Friday, 24 June 2011

Slightly less grumpy

Several months on from the last post and I apologise for going awol. However, I have benefitted from parking the photography and putting a bit of distance between me and it.

Anyway, I will get to photography, but for now I'm going to share with you my most recent project. I have reupholstered my first chair...I thought upholstery was merely removing one fabric and putting on another!!! Rolling eyes. Back to the skeleton, new springs and everything!! And I have finally managed to get my mum's sewing machine up and running too and have sewn eight cushions...I know, a bit excessive. I may be the last one to notice that there is definitely an obsessive side to my personality and have been staying up till' one most nights - I am making myself ill and still can't stop!!!

So this is the chair that has demanded my attention of late.

I picked it up in an auction in a battered state for £30.  This is my first chair reupholstered using traditional methods of tacking, stitching and layers of horsehair.  It has taken days and nights and not at inconsiderable cost!! I have loved every minute of being absorbed in making and I used to be with my photography.

With regards photography, I have 'thinked' my way out of any instinctive creativity and have become an inhibited and uninspired photographer. The last few months has taught me quite a lot about myself.  I have the tendency to take things too seriously and intensely. By taking a step back from my photography or more to the point, the theorising and researching of photography, has taken the heat out of it and restored balance. By letting it go and 'creating' in other ways has unlocked my creativity finally.

Anyway...after the Kirstie Allsopp treatment below is the chair and the is so satisfying to create, have something physical for your efforts and be proud of it.

This is what I have missed, when you're putting the hours in and the outputs continue to disappoint, the point comes when you have to weigh up whether the effort is worth it...and that is where I've been with this course.

I'm not going to quit, I loathe quitting.  However, I have concluded that whilst I have learnt a lot more about photography and social ain't for me. Part of me wishes I could just send in an assessment with my best work so far, but its not in my nature...I will battle on with it for a few more months...

I have had two mini breakthroughs. I have a new lead for assignment five and am hoping to meet up with Saffron Waghorn who is a sculptor having spent many years living a sustainable existence on the cliff edge at Skipsea.  I am very much looking forward to meeting her at some point in the near future.  

And slurping over a bowl of moule mariniere on a recent visit to London (I'll post about this later) an idea came to me. Momentous!! It is so long since an idea has risen from the depths of my verges on a 'landscape' project really...but I'm going to run with it anyway.  And I got a few shots I'm happy with down there too...way to go!!

Something Chris Evans said on the radio this morning comes to me.  David Bowie complained to his rock star friend Bono that the songs were just not coming to him and he  didn't know what to do.  Bono responded by saying look where you live...which was Bowie moved to New York.

Something else comes to me from the same show. Victoria Wood was saying she has thrown herself in to her work since her children have left home...nothing has filled this void, she says...but then she goes on to say that she has to live a bit of life in order to have something to write about.  You can't contrive creativity, it has to come from within.

So, there we have it...bisy backson


  1. Well, welcome back...

    Heart on the sleeve stuff there, but you've highlighted things that I'm sure we've all been through - I certainly have. And yes, the L2 courses have been a little stifling - not sure if that's the right word... I didn't do SocDoc, but you may remember I had a bit of a rant some time ago about Landscape and was told in no uncertain terms that I was the problem, not the course. I accept that to a degree, but still feel that maybe it does need a refresh.

    Perhaps the "problem" is that Freeman is something of a "traditional" photographer, and the course steers you down a certain path, even if that's not intentional - I always found myself fighting against it. And that got to me.

    L3 is now very open, although with YOP there's still 9 exercises to do, and I'm finding these quite difficult, as it runs against the openness of the rest of the course, and it also feels like you're going back to basics again. Needless to say, I feel like they're a chore, and my project which I chose myself is what is being worked on...

    You know your own mind, and all I can say is do something you want and if it fits in with the course, that's great. There are portrait photographs in the Landscape POTY, so free yourself from the SocDoc mentality that I'm pretty sure Freeman imposes...

    Catch you later.

  2. Hi Rob. Thanks for the comments. Despite your issues with landscape it didn't seem to hinder your progress through that or other courses - you have the uncanny knack of powering through regardless - you're in the final firlong now really. I feel I'm swimming in pva!! I am looking forward to the level three courses and the freedom they will offer although the exercises sound akin to the projects which aren't hugely inspiring. Interesting view about Freeman, I hadn't considered that angle before really, I put it down to my own preferences, but if this is the case, it does concern me for the next course! At this rate, that'll be while off...

  3. Hi Penny, good to see you posting again. I have also had a bad phase with my photography and am working through some of the feelings you mentioned. Hope you find your mojo again soon and that you are enjoying the journey in the meantime. Hx

  4. Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by...we all seem to go through similar cycles and it is reassuring to hear that we're not the first to feel the way we do...I hope you too get in to your groove soon.

  5. Yes we all do go through such phases. Glad to hear that things are looking up for you, and I hope they soon do for Helen also. If you are thinking of doing another level two course (as opposed to going straight for level 3) I think PWDP is the least narrow in terms of subject matter. Many of the exercises in the current module are about digital manipulation which may not be your thing, but it is interesting on a simple practical level, and the projects after the first one are pretty open. OCA are planning a new version which I think may be a bit more rounded also.

  6. Hi Eileen, many thanks for posting. As always, very wise words...I am awaiting keenly to see the prospectus' of the new courses. I'm hoping they'll be ready for Sept but we'll have to wait and see. I'm also hoping that if they're new courses, they may have eeked some of the flaws in the format of the older ones.