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 🙂

 

 

 

 

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:

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28 March: TSE Group with Nick Mortimer

This meeting was held to update the group as to the current position as regards exhibits for the 2018 exhibition , those that have now been agreed and those that are under discussion etc.  The image by Man Ray ‘Dust Breeding’ has been agreed by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, so it will be exciting to see it ‘in the flesh’.

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I  had suggested a link via David Bowie and also to use Zineb Sedira’s film ‘Guiding Light’ which I felt to link with ‘The Wasteland’, but these were not taken up by the group.

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My other suggestion for a Henry Moore is still under discussion.

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Nick talked to the group about the design of the exhibition and some interesting thoughts, suggestions and views were expressed.  Two members of the curatorial staff of the gallery also came in to talk about the practicalities of the actual hang, bearing in mind that some of the exhibits such as the one by Cy Twombly which is very large.

 

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11 March: ‘Vivienne’ Walk with Richard Turney

The emphasis of this walk led by Elspeth, was to look at the important contribution made by Vivienne Eliot to the work of T.S. Eliot and her influence on ‘The Wasteland’

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Elspeth gave the group ropes which she had made, so that they could ‘knot’ things that had made an impact on them during the walk.

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Contributions were made on different aspects of her life by Richard and members of the group during the day.

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A very welcome break for a cream tea was taken at The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum.

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The final stop was at The Old Market where Judy read a piece she had written from the top of the converted bus inside the venue.  The event had been advertised to the public and Sally Waterman’s video ‘In the Cage’ (2007)  was projected onto the ceiling.

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All these events have also been an opportunity for me to take images of interesting things I have also witnessed.  In this case I took a picture of the baker inside the market who was busy in his work area.  Although it was possible to see inside, there was a red film on the inside of the glass hence to colour of the image.

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9 Dec 2016: Sally Waterman Presentation

20161209-IMG_2268Sally was invited to speak to the group as being a possible contributor to the 2018 exhibition.  Her work on ‘The Wasteland’ is the culmination of a five-year PhD project and has resulted in 12 photographic and video installations which have resulted from TS Eliot’s 1922 poem.

 

12 Jan 2017: TSE Research Group at Franka’s Studio

20170112-IMG_2276This was the first time that the group had met at the studio in Northdown Road, Cliftonville, Margate.  It was chance for us to discuss the progress so far together with some members of the curating team from Turner Contemporary.

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The lighting was extremely challenging and ideally the venue was not equipped to deal with so many people.  So I was not able to move around freely to take images.  However it was good to have a change of scene and to see some members of the group who are only able to come occasionally.