Category Archives: Concepts

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)


First shoot: Still life

The first shoot that I did was for the still life idea.I have been trying to figure out what objects to use, I wanted to use fairly mundane objects to represent the different aspects of what a bed is used for. I think I am sticking with a general use of beds, not simply what I use it for as I have an idea to use death and I am still quite alive.

The first thing I started to think about what what aspects do I want to show? Which ones interest me?

  • Sex
  • Medicine
  • Gaming
  • TV
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Work
  • Death

Since the beginning of the project I have known that I would like to produce black and white images, I am not entirely sure why, I have just had the intention to do so. Perhaps Duane Michaels work inspired me.

From here I explored my surrounding to find objects that correlated with my ideas. The first shoot was comprised of:

  • Sex
  • TV
  • Gaming
  • Medicine

I was please with how the turned out, especially the sex images. – Still life contact sheet image

If I continue with this idea what is the narrative behind my work?

The Narrative would be what we use our beds for. A short and simple narrative


Concepts ….

I suddenly realised in a somewhat state of panic that I haven’t been updating my blog in the sense of concepts. I have been putting my research up, but nothing about the projects themselves. So here are my concept updates:

The concept of this project is revolving around the bed, something that is viewed as a mundane object in our everyday lives. They have been used in many different ways over the years, as depicted in one of my earlier posts. My digital Narrative piece is about me constructing my new bed, which was actually alot of fun to both build and make the video for.

However what about my publication piece? – image from work book

During this project I have had 2 ideas, the still life and self – portraiture. The still life idea would be to take mundane objects that we can all relate to in one way or another to stand in for the action. For example: University work, my work book, note, doodles, maybe even laptop. Self- portraiture idea would be to take self portraits on my bed, however defacing them, either my scratching the actual print or digitally. These images would be my, vent, I guess … my way of explaining how I have been feeling the past few years due to depression. My form of art therapy in a sense, helping me to understand. However I am not sure weather or not I feel comfortable doing this. – image from work book: Still life– image from work book: Depression on the Bed

For awhile now I have been toying with the idea of still life. I have never done a project involving still life, and I personally believe it could be quite interesting to produce. But what would I use and what areas of the what we use our bed for would I try to re-create? I know that I do not want the bed to be a large factor within the still life shots, I would like some of the cover to visible. The reason for this is because the bed is not the main focal point, it is merely a tool/ comfort that we use to go about whatever it is we are doing.

This is something that I have been experimenting with.




Artist Research: Katy Strange

Photographic series: 789


My “bed-stories” show me as an art student and the importance of the people around me. My friends” Katy Strange, 2012.

Katy’s “789” or “Bed- Stories” is a reflection of her life and experiences as an art student, she photographed all of the people that slept in her bed of the course of 2 years (789 days). Each photography tell a personal story, Katy herself being a performer and director of those stories.

There are certain aspects of her work that captured my attention, for example (as shown above): each story is narrated by 2 images. The first image taken from the foot of Katy’s bed with herself and said friend(s) looking at the camera (at least for the most part).

The second image is a higher angle, in which for the majority of the time the subjects faces are obscured from view, weather that is seeing the back of the subjects heads, blocking features with limbs, cropped by the camera or at an angle.  I found these 2 images interesting, the 1st depicting the subjects, the 2nd revealing the narrative of what happened.

The series is completely in black and white, which is something I would lim to do for my images. I am converting my Narrative video into B & W, and thought it would create another link between my narrative pieces. I also have taken inspiration from Duane Michaels own work, however in comparison to Michael and Strange’s work I may be working between the use of natural and studio (flash) lighting, depending on the time of shooting and weather or not the lighting is appropriate or not.

The reason why Katy’s work has interested me so much is due to the concept revolving around her student life and what or who has been in her bed. My work would not relate in the aspect of who has been in mine as that would just be myself and my fiancee, however the angles, use of lighting, 2 images to narrate one “Bed-Story”, black and white and the concept of what the bed means to her has given me further inspiration for my own work.



selfportrait 04

One set of images stood out to me the most from “789” was the single images of Katy alone. These interested me the most, my reasons?  Over the past 2-3 years I have been suffering with sever depression and anxiety, most days it is a struggle to get out of bed. My bed has a somewhat different meaning to me, true I sleep on it, I sometimes have my breakfast or dinner whilst on my bed, I work on my bed, read, play games, however most of time it is my safe place where my troubles are only in my head … I don’t have to deal with the constant struggles of the people I live with, but it is also my prison.

I think this is something I would like to pull into my own work.

What do we use our Beds for?

  • Life – generally speaking we are both conceived and born in a bed
  • Death – once again, generally speaking we die in beds (also Coffins resemble beds- personal opinion)
  • Relaxation – Comfort
  • Reading
  • Gaming – for example: My TV is at the foot of my bed so I can TV and play games from the comfort of my bed
  • Work- for example: I do most of my university work on my bed. There is more room to spread out rather than on the desk, is far more comfortable and comfortable.
  • Sleep – Dreaming
  • Sex – generally speaking this is the most common place to have sex and is normally the place were we loose our virginity.
  • Entertainment comfort

Beds are used for many things, other than just sleeping. So, how will I link these into my photography project? I think it is time to research photographers who have used or included the bed as a subject matter.

I have a few concepts that are bouncing around in my head at the moment, such as photographing the day to day aspects that occur on my bed, perhaps doing this in a minimalist manner – still life perhaps to stand in for the actual people or everyday subject. These are things to consider along side research.

Narrative Formative Review

The other day I had a formative review for the Narrative project, I was really nervous about showing my video and considering I was thinking about changing my idea. However I am happy that I showed 

Here are the notes from the formative review that one of my peers kindly wrote down whilst I was talking and listening to the lectures:

* It links to silent movie soundtracks, maybe explore that process of black and white.

* Great material, could do with be editing further, the footage is great.

* Title “you cheeky monkey.”??? – because of what John says (he actually said you cheeky little shit)

* Look at Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin.

* On the Times website is the 10 best silent movies.

* Look at beds in general, beds are an iconic object.

* Book: Suburbia by Bill Owens. – reference to a bed being a symbol of sex. Private and then public by nature.

* Look at a tableau image to try and tell a story in one frame

I am going to be building off of the lectures and my peers feed back from that review. I am very please and I quite like the concept of basing my project around beds. It is something that we often over look. I personally think that I was trying to make my project a little too complicated, or more to the point, I was over thinking it.

First thing first I think is to research beds, then go on from there and research what has been suggested to me.

Concept: Mr Anxiety

For as long as I can remember, like many others, I have suffered with Anxiety. But explaining how it effects you to someone who doesn’t have it and the addition of not the skill of talking about one’s self … how do you explain it?

The last 2 years, whilst at Uni, my anxiety has been creeping his way back into my life (never truly leaving). These 2 years have been hard. Faced with new challenges. New people. New Friends. Old enemies. Within these 2 years i have finally found a way to show my anxiety without talking about it. This is in the form of Mr Anxiety, the demon on my shoulder, my sins, loss, panic … my anxiety.


I find myself drawing him in many places, but it always depends on my mood. To begin with I simply thought it had something to do with my love for monsters. But a personality began to grow. As well as timing. I only draw him when something is on my mind, I am not in control of something. For example: the image above was drawn when people I valued as friends turned away. Another example: Today, 23rd January 2014 is my Grandmothers birthday who passed away almost 2 years ago. A month after I started uni. I don’t cope well with death, and I still haven’t come to terms with her departure. It has actually made me more fearful. I fear the time when my nan has to go. View image below –


It is a little strange looking back in my work books and seeing this figure dotted all over the pages.


Whilst looking through my folders, note books and sketch books, I realised that I could make some work out of him. I would like to research other artists that have used mix media, drawing on to their work, revealing something behind them. For me, it will be a reflection of Anxiety. Project theme: Life. Keeps it broad. The Narrative, my life, my Mr Anxiety.

Concept of Anger

So concepts for Narrative, I think the best way to explain what it is like inside my brain is “Imagine you had thousands of tabs open on your Internet, try sorting through all of them at once”. That is my brain 24/7. However one thing that keeps popping into my head as I walk around this hovel that I share with 3 other students. The house … the students … the relationships … Now I am not sure weather I am thinking this out of, perhaps bitterness, vindictivity or perhaps sheer fuming anger which is hard to get me to that stage. But I am one of those people that will not confront people directly. I prefer to kill with kindness, not upright anger.

The house … The Narrative project

I have always thought art was therapeutic; this could be a key chance to get things off of my chest in a non-direct way.  But would that be too far? Would the people I live with know?

These are some things that have been popping up in my mind, yet I am sat there thinking to myself how much this project could turn out quite well. On the other hand …

Perhaps it is time I gained confidence and took a step from a comfort zone. If people can treat me poorly, then maybe … just maybe I can reflect upon all of this through my work. 

I took this image in the morning today, I’m not sure why, but it infuriated me. I do not use the bathroom bin. It’s small, no one likes cleaning it and it normally smells for reasons for your safety of keeping down you lunch I will not tell. I use my own in my bedroom or take it down to the main bin. Common sense …

Apparently not …


Guildford Road … Pg 1 Contact Sheet Preview

Guildford Road ... Pg 1 Contact Sheet Preview

Here is the 1st page of on contact sheet from a small collection of photographs that I have been working on since 24th October 2013. I live in a share student accommodation with 2 people I lived with the previous year, 1 person from my course and my fiancee.

The photographs are very mundane and are of things that a lot of people see. To be honest, these photos to begin with where just a way of me getting things off of my mind or as a distraction. I have an extremely over active mind that goes wondering and dwells on things without giving up.

This set was the first that I photographed. It was just after I got home from America for the first time meeting my fiancees family. When we got home things felt … different and they started to change if not had already. We both tried to get on with our lives and ignore but everything around us kept pulling us towards problems. Anyway during this time I decided to start photographing the house, without the people in it. 1 reason was a form of stress relief. Sitting behind the camera is relaxing, just me, the camera and the subject. Another reason was because it was the 1 year anniversary of my Grandmothers death which I still have’t gotten over or come to terms with. Life is a fickle thing …
Then a few days before Halloween my Uncle passed away from cancer very suddenly. All of these things mounted on top of each other and I become very stressed.

The mess of the house in one respect is almost like a reflection of my own head and heart. Quite possibly of life itself.

These photographers are an experiment for the Narrative project, possibly revolving around life. It is a broad theme, which means I can keep an open mind and experiment with it a lot. But we shall see what comes out of it. Maybe I could make a book out of these images … who knows.