Hiatus from University …

Although the year is almost up, I have taken a step back from university, mostly due to depression and medical reasons.

I have been stuck in a rut for the past 2 years, and it is getting worse. Not being able to do my work is frustrating beyond belief, I can honestly say I have done nothing university related this year. Determination to succeed is the only thing keeping me on this track. I have goals, ambition that I need to do, it is just going to take me a bit longer than I originally thought.

So even though I am not finishing this year, I will pick up where I started and I will fight through everything in my own time. I will start posting again, maybe daily photos-simple things from around me, mostly phone photos, perhaps even a few things I am working on or older photos I haven’t shared yet to try and get my brain back into photography.

I hope everyone is well, I am not entirely sure about this post, but it is something that I wanted to say. Fingers crossed I will help myself back on the right path.

Ruby Blackthorn

Frustration… Resolving ideas is not so easy

(I will apologies now this post is a bit of a ramble- an insight into my brain and how I process things)

I have been back at university for almost 3 weeks now. I know what theme I would like my work to revolve around and that is disabilities and illnesses – primarily hidden, for example illnesses or disabilities that do not reveal themselves for others to see “you look perfectly normal” or “I can’t see you as this”. I will use myself as an example, and I hate saying it but I am a bundle of fruit and nuts.

My name is Kara a.k.a Ruby Blackthorn, I am 22 years old, severely dyslexic, dyspraxic and ADD. I have suffered from sever depression and anxiety since I was 13. As well as insufferable constant headaches and migranes that once again started when I was 13. Pain killers do nothing. And having an abusive step father.
So since the age of 13 I have been plaged with “how can you suffer with constant headaches?” – “what’s wrong with you? Why are you always upset?” Or that one that annoys me so much “you can’t be depressed … Your so cute and cheerful” so after awhile I decided to just hide everything that was wrong with me, I hide my “stupidity” I hide my anger, rage, sadness etc because in the long run it was easier than explaining over and over and not having to deal with peoples words. However things catch up to you… No matter how much you bottle up, tell people you are good, happy, no matter how many nights you cry yourself to sleep because rather than being afraid of the monster under your bed you are more afraid of the people in your own home or those around you.

These are my illnesses/ disabilities, and I guess I want to raise awareness to them and the day to day struggles that myself and other have to go through.

Anyway, I guess to get to my point … I have been hitting my head against a brick wall for the past 3 weeks. I know my theme but not how to go about it or what to do with it. Recently I have gotten into painting and building Warhammer models (I can’t play as it goes over my head), and it is one of the few things that I have been enjoying and helping me relax or at least something that takes my busy mind off of bothering thoughts.

Image below is of one of my warhammer models (fantasy- Tomb Kings)


Anyway once again back on subject … I was building a new model and painting today when I suddenly got an idea for my independent study for university. I guess the point of this post is a semi update/ random blog post about where ideas can pop up out of the blue. I can never just sit down and think of ideas, I generally have to be doing something, whether that is larping, baking, making something, say on the toilet or even that second before I am about to fall asleep.

(Image below is of me building models and my little work station)


What about those of you on the internet? Where do you get you ideas from or what do you do?

Also have any of you have similar experiences as myself with disabilities or illnesses? I would really like to hear from you.

Hope everyone is having a good day.
Ruby x

Back to University

I am now on my second day back to university, and the realisation that the 3rd and final year is no longer looming ahead , but in fact is here right now. That is a little more than daunting, however also exciting.

I have decided to keep my blog up and running. This will be used to keep track of my thoughts , progress of my university work, personal work, etc. I guess a way to keep my thought in place along side my art journal.

Welcome to the 3rd year …

Conclusion for the Narrative Project

This unit has been one big up and down for me. There have been things I have forgotten to do, things I should and shouldn’t have done. There were so many times when I have just sat on my bed wishing that it would be over, that somehow with everything that has been going on that it would magically get finished on it’s own just like in the movies, Princess and the Frog (Disney)when Tiana wishes on a star … “You wish and you dream with all your little heart. But you remember, Tiana, that that old star can only take you part of the way. You got to help it along with some hard work of your own, and then, yeah, you can do anything you set your mind to.

I do feel ashamed that I have let everything effect me in the way it has, however I feel proud that I have managed to finished this unit. Im sure looking through it I will find holes and mistakes, but I still feel proud. I hope that I have done enough to warrant a pass at least.

If I could re-do this project I would definitely put more effort into the publication. I wanted to make a small book, but due to time I ended out making small prints. I would also have liked to put an old grain effect on my digital piece to give the video a more golden old’e feel much like in the silent movies. Another aspect I would have liked to have covered is more artist research, I feel like I did bare minimum in comparison to previous projects.

Parts of this unit that I am happy with are the final video, even though I would have liked to have done more to it I am quite happy with how it turned out.  The photographs produced, I am very please with how they have turned out, I really enjoyed working with still life. As much as I love working with people, this was one project where I didn’t have to rely on any models, annoying make-up and hair or even assistants turning up. It was just me, the camera and the objects.Strangely calming which is something that I am in need of.

Overall, through the stress and everything else I am a mixture of pleased with what I have managed to do and disappointed that I let myself get into such a bad state.

However, I am now done for the year. Good bye 2nd year of university and hello 3rd. I am going to take the summer holiday to work, relax, recover, go out and about to take photographs, move house and start on my dissertation research. But first I think a good take out and cider is in order to celebrate!

Final Images: Still Life

I find shrinking down possible finals sometimes a little difficult. If you take alot of photographs and there are a bulk that stand out, how do you choose which are the best? For me I have to print them out, blue tac them to a wall and sometimes a pair of fresh eyes can help. On more than one occasion I have had the photographs up on the walls for a few days uming and ahing which ones to have as finals.

I have whittled down 4 of my favourite finals for the narrative project.










In the end I think this project has done a loop around and reflects upon myself, although many others can relate to it. I was hoping to make this generalised, rather than personal. Even still I am pleased with how the photographs have turned out.

Sex is a reflection upon myself and my fiancee and our relationship.

Reading reflects upon my love for reading. In the words of C.S. Lewis “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

Medication reflects upon being on  anti-depressants, the emotions and struggles.

Death, this can be viewed in a number of different ways. From my perspective it symbolised what the medication has done to me. I feel almost dead inside, in some respects it is nice, in others it is terrifying. Another way to look at it is my innate fear of death, which has only grown worse in the past few years. I am not so much scared of my own death, more those’s that I love around me and how I do not deal well with it.

2 positives and 2 negatives, a symbolism of what it is like inside my brain, even though there are equal amounts of both for me, the negatives out way the positives.

But how does the bed roll into this? For the past 2-3 years it has been a daily struggle to get out of bed, to be honest it has been a struggle to complete this unit. My bed is both my safe place and my prison, once again a positive and a negative. The bed, unlike the video, is not the main focal point. I wanted to take a step back from the bed, however still have it within the photographs. All of the finals subjects are things that we or I do on a bed. But I wanted the objects themselves to take the main focal point.

This my narrative …



Shoot 3: Still Life

Here is the 3rd and final shoot of still life. In comparison to the previous shoots I am not as happy with the outcomes, personally I could have experimented more with the subject matter of university/ work. The subject matter within these shots are my Narrative workbook.






As stated above I believe I could have delved deeper into this subject, rather than simply photographing my workbook. I decided that I was not going to photography my laptop in which most of my work is within, they are over seen objects, although mundane. The idea I had was almost like seeing a photo within another photograph. My work featuring within my work.

Shoot 2: Still Life

Here are some of my favourite shots from the 2nd shoot. Out of all of them I think the most successful are the underwear and corset shots, the lighting, texture of the clothing and the contrast play very nicely together. They almost remind me of adverts.






Image I think for this photography I should have boosted up the contrast, it is a little too soft, however the photography has a dream like sense to it



The Bed

Here is my final video for the Narrative digital piece. The narrative is the construction of my new bed. The music used in the video is “Fig Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin.  I am so happy to have finally finished the video and to see it up on youtube.

(If anyone else would like to download the soundtrack for themselves click the link below.
http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html/index.html?genre=Silent+Film+Score&page=1 )

Shoot 1: Still life

Here are a few of my favourite photos from the 1st still life shoot. I am quite happy with how these have turned out and I have glad I decided to use black and white images, I personally feel it gives them an extra depth. Below I included one black and white image and one colour image for a comparison. The colour photograph seem to merge together, where as the black and white contrast bring those details forward.














Publication Idea …

For awhile now I have been uming and ahing about how I would like to produce my publication piece for the narrative project. Would they look nice a printed images? Postcards? Book?

I enjoy making small handmade book, I find the process calming and interesting. In a previous project I made an small A5 book about flowers, however I didn’t print the book, I stuck the images in. Although I liked the texture for that project, perhaps it would be nice to make a fully printed book. This is something I will experiment with, I enjoy hand making books, sticking the images in and hand writing it all up, but will it fit with this project or will it look too bulky as I would prefer to create something simple, small and elegant.

But what about the internal content? My plan for this is to keep it simple. Black and white images, 1 image per page, however on the opposite page have text accompanying the image. Perhaps some of my favourite quotes that correlate to the photography, maybe facts/ statistics or maybe even my own words (however this will be a last resort as I am not good at creative writing)