Cath Davies : Smells Like Teen Spirit – First Session

Last week we had a presentation of 8 different options which we could choose from. My first choice was Cath as I felt I could relate to her sessions more – I am interested in her subject of stereotypes and found both her study skills and lecture both interesting and helpful.

Today was the first session, we were introduced to what we would be doing in each of the sessions and also spoke about the essay we would be submitting in May. We used a skill Cath taught us in her study skills session where we analysed an image using three columns. We looked at an image of Madonna in her famous outfit designed by Jean Paul Gautier which she wore in her Blonde Ambition Tour.

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We discussed the connotations of the outfit, for example, the corset has a traditional use to create ‘the perfect female shape’ yet this corset is different, the silver colour relates to metal and armour which isn’t malleable and is associated with weaponry. Gautier has combined something obviously feminine (corset) with something associated with masculinity (suit). He is trying to create a statement and play on the idea of gender.

We looked at this image as for our essay we have to choose 2 or 3 images to compare and create an argument with these images. Using this image we spoke about what you could base the assignment on, ideas included gender stereotypes, connotations of the suit/corset, Madonna, Jean Paul Gautier etc.

The session was very interesting to me and I felt genuinely excited about the upcoming sessions and even writing the essay!

We were told to start looking for images which intrigued us, I came across these two images of Kate Moss..

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Petcha Kutcha

Today, in week 3 we have had to present our Petcha Kutcha presentation on our ideas and research of our chosen theme. My theme of choice was ‘The Hidden City.’

A Petcha Kutcha is a type of presentation where you have to show 20 slides and each slide is only on the screen for 20 seconds. The idea of this is to create a brief presentation (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total) which is concise, you have a set time frame so therefore you are unable to ramble about things which might be irrelevant.

Unfortunately I was ill when we were to present our Petcha Kutcha, however we will reschedule so I am able to show my presentation.

Here I have attached my presentation..

Petcha Kutcha Presentation

 


Stitch Workshops – Speed Dating Sessions

Since 13th January I have been attending stitch workshops in a speed dating style. Each session we have completed 6 new techniques. We were able to try out each technique with no specific time frame but had to complete all 6 during the day. If we did not like the technique we could move on straight away, however if we liked the technique we could on build our new skill. All the techniques we learnt, were on the sewing machines which were either basic machines with specific feet on them or the industrial machines which had more settings on. Examples of techniques we learnt were machine felting, cording and using different types of needles including triple needles and a hemstitch needle.

I really enjoyed learning all these new techniques. In week 3 we were to produce samples using these techniques inspired by our research of our theme. Unfortunately I wasn’t very well so I did not attend this session, however I will be catching up!

I’m excited to use all these techniques in the future, here are a few pictures of my work…

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Oh How I Love ‘Craft in The Bay’

IMG_0058I visited ‘Craft in The Bay’ today for the second time since living in Cardiff. I have to say it’s become an ambition of mine to have my work in there one day! Both times I’ve visited I’ve seen artists who have inspired me and walked out feeling full of ideas for both small crafts and larger pieces of art.

Here are a few pictures of artists I found inspiring today..

Peter Bodenham – Ceramics…

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Lowri Davies – Ceramics and illustration..

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Unfortunately I didn’t get the name of the artist below, they were all applique and embroidered pieces, which I adored!

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Cardiff Bay

Images taken in Cardiff Bay..

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I wanted to research the past of Cardiff Bay, I felt like it’s history has been hidden. Only small traces of its past seem to exist when you first look. Cardiff Bay was one of the most important areas for the coal mining industry in Wales. It was an industrial area. However, after the second world war, the demand for coal decreased and Cardiff Bay became neglected and unused.

I thought of the new Cardiff Bay and how it has been transformed into a tourist attraction – I decided I could base my project on the idea of old and new, taking inspiration from Cardiff Bay.


Dr. Paul Fitzpatrick – Interrogating Photographs

Today we had another lecture by Dr. Paul Fitzpatrick, which was about interrogating photographs. He gave us a set of questions which we can ask ourselves to decide whether or not the photographs we see have been constructed or not. These questions included ‘Why was the photograph taken?’ ‘Who took it?’ ‘Where is the lighting coming from and how is it generated?’

We took what we had learnt from the lecture and put it into practice using 4 images from World War 2..

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This picture, Bodies at Belson, is from the Imperial War Museum. After close inspection of the image, we decided that this image was constructed. In the background you can see plain buildings, and a wire fence – thus we distinguished this is a concentration or death camp. We noticed that the bodies which have been piled up have hair, this was abnormal as the Jews had their hair cut off before they were killed. As a group we came to the conclusion that this image had been altered to tell a narrative. The bodies have been moved to be in front of the camp – they would normally have been taken away from the area. At this time, people died of typhus – the photographer would’ve risked his life by manipulating these bodies by removing their clothes, which you can see in the foreground to show the narrative of those who died in the camps.

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This second image, Post Relief is of a British soldier and a camp victim. In the background you can see people dressed in normal clothes, yet the man in the photograph is skinny, he is wearing baggy striped clothing which suggests he was in a concentration camp. We see the British soldier who has a gun in his hands, the gun is not facing the other man which suggests he is there for protection not threatening him. We decided that this photograph was altered, his clothes are rolled up to emphasise how skeletal he is. The man is in a ditch, and the man to the left is there to create a shadow. If there are other people in the background who look normal, why would this man be sitting in a ditch? The idea of this image is to make the British soldier appear to be a hero, he has given the man cigarettes and tins of food. The underlying narrative of the image is true, yet what is in the photograph has been created in order to tell a story.

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This image is of a woman called Irma Griese, she was employed at Ravensbruck and Auschwitz and was also a warden at Bergen-Belsen. She was an awful woman and was described as the ‘Death Angel of Auschwitz.’ This picture was taken the day before she was to be hung. The lighting is coming from in front of her, which emphasises the bags under her eyes, making her look tired. The fact that she is not looking at the camera makes us question what or who she is looking at. If she had been looking at the camera, the image would be completely different, it may have shown her innocence. Yet this image shows how angry and stubborn she is, she is not collaborating or engaging with the force.

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This painting is called ‘Liberation Day,’ it is a self portrait of one of the survivors in Belson. We instantly noticed the choice of colours, the blue signifies he now feels cold and almost non-human. His eyes are painted red; this colour signifies danger, blood and death. All of what he has seen has scared him. The red echoes all around him, it has been used in the background as well as on his face. He looks skinny and angry. We were asked how this painting made us feel. The image made me feel uncomfortable and angry, how this man will be scared by his experiences for the rest of his life, it is part of him for life.

I really enjoyed this lecture – I had never looked at images from this period and interrogated them before. I feel this is a skill that will be very beneficial to me.


Llandaff Cathedral

 A selection of photographs taken at Llandaff Cathedral…

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