In Review – MAY

I can’t believe May has come and gone!  It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I finished uni for the summer! (Not that we have had much of a summer yet, 1 week of hot sunny weather and the rest has been wet and miserable…)

Anyway, as this is a review of May I shall be sharing my favourite posts with you along with my favourite ideas that have cropped up along the way!

So, this month my favourite posts were (in most recent – earliest)

1) Heat. (  I really like this post as it was a spur of the moment blog that I wasn’t going to do.  I was originally going to blog about something else but had taken these photos in the garden and they captured (to me anyway) how hot it was.  The photos I took were calm and peaceful, which the day was, it was one of those days where you could smell the warmth in the air and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen, let alone a breeze to be felt.

2) Circles Project Week 2. ( I liked the first weeks photos but am more pleased with how the second weeks photos turned out.  I feel that I have pushed myself and challenged myself to be more creative with the photos I have taken, used different view points and become more investigative with my pictures.

3) Summer Bucket List. (  As I am not in uni now for quite a while and (seem to) have time on my hands I thought it would be nice to compile a bucket list of things I would like to do during the holidays apart from just concentrate on uni work and photos.  Some of the items on my list I have tried and have had fun with, some I have ideas for and some I have yet to start or do, which is ok as I do have a lot of time to be able to do these things in!  At some point there will be a post about what I have done on the list and photos too!!!

4) My Cameras. ( This post where I spoke about my cameras made me realise that I do own an awful amount of cameras, some I have not used for ages (maybe even years) and it got me thinking about them and how much I loved taking photos with them, all for different reasons.  It has made me think about starting to use them again and think about projects I could do using them!

5) A Model Family. ( I’m not sure I can even begin to explain how happy I am with this project and the way it turned out in the end, especially as at one point I felt that I was battling with it and on the verge of giving up.  This project is not just a grade to me, it is blood, sweat and tears and a reminder to myself not to give up and keep going even when you feel like it is not going to work.  Just a little more effort and energy and belief in the idea can make it work!  And I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this one! 😀

So, that’s my favourite posts but I have some ides also that I would like to  follow on with in this month.

1) Day Projects  (  After I had this idea and had blogged about it I thought about what I could photo in a day and have now made a list.  I am hoping to be able to take photos on a saturday each week and then get them developed on sunday with a view to posting in the week.  I decided that I was going to use film for these projects as I want to get back into using film and really like the effects you can obtain with film.  I like the idea of doing short projects that can be done in a day as it means that the projects can be based purely on photography and are quick and less time-consuming!

2) Illustrating a Story. (  I like this idea which was a project we had in uni back in January.  It can be as simple or as technical as you like and could be quite interesting.  im not sure if I will choose a story to illustrate at the moment but I would like to keep it in mind for the future.

Things to work on in June.

1) Uni Summer Project.  As I now have 2 completely new ideas I need to research them and decide whether to do them both (as both are viable options at the moment) or whether I should just do one.  This decision can only be made once research is underway and I can see where I can go with my ideas and the volume of work each idea produces, and then where these ideas take me in terms of photographs and the quality of the ideas behind them.

2) Circles Project.  I seem to have lost momentum for this project slightly.  I’m not sure why, but over the next few weeks I am going to be editing some of the photos I have taken and really start playing with the ideas I have.  One of the ideas for this project is to create something and I’m keen to get started with it and see what happens!

3) Day Projects.  I am determined to start this project and use all of the cameras I have, if not to produce good work but to re-familiarise myself with film and the cameras themselves.  I will be aiming to do one project each weekend, with shooting on a saturday and developing on a sunday!

Uni Summer Project

I had to go to Uni on Tuesday for my end of year review and to pick up the grade I had been given for the last module.  I must say I wasn’t expecting the grade I got for this project as my other projects had only ever been given C’s.  This last project, I got an A14 for it!  I am so pleased with it!  I think I’m more pleased with it because I went in to collect it without having any pre-conceived ideas of what I should be given grade wise.  I was pleased with the feedback too, I knew that I needed to do more research into artists that had done something similar idea wise as I hadn’t looked at any other artists work for this module and how they would have approached the subject I was trying to convey.  I was happy though, and so was my lecturer, that I had thought about how I was going to present my work and that I had made more models, simplified ones that I showed as a series, building upon each of them.  I was also pleased that I had chosen names for them that were equations of how they are made up, it continued the scientific theme I had going on.

While there I got given my summer project which is in two parts.  One is to visit an exhibition/show and write a review on it and the second is quite loose in terms of what we can do.  The main brief of our summer project is to produce a body of work which can be on any theme/idea of our choice and is to be self led and driven.  We can produce work that can be photographic/film/a book or whatever we choose so long as it is sympathetic to our chosen subject.

Now, I have already started a self driven project about circles that I posted my first images of here ( )  but I’m unsure whether to use this project as my uni project or to do another project that I can run alongside the Circles one that I am currently undertaking.  I sat and thought about other project ideas last night, (I won’t share the list just yet as I am still working out if I want to expand on the themes and choose one of them), I came up with 22, yep, 22, different themes I could and would like to do.  What I’m not sure of , is whether these ideas can keep me going from now until october, work wise.  With my Circles project, I don’t have a definitive timeline, I can continue it until I see fit, I can stop and re start it whenever I want as I’m doing it for myself but the uni project needs to be clear and concise and I need to have set ideas to follow and explore.  I feel like I’ve been given this task to undertake and I’m just floating around on it.  I will admit I’m a teeny tiny bit terrified of doing a project which has no boundaries or guidance, except for myself.  Is my own judgement good enough?  Can I produce a body of work that is not just visually pleasing but meaningful also?  And can I keep it going all summer long?

There is really only one way to find out, and that is to do it…if it goes wrong then at least I have tried.

A Model Family – The Finished Product

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I started this project using an idea that started off in secondary school regarding family and trust circles.  I drew out some circles, graduating out from myself to the people that were closest to me and worked out from that.  I set about looking at the connections between myself and sets of people who I knew and also the movements of people within those groups.  I wanted to examine the relationships between people who I knew and my family.  It was important tome to use my family and friends as I wanted it to be personal to me and felt that I could pick apart and really go in-depth the movements between certain people in these groups.

I came up with a series of diagrams, ones with the people named in the groups, another with just the movements of the people outlined and one with nothing apart from the sets of groups and where they lay in relationship to me and other groups.  These bare diagrams were a stepping stone to where my project went next.  I continued drawing diagrams and as I looked back on them they started to remind me of cells, molecules and the solar system.  One of the diagrams I drew inspired me to make a 3D model as I could see, from the diagram, how it would come together.

The diagrams I drew were colour coded for the groups of people that were being represented and I chose to keep as much to the colour code as possible.  I don’t think it matters that the viewer doesn’t know the colour code, what matters is that it gets people thinking about the relationships of the groups and gets them asking questions.


I decided to continue on this path and created another 3D model which is stripped bar of any friends and concentrates purely on my family group.  The colours used to represent the people is similar to the first model as I wanted it to appear quite uniform, but the actual colour code is different.

I looked into names for the models I had made and chose the overall title “Model Family” as that is what I had created, models of my family, models of relationships to people within those “family groups”.   Individually, I have named them after equations that I came up with after looking at them and deconstructing the diagrams I had drawn.  the largest model is called M=F(1IF,1EF)+Bf(1SF,1AF)+Fr(1BF,1CF)+O(1UF,1WF,1CF,1SF), the next smallest model is called 2P+2B+1M=NF(1EF,1AF,1K)+1Bf(1Bf,1RF), the 3rd is called NF(2P+3C) and the smallest is just called M. I created and called them equations as a nod towards them looking like scientific structures.  I didn’t want to call them Model Family, Model Family Simplified etc (which I was  going to call them originally) as they sound too obvious.


I chose to mount them against a white background of Foam Board, again, as a nod towards the scientific nature of the appearance of them.  I thought about having them free-standing but when I tried that it didn’t look quite right.  I needed a clean backdrop which showed off the colours and the relationship bonds between the groups and decided that a white background really showed that off.


I am happy with the way the project has turned out.  when I started this project I wasnt sure where it was going to take me or what the outcome would be.  I am surprised at how well they came out and would like to continue this project using other people and their families and friends to create more models that could be used for comparison purposes.  I think that other families models will turn out different going by family circumstance (ie divorce) and different life experiences will change the friendship groups too.  Some groups may not exist at all and this is something I am keen to look at in the future.

A Model Family

I set out with no real idea of how to approach this subject as I didn’t just want it to be a series of photos that people couldn’t relate to, strangers faces that didn’t mean anything to the viewer, how would that be interesting I asked myself?


I started off thinking about my family tree and a project that I had done in Religious Education in secondary school about trust circles where you put yourself at the centre and work outwards in a series of concentric circles with the people you most trust closest to yourself, this I found didn’t just include my family but friends too.  I looked at the values I held that I used to grade these people and found that they were the same but moving outwards they became diluted.


I looked at how people interacted with each group and how movements in friendship came about, my best friends are there for a reason and have moved inwards, whereas other people have moved outwards, my brother, who should be in my immediate family is put into my extended family group as we don’t speak much, but he is still family.


I looked at these circles and movements and simplified down my diagrams to the extent that they are bare save for the colour co-ordinated sections.  Once they came to being at this stage they seemed to remind me of atoms that appear in chemistry, or the solar system.  Both are built upon with one central item being the basis for the rest to gravitate around.  I likened this to myself, how I am at the centre of my ‘world’ and how everything moves around me.


I drew up another diagram, this time using circles and lines to represent my different groups of family and friends and came up with something that looked like a molecular structure seen in chemistry.  I decided to use this to create a 3D piece of work from, based on the idea that I am central and everyone in my circles of friends is linked to me and to other groups.  This is my final piece.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.