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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.

5 May: Margate Bookie Walk with Billie

We were blessed with great walking conditions, war, dry, sunny and not too hot for our last walk as part of the Walking group.  This also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition.  We started by listening to music in the Nayland Rock shelter that had inspired Eliot.


 

 

 

 

 

 

We then walked to the beach where Billie had devised various games all based around the poem with Virginia and Sonia taking lead roles.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After stopping at various points along the beach for activities, we then headed to the steps for a final reading of an Eliot poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once back inside Turner Contemporary we sat on deck chairs for the final part until a friend of Billie’s arrived from London.  He also organises walks around the city of London, and provided some interesting historical information about the channel and what is still lying buried on the sea bed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst our activities will change now that the Waste Land project has come to an end and we all move on in new directions, it has been a time to reflect.  The main thing for me has  been the photographic opportunities that it has offered but also mainly the friends I have made along the way.  Billie has been inspirational and on my wavelength, so I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with her.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 May: PhD update

The last few weeks have been challenging so I have to keep reminding myself of things that my main supervisor Karen has told me such as, that as I am part-time it need not take over my life!  It had begun to feel like that so it was time to stand back a bit.  I also reminded myself of three things:

  1. That there will be an end in sight one day not that far off.
  2. Not to get bogged down with too much information, articles etc. to wade through, as at the end of the day they are to supplement my ideas and provide evidence of my conclusions etc. and I do not need to include everything only the best bits.
  3. If I did not carry on I would be wasting all the money I had invested in this so far and would very much regret it later.

So I am back on track but not making as fast progress as I had hoped by now in view of having to submit some more writing by end of June.

However every now and then a little gem appears. I was asked by Sarah from the University of Hertfordshire who I met at the Kathe  Buchler Conference recently, to write a piece on my research for their ‘Everyday Lives in War’ website.  Whilst for those who have had lots already published this is not a major deal but for me it is a first. It has also helped in that long battle to regenerate my self-confidence!

The link to the site is https://everydaylivesinwar.herts.ac.uk/?p=4259S

So onwards and forwards and hopefully next time I update this I will have made great strides.

 

 

28 April: POW Psychic Walk in Margate


 

 

 

 

 

This was a rescheduled event originally due to take place earlier in the year.  However, as it related to TS Eliot’s wives and their treatment in his hands, it also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition and the end of the Research Group’s collaboration.


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It looked at four sites that had played a prominent role when Eliot was there in 1920s.


 

 

 

 

 

The Albemarle Hotel – now demolished.


 

 

 

 

 

Margate Museum


 

 

 

 

 

Margate Winter Gardens


 

 

 

 

 

Nayland Rock Shelter


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Although there was not a large group attending it was a very interesting and informative session.

It is hard to accept that the three years I have been involved with the Research Group has now come to an end.  It has been a wonderful photographic opportunity and I have met some interesting people who have become close friends.  Like everything we have to now move on and take this experience with us.  However it has been is something special and will certainly not be forgotten!  Thank you to everyone who has worked with me on this!

24 Mar: Witnessing War Workshop

A really interesting day at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield. It was a good networking opportunity and chance to see the WW1 photographs of Kathe Buchler which have not been seen much outside of Germany and received little attention.  The speakers ranged from Jenny Matthews author of ‘Women and War’ to PhD candidates like Jo Young, talking about their research in connected areas of interest through to Jason Crowley from Manchester Metropolitans University .  During the day there was a meeting to discuss the exhibition being held until 5 May of Buchler’s work.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also managed to locate a copy of her book but unfortunately only produced in German which will be a challenge.  Still I have a German dictionary!

 

March: PhD Update

I guess I’m not going to get any brownie points for keeping my blog up to date!  However I do feel that unless there is something useful to pass on then it is not necessary to just write for the sake of it. Since my last update and meeting with my supervisor in January I have just buried myself away to research and write.  In a moment of madness I said I’d send her a big chunk of writing and it was only when I started that I realised how much I’d taken on, especially as some aspects had not been looked at before 🙁  However I felt that if I sent her my Introduction, Methodology and skeleton Literature Review then this would form a good basis for building on especially during the summer months.  For me, I need to be well organised or the amount of sources feel as if they are taking over at times.  So it is very much a day at a time and staying on track, not getting side-lined and digging deep.

I eventually submitted 14,000 words so although it was a bit rough round the edges in places and felt a bit rushed towards the end it can now be fine tuned.  It showed also the importance of having a critical friend who can point out even minor errors that you may not have spotted.  Still I am only in Year 2 so have time hopefully to make big improvements.

Some of the sources I have consulted have been more than challenging.  This rare book is worth a mention as the captions with the images are problematic in many cases but as a source of images can provide interesting information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following my supervisor’s meeting last week I now need to submit a rough plan  of action and beginnings of Chapter 2 ready for July.  If anyone says this is a big undertaking was making an understatement as I’m sure I’m not alone in continually questioning my ability to do this.  Still I’ve survived so far so that’s a positive!

 

 

 

 

3 Feb: Launch Day for our Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition

The private view the previous evening was crammed packed  with people and extremely well supported. Although as a member of the Research Group I was able to go round and take photographs, as there were lots of visitors I decided I needed to spend time with the exhibits another day!


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

My proposed Man Ray’s Dust Breeding was there!


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

It is hard to now realise that nearly three years work has come to fruition.  I have met lots of super people along the way and it has been an interesting, exciting and at times challenging journey for me.  It  has been an opportunity to work alongside a large gallery and to see it in operation.

 

3 Feb: Walking with the Waste Land Group


 

 

 

 

 

This walk coincided with the launch of the Journeys with the Waste Land Exhibition and followed a route around Margate close to the Turner Contemporary Gallery.


 

 

 

 

 

The walk involved various stops along the way with readings and interpretations of the poem at sites that were significant.


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Keith,  a local poet read some of his work and Julia, a local artist introduced us to TS Eliot’s ‘toilets’. This coincided with  the erection of the blue plaque which is to be commemorated later in the year.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

The group met finally with Mike in the Nayland Rock shelter.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

A final meeting and reading on the beach before some of the group wrote their thoughts on  postcards.


 

 

23 Feb: Billie’s Walk for Terminalia at Swalecliffe

It was a bitterly cold day but the hardy members of the group turned up for a spot of mud walking using Billie’s quoipu ropes.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The plan was to walk along the beach in search of a special groyne so we came suitably dressed for the cold and in wellys.


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

When we reached the appointed spot that is where the fun began!


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took one step to find myself falling on my knees and everything ended up covered in mud including the camera 🙁   Not one of my better days especially as the camera was damaged and cost more to repair than it was worth.  Still perhaps it is time for an update!

 

 

 

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?

PHD

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 🙂