Saturday, 22 October 2011

Rankin & Damien Hirst: Myths, Monsters and Legends

I was lucky enough to go to the opening night of Rankin and Damien Hirsts' new work: Myths, Monsters and Legends at Rankin's studio in Kentish Town, London. There was some really striking photographs and amazing effects that I'm not quite sure how they were achieved.

I definitely recommend going to see this if you can.

Digital Pinhole Camera

Just a little experiment I did with my digital camera. I wanted to see what would happen giving my digital camera a pinhole lens. The results are ok, but I prefer the previous ones. I like the fact you have no idea how they'll come out. There's something a bit too polished about these.

Pinhole Camera Experiment

The other day I created a pinhole camera from an old Russian SLR I found at a market. It was quite easy to convert. It's just a matter of removing all the stuff from inside so you're left with a shell. The results are really interesting, just going round my garden taking exposures of different lengths to see what happens, but I think the whole that I drilled through the lens cap needs to be ever so slightly bigger. I think too big will let too much light in. I'll play around with it and see. I want to see what happens with colour film too, but I think I need to sort out the size of the pin hole first.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Occupy LSX

I went to St. Paul's Cathedral this morning to see the Occupy LSX protestors. I admire what they're doing and they aim to stay there for several months if they can. I'm not sure they'll last that long but I can imagine them staying there a good while. They seemed to get on well with the police, who were quite relaxed.

It was strange to see the wide variety of people who were joining in; people from all walks of life. I went to see how they are making their impact on the situation and how they might need further help. If someone was to make work for them, what would they want on it, what kind of impact etc. From this I could see how to go about my own work, trying to encourage people to take more of a notice of things happening around the world. Showing them that this can be more interesting than just watching the news. The use of social networking sites for reportage is becoming more of a popular tool, so I want to promote this, but also revealing what is happening in Syria with their push for a revolution.

It was easy to see what they would want. They had already began doing it themselves. They want distribution. They want their message to spread and have a clear message; a huge impact. The choice of St. Paul's was also carefully selected. The sight has relevance to the kind of changes they seek. This is something I definitely need to think about with my work. Where it will be seen.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

'Gerhard Richter: Panorama' at the Tate Modern

This exhibition is definitely one of the best I have been to in a long while. I've not seen too much of Richter's work before, but it is amazing just how diverse it is! This exhibition shows works from throughout his career starting in the 1960's with his Photopainting. This is a style he adopted to show the impact West German life had on those from the East. They are a response to the 'luxury' of the West which he saw through advertisement, and they make a huge impact when you first walk into the exhibition. From a distance they look like distorted photographs and it is unbelievable to think they are oil paintings. This style is perfect for my current project on the protests in Syria. Most photograph I have collected from footage of Syria is distorted due to the use of hidden cameras, but also shows an urgency and a kind of panic, so it would be a shame to lose this in my work.

As Richter begins to explore abstraction, he begins to create some amazing, fascinating surface textures and forms. He's given me lots of ideas for being innovative in this way. He has tackled some pretty big events most have tried to block out such as 9/11 and the Nazi era so I respect him for that. He shows that these sensitive issues need to be tackled head on and acknowledged by everyone.

'Happy, Deep Inside My Heart' at Lazarides

I went to see Anthony Micallef's current exhibition at Lazarides gallery at Rathbone Place, London the other day. If you get the chance, definitely go and see it. There is a real contrast between his sickly, sweet paintings, like the one above, and his dark, eerie portraits which makes the space so interesting. It's on until the 22nd October so there's not too long left!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Specter Dusambe

This is a great kind of idea to think about for my Syria project.

JR and Kenny Scharf

Wolfgang Weingart

Great graphic designer. His compositions are really interesting. He's seen as 'the father' of New Wave art.

Postmodernism Style and Subversion: 1970 - 1990 at the V & A

I went to this exhibition yesterday. I really recommend it. Its very broad in terms of the different disciplines on show. There's painting, furniture and fashion design and many other things. It is extremely experimental, was controversial and highly criticised by critics at the time, but you can definitely see its influence on today's styles. It's on until the 15th January.

Syria Protests - Panorama

I watched a Panorama special last week on the Syria protests (Panorama - Syria: Inside the Secret Revolt) and it was quite shocking to see what is actually going on there. It's not something I've not heard too much about mainly because journalists are currently banned from entering the country.

The Syrian public are pushing for democratic change with peaceful protests but are being met by the government using shocking brutality. Snipers are being forced to shoot at protestors of any age. Something surely has to be done soon by the UN. They have began talks about actions to take against the Syrian government, but to the frustration of the other countries, Russia and China failed to agree to the proposed actions.

The footage from the documentary was taken by protestors using hidden cameras in clothing and cars. The photos I took are quite distorted but show the true panic that sets in when these peaceful protests turn into what can only be described as a war zone.