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!
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:
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.
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’
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.
Contributions were made on different aspects of her life by Richard and members of the group during the day.
A very welcome break for a cream tea was taken at The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum.
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.
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.
Sally 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.
This 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.
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.
The group met for an introduction at Turner Contemporary, and aim of the session was of walking together and stopping for readings at stages along the route.
It was not a day conducive for walking but we carried on regardless and the weather did improve as the time went on.
Alongside reading from the poem, Elspeth had also arranged for some of the visitors to set up ‘Walking Books’ sessions and various people signed up for a session beforehand.
The group walked from the gallery along the seafront and ended up at the Garden Gate Project.
Keith, a member of the group read one of his poems at the end of the walk.
It is now nearly a year (17 November) since the group formed and we went on the first walk. It has gone from strength to strength with Elspeth ensuring that each walk has a main focus. Alongside the main aims, friendships have emerged and the parameters have been extended as to how the group has developed offering a positive prospect for the future.
My initial readings have shown up links with events in history at the time e.g. The Suffragette Movement. In turn I requested copies of papers held in the Archives & Local History Department at Manchester Central Library. The Fawcett Papers contains articles by Millicent Garrett Fawcett (President of The National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies) including one entitled ‘Women’s Work at the front’ (10.03.1915). They also suggested that The Women’s Library at LSE could provide access to copy microfilms, so this will be investigated. Through this I also discovered that her daughter Phillippa had made a great contribution to education at that time, and had given her name to the College of Education I attended from 1966-69.
I have read and taken notes on all books produced by Florence Farmbrough and obtained copies of the original documents held by the Royal Geographical Society, following her being invited to become a member. These also provided a family address which is a valuable contact for further in-depth information.
I began by looking at various study guides which were helpful as background to what is involved and steps that will need to be taken from start to finish.
I reread ‘Critical Thinking Skills’ as I realised that I especially needed to improve my note-taking, so as to work more efficiently and effectively.
I obtained and read two self-help books in connection with public speaking as this is one area I also need to improve.
I now need to introduce an efficient filing system for information both physically and online, to enable ease of retrieval. The study guides suggested various referencing systems which will now be investigated.
Once these have been instigated I need to take out membership of the Imperial War Museum and investigate (with visits) relevant information which is held in their archives.
Contact Florence Farmborough‘s family for background information particularly in connection with her photography work.
Renew contact with Dawn Cole in connection with Clarice Spratling to arrange, if possible to see the diary and find out about any photography connections.
Once all the initial induction sessions have taken place at Christ Church University I will be better placed to start my work as I will know who to see or contact for what and where to go. The library (and the main campus) I envisage to be extremely useful particularly as it is close to home, so I can make good use of all available facilities.