About Me

My photo
Manchester, United Kingdom
BA(Hons)Interactive Arts Student. Manchester Metropolitan University.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hoardings Project

The Brief

You are required to produce a self portrait of you as a creative individual at this moment in time.
The project involves students making embellishments and customising a life size photo portrait of themselves which will be shot for them. Students need to have some digital imaging skills (or a friend who does). The plan is to create 120 life size or larger altered photo portraits to go in each of the Building site hoardings panels. Each panel is 2m high x 1 m wide.

The Image

Hopefully the image will appear with its 119 companions on the hoardings, sometime in the New Year and if funding can be aquired in a publication some time in the future.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Presentation of Shelter Project

Masks - Pete Kingsford / Thom Thatcher / Andrea De La Rubia
Face Gallery - Pete Kingsford
Wooden Painted Masks - Sasha

Just 4 weeks after the project was set and some intense day before the event editing, we manageeing said  to present all our efforts in a relatively well received manner.

due to the software that we had used to edit our film "masks" we found ourselves restricted as to how and on what we could show the film. That being said, I descovered that I could enable my laptop to show seperate applications on two different screens, which enabled me to play the movie and my personal slide project at the same time. One big sigh of relief and a lesson learnt for the future - Use different software and leave more time to try out differnt ways of showing work, (If this had been an exhibition I would not have been happy at all with the compromise I had to make).

Photo of mask project

After we had walked around and viewed everbody elses work we each had to comment the following:

1) What is the meaning that the work is communicating?
2) How effectively does the work communicate issues/ideas around shelter?
3) What could be improved? (production, communication, presentation, etc)
4) Give a mark 1-10 for how experimental the work was.

Although the feedback given was generally positive, there were quite a few closed comments. This meant that no real opinion of direction was given or examples of how people thought that this work could have been done differently or developed further in the future. For this reason there has been quite a lot of doubt cast on the effectiveness of asking for feedback at the moment of viewing and discussion has started on new ways of approaching this.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Liverpool Biennial

Although I am going to offer some kind of review, concentrating on one or more artists, I thought that the trip as a whole had to be commented on.

We had part of one day to try and take in as much as is humanly possible (excluding the Tate), of the Biennial exhibition. Looking back now this sounds like some kind of record breaking challenge rather than an educational trip. There are 18 locations highlighted on the tour map, some of which we knew from the outset were just not achievable, but some we deffinately had to see.

I and several colleagues managed to get around the following in something of a whistle stop tour:

52 Renshaw Street; FACT, The Black-E; Europleasure / Scandinavian Hotel; A Foundation Liverpool / Bloomberg New Contemporaries and Contemporary Urban Centre / City States.

Although there were probably some extremely noteable works on show throughout the exhibition, but the speed at which we had to try and take them in made it almost impossible to concentrate on any of them for long enough to really take them in and give them the attention that they deserved.

For me the inevitable highlight of the trip was at Crosby beach where I finally got to see a work by one of my favoutite artists: Another Place by Antony Gormley.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

"Masks" - Shooting the Film

Artists - Pete Kingsford / Thom Thatcher / Andrea De La Rubia

With the story board drawn up, all the masks made and the final facial designs agreed, it was time to shoot the film.

With a mini D.V recordre hired, we sat down and decided what order we woild shoot the scenes in. We had a limited amount of time (1 day) and it was important the we got the order correct so that we shot as much as we could in each location and didn't have to backtrack to re-do things.

It was important to us that all the outdoor shots in particular were shot on the same day; weather conditions being as they are in Manchester, it could be a long time before we saw another clear and sunny day. Aalso on our minds was the dead line for showing our work and we wanted to give ourselves as long as possible to edit the footage.

Morning in the house, choosing a mask to face the world.

The mask to work in.

Walking through the park.

We found that a major challanege was trying to avoid the appearance of too many other people in the frames. We were trying very hard to emphasise the solitude of the character in this piece; so with this all being shot close to the city centre, this meant waiting around for the right moment and then getting the shot done.

I think that, had we much longer to film this work, we may have done things differently. We could have spent (potentially), hours on each scene; filming in both several different locations and from different angles, so that when it came to editing which more material to choose from, not only for one piece to show but maybe the chance to produce a series of work showing the same scenario, from different view points. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Whitworth Lecture - Wu Chi-Tsung

This was the first in this years series of lectures by guest artists at the Whitworth Art Gallery and it didn't dissapoint.

Taiwanese artist Wu Chi-Tsung, currently the resident artist at the Chinese Arts Centre, spoke about his work, both past and present. His background in art was steeped in Eastern tradition, including calligraphy and ink drawing, this artist was eager to investigate the world where painting influences the use of digital media and create new inspired works.

Breathe - Wu Chi-tsung
Wire ii

His series of work entitled "Wire" used light projected the a wire mesh experimanting with movement/ speed/ focal length, to change the way that an object can be viewed. The artist states that:

"Very small changes can open a totally different world"

His fascination with light and how it can alter the way that objects and landscapes appear is a common theme through-out Wu Chi-Tsungs work; as in his "Longtime Exposed Landscape" from 2004, where his work showes how the natural light changed the very view from his studio window; to his more recent work "Crystal City" where he has contsructed a city scape out of clear plastic material and has a light source travelling back and forth on a track, casting a constantly changing shadow on the studio walls.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Shelter Project - "Masks" Film

Artists: Peter Kingsford / Thom Thatcher / Andrea De La Rubia

I think that following the initial brainstorming session for this project, the three of us were already sold on the idea of producing a piece of work on film.

The idea of looking at the the different personas that people use in diffrent situations and showing this as physical masks, we agreed was going to be presented most effectively as a performance or story told on film.

Original story board for "Masks"

The initial story / idea came together quite quickly. We wanted to show a normal, fairly non-desript day in the life of an unidentified character. From the start of the day; the journey to work; the events of the working day and back again. The importnat thing was how the mask (the face shown to the world), changed as things affected the character and as with all of us did not always show what was really going on in mind of the individual.

We had our story board and had set ourselves various tasks, designing mask (Andrea and myself), location hunting (Thom) and then with time quickly dissapearing we would have to start filming.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Shelter Project

The word shelter can mean so many different things, to many different people. Our interpretation of any word is effected by out environment; our culture and heritage; our religion; politics; family and the people and the things that we interact with on daily basis, from the moment that we are born.

During our initial group discussion, a huge range of ideas came out including the following:

The Womb / Mothers Arms / Family

Constructed Shelters – A House / Caravan / Tent

Objects of purpose – An Umbrella / Hat/ Coat

Musical association – The Rolling stones “Gimme Shelter”

Your own skin / Your mind / Persona

Make up (Cosmetics) / Masks

After throwing out so many ideas we all appeared to talk about the ‘shelter’ we create within ourselves and the face that we present to the rest of the world. We agreed that generally speaking we create a persona for the environment that we are in and the people that we are with.

This persona is comparable to a mask, as it is not the real you! It is not usual in your day to day life to openly show how you feel about what is happening in your life; there tends be relatively few people that we feel safe doing that with, usually those that we are closest to.

Too create a physical representation of these personas we looked at how masks were used around the world. Theatre was an obvious area and in particular I looked at the Japanese Noh masks. There a fixed number of Noh masks used in Japanese theatre, used to represent characters in various stories and lighting and head position is used to show the different moods.


To film a day in the life of a character, from the start of the day through everyday activities, showing how a physical choice is made regarding the face that is shown to the world and affected by the things that we experience.

A simple paper mache mask

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Interactive Arts Party - Stag and Hen Party

This project was set for the 1st years and being one year down the line and hopefully wiser and more experieneced, the second years were involved in a supportive and advisory copacity to offer our the benefit of experience and hopefully stimulate some ideas.

The theme this year for my group was a "Stag and Hen Party" and fortunately all in the group had some experience through either attending such a party or having witnessed the antics others get up to while they were enjoying one. This enabled us to quickly generate ideas with regards to outfits that could be worn and themes that are frequently used for such events, but we also wanted to show that this is something rthat has its roots steeped in history.

After all the animals did it before we did - it's not called a Stag or Hen party for nothing. Although we now use it as an excuse to go at and consume inappropriate ammounts of alcohol and inevitable embarass ourselves, as the names implies, animals have been carrying out ritualistic displays, fighting each other and showing of, a long time befeore the night clun was thought of.

Or ideas was create a cross over between the two worlds. All the people involved sellecting an outfit based on whatever theme they felt comfortable with; we had a pimp; a tart; a boxer, a well dresses man.....
but the setting for the party would be the great outdoors!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Summer Project - Wearable Gallery Project

The project: We would like you to record, in whatever way you chose, the habits, customs, everyday things you notice in your new environment, (or down to the post office for the less adventurous). And compare them to your own home.

We would like you to produce a series of work using the information you glean. You will need to make your work transportable and become your own “Walking Art Gallery”.

Origami Dreams

We all have memories and dreams. Some are good and some are may be bad. I wanted to represent to extremes in my project and also capture how complex the images we generate in our mind can be and I chose to do this via Origami.

I chose vibrant colours to represent the positive thoughts and dreams and a common place everyday subject matter of a flower as my main image. To try and display how the mind can work, the good thoughts are represented using bright but plain paper and the bad using a dull but complicated paper, (they are in fact pictures of cracks in walls, maybe to signify stresses in life).

I have deliberately outnumbered the negative images with the positive, to create a more optimistic piece of work.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Full Circle Continued

I am continuing to explore my idea of turning the macro photographs I have taken into something new. I have been choosing pictures that I find particularly interesting, whether that is because I think they have elements that could be explored through sculpture or they have lines and shapes that I feel I have to investigate through my drawing.

One such example is a photo of a cactus that I cropped and then turned into a colour negative:

Which led on to a sketch:

On to further drawing

Experimentation with light using photo editing software:

And sculpture:

I am now experimenting further by taking more photo's of the sculpture and I will just let this take me where it will!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Kite Flying in Glossop

Following in the footsteps of 'Ludwig Wittgenstein', and driven in no small part by the enthusiasm of Michael Howard and ofcourse Hazel, the Interactve Arts first year students (or those that could make it anyway) along with some some other fellow students from MMU, braved the elements and headed to to the Grouse Inn- Chunal Moor. A bacon butty and hot cup of coffee later and we headed on to the moors.

There were kites of all shapes and sizes, some truely stunning and some made of the most simple of materials....a newspaper, but all fantastic when they took to the air. Although on this occaision we flying for the pure fun of it and not really for any scientific reason, it was a fantasic day.

Unfortunately the kite that I took so much time over (Mmmmm!) never got to fly. It was broken and torn before we reached the site (oh well), but that being said I got some fantastic pictures and had a great time.
I'm looking forward to next year to see what the new guys come up with....can't wait.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Mary Greg - Queens Park

I was given the privilege of being allowed into a truly extraordinary place. It Is a building owned by Manchester Art Gallery and used to store just some of the things that they are not, or can not accommodate or display in their main building. However this should in no way devalue them as works of art or in anyway lesson how interesting they are, the opposite is probably true.

There is a very real Aladdin’s cave of curio’s and historical artefacts, that were the subject of one lady’s determination to preserve them for future generations to see and learn from and yet here they are, hidden and for the most part never seen by the general public.

There were draws full of a vast array of items that screamed “I’m old and full of history”, there were spoons, keys, wax seals, candle holders, little trinket boxes and extensive collection of furniture for doll’s houses. Merely listing them like this does them absolutely no justice at all, they need to be seen and read about and I recommend doing just that at the web site:


My attention however was drawn to the fantastic collection of doll’s houses, that undoubtedly were once lushly furnished with some of the items now hidden away in cabinets and draws for long term storage.

The project that I am working on involves a lot of “up-close” photography and this visit to Queens Park gave me the ideal opportunity to do something that I would otherwise struggle to achieve – get really up close to houses; take a peek through darkened windows and doors that were invitingly ajar; take close up view across roof tops and generally do things that in the real world, you could get in a lot of trouble for doing.

This is just a very small sample of the the pictures that I took that daym infact I came away wit over 90 shots, some of which I hope will end up on the Mary Greg blog or the Flickr page, I will update my blog as and when this happens. Also be sure to check out the Manchester Art Gallery site.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Place

A little while ago whie working my through another extensive batch of photographs that I had taken, I had the idea of getting as many people as I could involved in a little project. This involved them letting me into their world (just a bit) and this is the e-mail I sent out:

Hi everyone,

As part of the work I am currently doing at University I am running a side project that I am calling “My Place". I am asking anyone who would like to take part to send me a photo of a place or moment that has a powerful meaning for them.

This could be just a snap shot from your holiday; or a family gathering......; or maybe a chance photo you took when out walking one day; it’s completely up to you.

Please do not include ant text with the photo explaining it. The photo will do the talking……
The photos will be added to an online photo album that I am going to set up and some or all may be exhibited at University (with complete anonymity), and I will post the details to keep you up to date.
I have set up an e-mail address just for this project as follows:
So if you want to take part send me your photo and please let everyone you know, know about this and get them to take part.
Thanks everyone.

I have had a limited response so far, but the pictures I have been sent are great and heer is the link.


Friday, 8 January 2010

Full Circle

I started my ‘Macro Project’ quite some time ago now and apart from gathering more and photo’s for my stockpile I was beginning to think I that I really wasn’t progressing that much. But I should know by now that this is quite often the way my work goes; quite large periods of just plodding along and then an explosion of activity.

So here is a long overdue update on what is happening:

I have not just been taking close up photo’s to produce artwork that can be displayed in a gallery space, although heaven knows I now have a substantial amount of material for that; I have been experimenting with turning some of these into 3D sculptures and then re-photographing them.

My initial attempt at this was with photographs I took of a circuit board from inside a digi’-box:

The result is actually only a relatively small sculpture, but this gave me the opportunity to get up close and take yet more photographs to explore the subject in a new and interesting way.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow Time

Sat at home wondering what the next thing I was going to take a picture of was going to be, when the ideal oppotunity presents itself....snow.

Predictable maybe, but how can you resist when the situation presents itself? It just looks so nice, especially when it has come down so heavily.

Anyway I was out, snapping away and realised what a big deal this was, after all we don't normally see snow this deep in my area (Stockport). So I thought that I may as well let the world see what was outside my door and sent a photo over to the BBC, who very kindly posted it in their web site.

Click here to go to the page.

or just take a look at the photo: