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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
Looking back over this past academic year as a part-time student has been challenging but I have survived and am looking forward to the next one. It is useful now to reassess everything and hopefully move forward more efficiently and effectively!
I went along to everything that was initially on offer for new PhD students, which was really useful especially as it enabled me to meet other students and to try to establish a peer network. However, before too long everyone seemed to bury themselves away to work, but I guess that is the nature of the PhD. I thought it would be useful to say, meet up once a month if they could escape to exchange ideas, moans etc. and if nothing else to provide mutual support. So it has ended up just catching up at any meetings so far.
I also signed up for more than the recommended five RDP (research Development Programme) sessions as I felt that there were sessions covering subjects I knew little about. However, in hindsight perhaps this was not such a good idea as apart from it taking up time when I could have been working on other things, some of the sessions were more valuable than others . Next year at least I can repeat any that may be particularly useful and just attend any others I missed this year.
One thing that has shone through everything, is the fact that I feel so fortunate to have got so far and not been written off as seems to be the case in some other universities. To have my supervisor Karen, has been a light shining through initial teething problems and enabled me to keep on track. To also be able to discuss anything even if I felt it was at a basic level has been a great help. A couple of days ago there was a TV report about a lady of 86 who had just received her doctorate at the University of Bristol, so it is good to hear that I will not be the oldest by the time I finish!
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’.
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.
My other suggestion for a Henry Moore is still under discussion.
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.
This day’s event was in conjunction with the Claude Cahun exhibition which was currently being held in the gallery.
Although I was not documenting this event it was a most informative and interesting day. It also coincided with a project produced by Sam Vale, ‘Latent: A Hidden History.’ (2017)
The project has repurposed pictures from the S.E. Archive of Seaside Photography, to “act as a tribute, remembering relationships that could not be recorded or lived in the open …” The images provided by Sam Vale were interesting and very thought provoking.
During the day Leah Thorn, a local poet from Folkestone held a fashion show, entitled ‘Older Women Rock’. I took the following images and were impressed at how brave and positive these women were!
All the clothes had extracts from Leah’s poetry sewn into the fabric in some format.
On route to the Espacio Gallery for Elspeth’s walk later in the day, I stopped at the church as there was an exhibition of photographic alternative processes being held. It was an interesting building although in great need of repair.
Whilst I was there a memorial service was being conducted for those who had lost their lives in 1943. Further investigation has found that on 3 March, 178 people were suffocated in the tube during an enemy raid. The following images were found online.
I took the following images of some local residents at the end of the ceremony.
During the day in the crypt of the church, various activities were taking place including a stone carving group. They were very enthusiastic about what they were doing and happy for me to take pictures of them at work.