Moving onward

I’ve realised that it has been almost a year since I have been out with any camera other than the one on my phone.

It has also been a while, almost six months, since I seriously worked on any of my projects.

There have been personal reasons for this but I feel that I’m now on the other side of the worst of these problems and I’m now able to invest time back into my art/photography and other projects.

I’ve started having ideas for new projects whilst having thoughts of improving/advancing existing projects.

With this in mind I’m going to work through my image archive with a far more critical eye than previously, if an image doesn’t fit an idea either aesthetically of lyrically it will be archived on another storage device for future though/use (unless it is a complete bag of then it’s binned).

Projects I’m working on at the moment are:

Prayers of Steel

A collection of found photographs of The Angel of the North, with the words of the original posts on various social media sites included.

These are then transformed into various objects to showcase the position that the statue has gained in the psychogeography of the North of England.

In 2018 it is the 20th anniversary of the sculptures completion and I will be producing a book of these images to coincide with that anniversary.


This is a working title at the moment, the images are images of hot house plants in various botanical gardens in the temperate North struggling to escape their confinement with no consequence to their ultimate demise if they left that protected area.


Again another working title, looking at desire lines/paths in urban and rural areas, made by humans and animals.

Drowning not waving

    Amazing how many working titles I have at the moment, this series of images are of found gloves related to the fishing industry.

    Busy few weeks

    These last few weeks have all been a bit of a rush.

    First thing I did was to get myself a job in 6 days from application to accepting, not only does this help fund things, but is a traditional job for a struggling artist, a barista.

    This is a good job in that it leaves my mind free to worry about my art rather than the job, but it is physically demanding in a way I have forgotten. So I am often too tired to work on anything though this is improving as my level of physical fitness improves.

    Also my story with The Bowes Museum continues. I was upset that due to taking on the new job I wouldn’t have the time to continue with my voluntary work there. Then about two weeks ago I saw an invitation for applicants to work with Bowes and the University of Leeds for a doctoral research project.

    Therefore these last two weeks have been spent working away at the document required to apply for the position and I’m now in the stages of polishing it up and getting ready to send it in. This process was made the more difficult to my continuously questioning my ability or right to be doing this.

    I have also decided to add a gallery of all my images to this blog, but still not sure in which format to do this in, so you may see changes every now and then to the way I present the gallery, but I want to get all my work up eventually.

    Second Leeds tutorial

    This tutorial was to be based around the EMA and have a discussion about sculpture (in all its forms).

    The EMA is broken down into several section:

    • Title/Question – think of this based around the work that you’ve seen
    • Essay – write to the question you’ve designed
    • Pro-forma – this is essential, fail without it
    • Presentation:
      • illustrations
      • referencing
      • primary sources
      • secondary sources
      • bibliography
      • appendix – what is an appendix for – not for shoving in loads of work not able to fit into the word count

    We were then given two examples of past EMAs and given time to look through them. They were both written in a completely different style from each other, one was academic and third person whilst the other was written in the first person, I always feel more comfortable writing in the first person and it was good to hear that this was OK as long as caution was used.

    We then had an opportunity to discuss possible ideas we had for our own EMAs even though it was early. I asked about my ideas on The Passion Altarpiece at the Bowes Museum and looking at its place in the making of altarpieces during that period in Brussels and whether the guild and workshop system would have influenced this. J. thought that there should be more than enough material here for an EMA.

    So some task to take into mind when starting the EMA:

    • look to access the reading room at Bowes museum
    • visible description is extremely important – make sure that the fact you have visited the piece is very obvious
    • ensure that the essay is about Making and/or Locating and/or Viewing
    • find information on the Brussels sculpture guild and Netherlandish altarpieces
    • look for collection of EMA titles to give me an idea of how to phrase question
    • Rogier van der Weyden? his influence on The Master of the View of Ste-Gudule
    • remember to mention scale when discussing art works – especially sculpture
    • ensure pro-forma is on Dropbox so I can work on it wherever
    • book – Spufford – Merchant in Medieval Europe
    • book – Charles Avery – Florentine Renaissance Sculpture

    Slides on sculpture

    • Modelling – plastic; includes clay, terracotta, wax, plaster
    • Carving – glyptic; includes wood, stone, marble, alabaster, gemstones
    • Metalworking – toreutic; includes gold, silver, bronze, iron
    • in the 20th century there is also assembly

    Important considerations for sculpture:

    • location
    • audience
    • scale
    • function
    • patronage – relative costs
    • sculpture in the round – rediscovered skill, not done since classical Roman era

    Allied trades: weapon making, bell casting, ceramics, enamelling, printmaking, painting/polychromy, public celebratory making, woodcarving and furniture making

    Tutorial dates have shown up…

    Unfortunately they are all in Leeds which is a bit of a pain to get to especially just for a couple of hours, but will have to link it in with other things or it just wouldn’t be worth the money in petrol and parking, so I suppose shopping or nip down to Wakefield for the sculpture park and some galleries.

    Still looking forward to them though.

    Still have to get the diary up to date with study plans and such, so will slot these dates into the diary and on a quick look they don’t seem to clash with anything else 🙂

    Started Week 1

    I thought that since I had received all my materials and had organised my study space that I would start reading and taking notes…

    Probably a good idea as I really seem to be out of practice and find it difficult to concentrate for any length of time and my note taking skills are non-existant at the moment, so I think I will use these two weeks before the start to brush up on these skills again.

    At least my typing skills haven’t disappeared!

    All the materials seem very interesting and I am starting to see how they fit together.

    The Passion Altarpiece

    As I said earlier I’m continuing with my Open University BA, with the course AA315 Renaissance Art Reconsidered.

    As part of the course you have to do an independent essay on a piece of work that you have access to and covers part of the course content.

    Luckily enough I have Bowes Museum close by and they have a selection of Renaissance works but my favourite artefact is the one pictured above.

    The carvings and paintings are very detailed and work through from the arrest of Christ to his resurrection with a lot of the story being told in the carvings.

    This is a religious piece of art made for a church and known as a retable or altarpiece. It was used as a screen that went behind the altar of a church so that the congregation could see the religious scenes depicted. The sheer size and detail of the piece show how important the images were thought to be.

    The central panel is made of oak and has been intricately carved in the form of the head of a cross, with scenes of the passion and death of Christ. The scenes represented from left to right are: the scourging of Christ; the Carrying of the Cross; the Crucifixion; the Deposition and the Entombment. Six painted panels form the wings and these show the other significant events in Christ’s life, including the Nativity and the Resurrection.

    Master of the View of St Gudule (active c.1465 – 1500) The Passion Altarpiece c.1480 – 1485 Oil on panel 241 x 585.5 cm Flemish school
    Master of the View of St Gudule (active c.1465 – 1500)
    The Passion Altarpiece c.1480 – 1485
    Oil on panel
    241 x 585.5 cm
    Flemish school

    The passion, death and resurrection of Christ were held in the highest regard in the Medieval Church and it was important that all Christians knew the story. However, lots of people in church congregations could not read and write and so religious artwork was vital in reinforcing ordinary people’s understanding of the Christian faith. The sheer scale and detail of this altarpiece and the highly visible location it had in church would have ensured that even if members of the congregation could not understand the Latin read out in the service, the paintings and images in front of them could still help them in their worship.