Saturday, 3 December 2011


"Joseph Squier is trained as a photographer and painter, but for the past two decades he has worked at the intersection of fine art and new technology; composition, rhetoric, and literacy; creativity, innovation, and design thinking.

Squier's most recent creative project is FLAGRANTWORLD, a self-assembling database-driven electronic book that combines elements of painting, poetry, song, and cinema". 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday inspiration

John Baldessari - Kiss/Panic

John Baldessari - Pure Beauty Exhibition

John Baldessari - Pure Beauty Exhibition

100 Suns - Michael Light


Friday, 11 November 2011

My first..

First day of life.
First bike.

First day of school.
First friend.

Saturday, 5 November 2011


I have a fondness for photomontage which does not stretch to a great interest.

Kurt Schwitters I enjoy a lot, there is a richness and appreciation for the ephemera he uses. To see Schwitters work in person is a joy.

Mz 231. Miss Blanche
6 1/4 x 5 in. (15.9 x 12.7 cm)
Collection Dr. Werner Schmalenbach, Dusseldorf

I wonder what the motivation is for artists to create photo-montage after Dada? Photomontage has undertones of rebellion, by it's nature is visually interesting, but it unfortunately teeters on the border of nothing new. I can imagine a small Midwestern town, tumbleweed, dust and an exhibition of contemporary photo-montage artists, a small drunken bearded man trying to sell you a catalogue-he has halitosis.   

John Stezaker Old Mask VIII 2006 Collage 24.5 x 19.5 cm
John Stezaker I find to be inspiring.  Less is definitely more in collage.

The BJP featured 'The Photograph as Contemporary Art' focusing on Melinda Gibson. I find her working process more interesting than the 'finished product'. Her photomontage work is created using images taken from the pages of 'The Photograph As Contemporary Art' by Charlotte Cotton, a textbook for students which features major photography works of the 1990s and 2000s.

Photo-montage work by Melinda Gibson
She comments (taken from Oct's BJP) “The internet has revolutionized the way we view imagery, and in turn changes the boundaries within photography. My work hopes to address this change by producing works that cannot be cut, copied and pasted, but that are unique pieces, unable to be reproduced. What has become apparent is that in some ways I have also failed. Due to the success of this work, images are being circulated around the internet; they are being reproduced again and again."  

Although photomontage uses appropriation as it's foundations, it does not inform my current project in any shape or form.

It is Nov 5th, Guy Fawkes night. The wife of a school friend's brother posted this image on Facebook whilst I am writing this entry.  

Guy Fawkes by a Facebook friend

Rebecca (who has no artistic training) made a Guy using an appropriated image from a Specsaver's advertisement-the body, a crucifix made from plywood. She comments "I have nothing against this poor Specsavers woman she was just the unfortunate person I found first". The nonchalance on the face juxtaposed with the unintentional burning symbol of Christianity is fantastic.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Selling new photos to pay for old photos.

My 'cheque' arrived today. 
I went to eBay. 
I saw this. 
Do you think the photo stuck in the back is really them 50 years later? Could it be a ploy for bids?
It is now mine.
We shall see more when the postman arrives. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011


I remember a time when rather unwise words said by another would bother me.  I came to the conclusion long ago that they are either a moron or just unintentionally dim -nothing more, nothing less.

I went to get a repeat prescription today from my GP and she looks up from her computer and says "You sound like a good candidate for life-coaching". This was an unintentional insult from someone well meaning. No offense was taken whatsoever. I think I used the 'key words' lack, confidence and employment. It amused me.

I have a friend whose first language is not English.  Many years ago, we were enjoying a beautiful evening together, everything was perfect, he looked into my eyes and he said "You have a big face". His smile crumpled into confusion as my ego crumpled into a ball. "Like they have in Iceland. Hannah?". I guess that was his opinion, not an insult, not fact, although it isn't the first time I have heard this. Fat face is a no, no, but, I can live with Icelandic.

I digress. Last week an acquaintance took my kindness for weakness. He said something to me that was so bad I have only repeated the words to a close friend and my mother.  The arrogance and blatant disregard of sensibilities and everyday niceties from someone middle aged was shocking. Without hesitation I responded 'You, sadly are mistaken. You remind me of an old piece of wood that has been left out in the rain'. The 'When I think of you' project has initiated faster cognitive visual responses in my brain. Fantastic.

It is possible to shoot a happy person down with an insult, but it is impossible to insult another when you are happy yourself; definitely something good to remember.

It is understandable that photography could be argued to be the most offensive of all the 'non-performance' art forms. A painting, whatever the subject matter, is still a painting. A drawing (aside from depicting prophets) is just a drawing. Whatever rubbish Damien Hirst orders his minions to make, is just rubbish. A photograph is the only 'work' that could be misconstrued as something real, a factual document, a mirror image. It is not.

'Appropriation' offends, one needs to look no further than the comments online regarding criticism of Joachim Schmid's work to see just how hot under the collar some will become. Some people truly believe that pressing the shutter release button is somehow a justification of originality. It is not.

We are attracted to a good piece of music or a great film because it is familiar to us- we recognize certain aspects in them which perhaps have brought us joy previously; it is certainly not because they are unique. It could be said that the appropriated photograph in contemporary works of art is not technically theft it is reworking an idea.

I was told by a fellow student that I should do my own work this year instead of taking from others.  Appropriation is about looking at images and analyzing them, making critical judgements and creating new interpretations. It is exciting. It feels slightly naughty, but it is not unethical.