that on some occasions there was another photographer there so this meant that taking images was problematic as we were competing for floor space.  I also would spend time editing etc. after the event and sending off to interested parties only to often find that I sometimes did not even receive an acknowledgment that they had been received.

As the intended exhibition is due to take place early 2018 I am not sorry to be losing this demand on my time, as at the end of the day my PhD is more important.  It has also shown that whilst it has been an interesting experience and I have enjoyed meeting some great people in the process working with a large gallery can be challenging at times!

The New Year

Apart from working to ensure that the first draft of chapters 1 and 2 of my PhD are finished by the summer then the pressure will hopefully diminish considerably.

The TSE Research Group exhibition will be held soon so it will be good all the efforts of the group over the last two years come to fruition.  Luckily I am still working with the Walking Group and there are a couple of anticipated walks due to take place both locally and in London during the year, so another photographic opportunity.

Now that Uni has given me a small expensed fund I will be able to travel and do more research in original archives.  The first proposed trip will be up to Edinburgh in the spring (when it is warmer) to visit the National Library of Scotland to look at the work of Mairi Chisholm, so something to look forward to.

Apart from taking images for the Turner Research Group I have rather neglected my own photography so have very much missed taking myself off and just taking pictures.  I bought an old Rolleiflex TLR camera earlier in the year and have yet to give it a try out.  So that is a must together with resurrecting my darkroom and doing more analogue work.

There may be a few flying pigs around here but perhaps my writing would improve from not spending so much time chained to the PC! I hope the year will continue to bring good health and to be able to see more of friends and family.  A very happy new year to whoever may take the time to read this 🙂





6-7 Oct: Bradford

My contact Pippa Oldfield, the curator at Impressions Gallery, Bradford had notified me previously that they were holding a national touring exhibition entitled, ‘No Man’s Land: Women’s Photography and the First World War’ with the private view and launch on 6 October and the artists in conversation on 7 October.  The exhibition funded by amongst others  the National Lottery and Arts Council England will got later go to Bristol  Cathedral April – July 2018, The Turnpike, Leigh November – January 209 and Bishop Auckland Town Hall February – April 2019. the content It has been put together by a group of local young people called, The new Focus Group.

The following images were taken at the private view:









































It comprises work by Olive Edis, Mairi Chisholm and Florence Famborough together with contemporary work produced by Alison Baskerville, Dawn Cole and Chloe Dewe Mathews.  It was exciting to be part of the launch and to see larger versions of 15 of Farmborough’s images although they are prints and not original copies.   The exhibition as a whole is most interesting and thought provoking










Dr Pippa Oldfield with Alison Baskerville, Dawn Cole and Chloe Dewe Mathews.

October: PhD Update

I do not know where the summer break went, as it seems to have gone in a flash and a new academic year is now starting.  While is it good to be back, I soon realised that things were progressing at breakneck speed.

I have spent a long period of time working on my Final Proposal, so all other research has been put to one side momentarily.  I received notification of my First Review date mid November, so whilst I keep telling myself that I am on track and know the people involved well, it is still rather daunting and another hurdle to be jumped.  Once I have the feedback from this then I can pull out all the stops and get immersed back into my work again.

I had also hoped to ease up on the Research Development Programme sessions as I attended 14 last year, and so unless I felt the need to repeat some there were not many I had not been to that seemed relevant.  However, it soon became apparent that Uni feels it necessary and that I become fully engaged with the programme again, although I do wonder how much of it is a box ticking exercise!  Anyway, I have dutifully signed up for some and fortunately some are being held online so does not involve having to go into Uni just for that.

One exciting recent development in my work has been being able to make contact with two of Farmborough’s living relatives through my contact Pippa at the Impressions Gallery, Bradford and my next post will cover the trip up to Bradford.  The living relatives seem most enthusiastic about what I am doing and pleased that someone has shown an interest in her work.  So it will be interesting to see how this can be developed in the future.

9-16 September: Cornwall

We managed to escape at long last after not having a break for a while so set off with high hopes.  However, despite my trying to stay positive it was challenging at times.  It rained nearly every day and when we arrived at the cottage there was no heating apart from a wood burning stove.  There was also no internet unless I walked up the lane from the farm and faced a certain direction!








Apart from that we were able to meet up with a friend from Launceston and a day on the Doc Martin tour with friends from St. Just.   A meal at Nathan Outlaw’s Kitchen on our anniversary was one to remember too.















The scenery was wonderful especially the craggy coastline with the crashing waves at Trebarwith Strand and the beach at Polzeath.  The farm shop at Boscastle is also a great place to eat and sample the Camel Valley wine!






















Perhaps another time we would go further south to explore and pick a time when the weather may be more settled.



20 Aug: PhD update

Has it really been a month since I added something to this blog for my PhD?  I seem to have been chained to the computer and have ended up with sore eyes, so I need to be a bit smarter as to how I manage my time.  Karen my supervisor, gave me some useful tips about time management as she was able to complete hers in four years and if nothing else save a year’s fees.  However, bearing in mind that she has youth on her side, I realised that as my work is not competing with anything else such as a job, there is no reason I cannot do it within the same time frame.  I also realised that I can’t keep slogging away every day, as apart from the fact I am getting more boring and self-centred than usual (!) I need to take at least one day off per week to rest and recharge and my brief holiday next month is something I’m really looking forward to for lots of reasons.

However, before then I’m busy right now trying to get most of my ‘Final Proposal’ completed as my first review will be around the beginning of November.  Although this seems a long way off, the weeks seem to be flying by and I don’t want to spend my week away thinking I should be at home working.  I also was lucky to find an old 1950s Rolleiflex twin lens reflex, medium format film camera, in a local camera shop for a really cheap price.  So I want to try it out on the holiday as I haven’t  used film for some time, and also want to see how the camera behaves!  I also realised that the chemicals I have in my darkroom are also long past their sell-by date, so need to be replenished if I’m going to resume film and processing etc. again.  Perhaps to have the distraction of occasionally being able to shut yourself away and develop and print would also be a good occasional distraction from computer work.

Other than that I was really pleased to see that blogs can have really positive results and have been contacted by Pippa, from a gallery in the north of England who is putting on an exhibition in October, featuring the lady who is the central focus of my research amongst others.  I have been somewhat reluctant to say much online about what I am doing but as Karen previously advised me, that even if I discovered that someone else was doing exactly what I am researching, they would never do it in exactly the same way or cover the same things that I intend to cover. So onward and upward as the saying goes and looking forward to the next weeks of my PhD journey!

19 Aug: Walking with Margate Bookie Festival

In hindsight when I look back at each of these walks despite the previous preparations, they are all so different and unexpected.  We were again blessed with fine dry weather as the last one was challenging, trying to take pictures and keep the camera dry under an umbrella!  However the day was very windy and I ended up with watery eyes so it was a wonder I achieved the results I did.







































The only slight irritation (not I know unexpected at times) was one lady who was most insistent that I did not capture her in any of the shots.  So as a result she seemed to keep popping up in lots of them when looked at the results later!  Still I guess I’ve generally been fortunate up until now, as most people just seem to be engrossed in the proceedings and not take too much notice of me.

I always seem to see something else which catches my eye when I’m on one of the walks, either it is something unusual or the fact that as Turner commented, the skies are always impressive.




26 July: Walking in preparation for Margate Bookie 19 August

We always seem to be blessed with the weather when it comes to the walks.  The forecast was abysmal but we only ended up with a few drops.  The plan was to run through the proposed walk with Andreas and members of the team putting Margate Bookie together.

















It is always a chance to capture something of interest whilst I am documenting the events.  This was taken inside part of Dreamland which is yet to be renovated.









Margate – just the place to have a break!



22 July: Walking with The Waste Land Group update

The group has now settled into meeting once a month and although I could not attend the June walk I did attend the one held on 17 May which included some members of the Garden Gate Project in Margate.   This is a community garden working with people with mental health and or learning difficulties based at Northdown Park, Cliftonville.

We were blessed with a sunny day and a good day to remember!




















The following images show what the inspiring work that is being carried out in a very calm and relaxing environment.














18 July: TSE Research Group – Turner Contemporary Gallery update

Since the last post I entered for 25 March I have not been able to attend and document all the sessions as my PhD is taking top priority!  I also felt that some sessions were going over previously discussed topics so did not need to be documented.

However I did attend the meeting on 25 April which included a presentation from a Margate project artist working in connection with ‘The Waste Land’ and interested in making a contribution to the exhibition.  I have some of the images taken:













The most recent meeting held on 18 July also incorporated an invited ‘sample’ audience to see what their impressions were on the proposed format of the exhibition so far.  It was a very lively meeting and the following images were taken:



























One thing worth mentioning is the journey and friendships that have emerged since the group started and the fun we have had: