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 🙂