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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.

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

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.