The Ultimate Diet.

Apologies for the lack of posting; new job means getting used to a new routine in a new phase of my life.

As I’ve said before it has been my own journey through body image issues and self-discovery that has led to me to this new place of positive body image activism. I only recently noticed that an old triggering point had arisen once again: gaining weight. I spent too much time in my teenage years and early 20’s battling my own mindset about how I looked, how I should look and struggling to disassociate my worth from my weight. So this now felt like a great time to test whether I could walk the walk, after I’ve spent so much time and effort on here talking the talk.

A UK size 14-16 is where I have averaged out throughout my adult life; I used to be positively ecstatic if I fitted into something smaller as the numbers meant a lot to me. Looking back now I can see just how much they dictated how I felt about myself at 18 years old, even though it’s so clear I have always been an average or below average size. But I was cross with my body because I felt it didn’t allow me to be the person I wanted to be.

I tried to stick to the ‘rules’ of how women considered ‘curvy’ should appear. Try to keep your hair long and full, it will hide excess chins and it’s more feminine. No boots, we don’t want to make those legs look bigger do we? Try a flared jean instead to balance out those proportions. Accentuate your waist as it’s the smallest part of your body, we need to see how small you can be! Try an A-line skirt to skim and cover your hips. Three-quarter length sleeves will hide any unsightly bingo wings. PUT DOWN THAT TANK TOP!

This kind of thing really annoys me. I’m not a piece of fruit.What it should say is: Are you human shaped? Then wear whatever the hell you want.

 

I was lucky I have family who tried their best to balance out the negativity I was picking up from outside, but those external influences are strong at a young age. The message I received from the media was that we must always try to be smaller, more fragile…

Women should aim to take up less space.

Confused?

Are you confused?

 

When actually, if pinterest had been around then, mine would have been filled with cropped hair, mini skirts, doc martin boots and skinny jeans. Now this isn’t to say I NEVER wore any of these things, because I did. But the point is how I allowed myself to feel in them, and if I had been brutally honest, I usually felt uncomfortable. Thankfully, nowadays I’m way more relaxed, so much so that I almost missed the opportunity to write about this, simply because it didn’t become a ‘thing’ in my life.

Until summer I’d spent a period of time being at the smallest I’ve ever been at a 10-12. It wasn’t something I’d taken much notice of because I no longer weigh myself or particularly pay much attention to what size I’m buying. I was eating on the go and exercising 6 times a week as a way to de-stress my way through my fourth and final year at college. Although I had no time to socialise and was in bed by 9 most nights; I wasn’t obsessive, I wasn’t restrictive or negative, it was just my life and routine at that time. The only other time I have been that size was in the end stages of my time living away from home; when I was devastated by bereavement and possibly suffering from a mental breakdown. Nevertheless, at this present time I was casually applauded for this change in all situations; at college, at the gym, at church and when I was out socially. Years back this used to make me feel really good; but now I just smile awkwardly so as not to be rude, but know that on the inside I’m eye-rolling. When one girl noticed my disdain for the ‘compliment’ of “you’ve lost weight, you look amazing now” I was told to “enjoy it” and that “you love it really, everyone likes to hear they’re thinner.” I’m at a point now where if that’s what you think I’m thinking, you really don’t know me at all.

 

Smaller, earlier in 2014. That skirt might not fit now…but it is JUST a skirt.

 

When I finished college everything changed. I had kept my head so focused on that end goal for 4 years, I really hadn’t thought of life beyond getting that certificate, because if you had told me 5 years ago that’s where I’d be, I wouldn’t have believed you. My routine changed; I was job hunting, writing, not working out much, happily spending time re-focusing on what the next journey could be. The whole rhythm of my life changed again. I wasn’t sad to leave college, I had gained everything I wanted out of the experience. It wasn’t all easy, as change seldom is but I’m focused on all the privileges I am blessed with in my life that some people don’t have, one of the biggest privileges of all: choices.

And as I contemplated all the things I have achieved so far that I am actually proud of and all the things I still hope to achieve, I wondered how they could link in to my blogging experience. I got my answer when I was getting dressed later that week; a proportion of my clothes no longer fitted and I found myself just casually tutting instead of blind panic. Sure, it was annoying, those skirts my mum had taken in would need letting out and still might not fit, I even hulked out of one of my favourite shirts…

I lift weights at the gym to be strong not to make myself small, so feeling a bit she-hulk was kind of awesome.

I lift weights at the gym to be strong not to make myself small, so feeling a bit She-Hulk was kind of awesome.

 

But I didn’t freak out. I just adjusted my diet a bit and aimed that I’d stick to 2/3 workouts that I enjoy a week whenever they fitted into the rest of my life…but my size didn’t change. And I finally got it, that this is my natural shape. The thing that so many women fight a daily battle against. Because you can never win when you make yourself the enemy. As long as you’re healthy (whatever that is for you as an individual) and happy you are winning. I may have gained physical weight, but I realised I’d finally lost what I had needed to all along, I’d lost the emotional weight. Don’t underestimate it, that’s a lot heavier than you might give it credit. You’ll be so much lighter to do all the things you want to do, to dream all the things you might do. Lose the guilt associated with taking up more space in the world. Lose the shame that you’re ‘letting yourself go’ if you skip a few workouts. Lose the fear of being less attractive because in real life you can’t Photoshop yourself to perfection. Lose the hate that you will be worth less because you weigh more.

That is the only diet you will ever need. Lose your emotional weight.

This will mean so many different things to people, that I couldn’t begin to cover it here, but start the ultimate diet by focusing on the achievements in your life that have nothing to do with your weight and appearance. All the positive things and things I am most proud of: finishing school, travelling, always working at any job I could find, re-discovering my christian faith, having wonderful family and friends, overcoming depression, supporting gender equality and gay rights, getting my degree, appreciating what I have, always keeping hold of my dreams…you wouldn’t need to know the number on my scales or the number in my waistband for any of those things.

 

 

So what have you done?

Found out who your true friends are and cherish them?

Made peace with something or someone in your life?

Studied towards something that means a lot to you?

Fallen in love?

Have a wonderful family?

Got a job you love?

Left a job you hate?

Travelled alone?

Faced your fears?

Stood up for what you believe in, at all costs?

Always remember those things. The positive and negative, the light and shade in your life is who you are; your spirit, experiences, memories, choices and changes. Not your physical body.

 

We will all be smaller and larger at different times in our lives but we must never let it dictate our worth. I will keep saying this, over and over: your weight has NOTHING to do with your value in life. If you’re a size 6 or a 26; you can be whatever you want, your dreams are just as valid and attainable as the next persons and you can be beautiful and sexy. So don’t wait to lose weight, or gain it, before you start living your life and being you. It goes by so quickly, there’s only one you, there will only ever be one you. So make it count.

Oh and stop being an apple, rectangle or pencil and wear what you want. Your ‘bony’ legs or your ‘spare tire’ aren’t going to kill anyone. And just FYI, I recently graduated, bought more miniskirts, now own multiple pairs of boots and chopped my hair off…and it feels great.

Thanks to Beauty Redefined for the celebrity quotes.

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Life is a balance…

…of holding on and letting go.

I read this the other day and thought how true it was. Balance is so key to all of us and how we experience the time we are given. We make choices of what we hold near to us and what we let drift away or even push, so it’s important to know that you’re doing either for the right reasons.

My personal journey has seen me cross paths with this idea recently; emotional de-cluttering is more cathartic than you could believe! In the last couple of months I’ve felt a great increase in pressure of Uni work, attempted to deflect the ever persistent questions of “What are you going to do after you graduate this year?” and also, sadly suffered a personal bereavement. All events which are common and relative to us all in some way. It is our reactions to these situations that determine how we move forward, how we attempt to stay balanced.

Now when I say ‘balanced’, I think that can often conjure some misconceptions. An image springs to mind of a juggling act or a plate spinner, both of which are skilled to keep so many elements in play at the same time but it does not evoke peace, more like underlying tension. And perhaps in our increasingly chaotic culture the meaning of balance has shifted. It is seen as the achievement of spinning more and more plates at the same time and still being able to move. At some point though your arms will get tired, you might start to lose focus and the balancing act becomes more of a stress-managing act. True balance is being able to put down a few plates every now and then, even the lot and not beat yourself up about it. We all do it in different guises; I did it about this very blog, set up as an addition to my college work and an outlet for my writing but when other things had to take higher priority I felt guilty about not writing and that’s when moments of enjoyment become ‘tasks’. When enforced expectation takes over.

There’s always lots of discussion about not living up to cultural and social standards but what I’ve found the hardest is measuring up to the ones you set yourself, disguised as someone elses’ so there is someone to blame when you’re not hitting the mark. But they aren’t stone pillars, they’re just stakes in the ground that can be moved whenever they need to be. And that’s where real balance lives, in between the ever-changing guidelines. Really look at what you hold on to and make sure it makes you smile.

You don’t have to stop ‘wanting it all’ to achieve balance just don’t have it as your life goal. Accepting the transience of all things will help expose your enjoyment and appreciation of what you have already and the importance of the present moment. Holding on and focusing on what is now and letting go of expectations, negativity, of past and present.

Balance is much like contentment which I have mentioned before. Although it is intrinsically linked with happiness, that is not all of its story, it is much more about acceptance.

Acceptance of highs and lows, light and dark. We can’t be balanced with one foot in the past and one in the future, you have to be rooted in the presence.

So what’s the moral of this psychoanalytical waffle?

Well, when you’re feeling like it’s all too much and you need a time out perhaps you should…

check your feet and put down those plates!

And here’s a nice little story to round this up, taken from The Buried Life:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Joe Cornish Interview 2012

When I first started at Plymouth College of Art it was fascinating to be introduced to all these new sources of inspiration and photographers, out there making a living doing what they and I love.

Although I myself do not shoot many landscapes one of my first real inspirations both through his imagery and his passion for work was Joe Cornish who I discovered in a lecture and in his book ‘First Light’. When I found out he was going to be in the local area running workshops I contacted his gallery, crossing my fingers someone would get my message. Joe himself replied and was kind enough to meet me one morning, giving up his spare time before starting his workshop to chat to me about his journey in photography.

Thank you for setting aside the time to meet with me, it’s much appreciated. 

I’d like to start with how it is that you got into photography? In terms of the route you took professionally and also what sparked your passion.

Well I first started using a camera, 35mm at University when I was studying Fine Art. Nearly almost straight away, the moment when I picked up the camera I knew I love it. I started off using it in my first year and then started to get more creative throughout the second, third and fourth years, so by the time i graduated I was quite experienced and was taking pictures all the time.

When I graduated I really only had one thing on my mind: how could I get into professional photography? I had no idea and was very much on my own. I knew one photographer who was in America, Mike Mitchell in Washington DC who I had met before on a trip to the states. I knew his sister in law who was an old University friend of mine and after I graduated I got in contact with him. Luckily he wrote back and said that I could come over and if I was in Washington we might be able to find you a job. And that is how I started in photography; as an assistant to an American photographer. I twas a lucky break but of course it wasn’t easy but nothing is and it was worth it.

That leads me nicely on to my next question. When you were starting out, how did you go about generating work for yourself?

It’s very different to having a structured job, employment where a lot of the decisions are made for you; most photographic work is freelance which is still true and probably even more so today. I think the most important thing is you must exploit any contacts you have but you also have to be very imaginative within your work and where you look for opportunities.

In my case I was chronically shy and I still am quite shy strangely enough, but you’ve got to do it, got to push yourself. You put on your best smile and go out and talk to people.

In my head I had this vision of being a landscape photographer but I didn’t know how to do it, I mean there’s relatively little work in nature photography, well that’s paid anyway.

So in my case I started out taking pictures of people, portraits for actors for the actors book. My brother was a young musician so that lead me into the area of photographing musicians. Any opportunities that arise you really have to take and for a long time it wasn’t really making me any money and you have to be prepared for that.

I’m interested in your focus on landscapes in particular; what is it about these open spaces that keep you motivated to continue to photograph them?

That’s a really good question, quite a human question when you thin about it, I mean why do some people prefer to be outdoors with nature and others happy milling around in the city? It’s simply because I love being outdoors, I love the fresh air and I’m an active individual. Also that I’m very inspired by light, colour and texture. I have an art background and I think the things I just mentioned are the greatest source of inspiration for artists.

To be outside is a natural thing to do for me and especially being shy when I was younger it was the natural thing for me to do to avoid much contact with people [laughing].

Recently after working for many years with film you’ve made the switch to digital. What made this decision for you?

I should state I haven’t given up shooting film. I’d like to regard myself as a photographer, not a digital photographer or a film photographer. I’m shooting digital at the moment having made the investment into a digital medium format back. The beauty of making such an investment is after the initial cost of the equipment the costs are relatively low and all you are paying with is your time. Whereas with large format film it can be £5 per exposure with 5×4 and even more with 10×8.

The digital is a nice change after all those years of expense, although I don’t resent or regret them. I have a wide range of shooting methods all of which I fell are still relevant and therefore use particular ones for what I feel is appropriate for the style of shoot.

I feel that I am working towards using digital and film so you can’t see the difference, you shouldn’t be able to see the difference. To me  capturing light and composition, yes the process of arriving there is different but the intention is exactly the same. It is how you capture it and how you print it and whether it’s film or digital it really is very important to get the best results you can in camera.

Then you have the element of interpretation, if you choose to make very subtle changes within post production and how you choose to print. All these elements and stages should combine to ensure you get your artistic interpretation across as best you can and to the highest standard.

What are your views on contemporary landscape photography and how the critics tend to favour the dead pan aesthetic over the picturesque?

Having come from a Fine Art background I’m always slightly uncomfortable being characterised as a picturesque photographer but I completely understand why people would say that.

The art world sneers at the picturesque which has a lot to do with intellectual snobbery. Why there is this distain for the beauty and inspiration of nature I’m not sure, I really don’t understand. Of course we must challenge creativity but like I said the distain seems incredibly short sighted.

I don’t see dead pan as being a directly negative towards nature, I just see it as another style which is how some people approach nature with. Like Gursky and Burtynsky, but I love that work, absolutely fantastic.

It’s a more cool and clinic way of exploring something whereas with light I feel it’s more of an emotive language.

I enjoy many different styles of photography, dead pan is just another preference. Essentially what I think is, that it is important to be true to yourself and indeed your own styl

What advice would you give to students such as myself starting to find their way in the photography industry?

It’s about working hard and I expect you’ve heard a lot of that. It’s difficult to make a living as a photographer but then it’;s never been easy to make a living as a photographer but people still do it.

There is work out there but like I said you have to be prepared to work hard and always develop your photography, don’t get good at something and become complacent. This also means developing the business side of it as I’d say 90% of it is based on human relationships, your client, customers, models and so on.

You have to been incredibly adaptable, very diplomatic, sometimes tough but fair and sensitive to the people you work with. This is part of your role as an artist; to exercise emotional intelligence.

Be prepared to go out, be pro-active, smile a lot and do the things you need to to do get work.

Thank you very much for your time, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

All images ©Joe Cornish 2013. Visit the online gallery.

Pressure Cooking.

I heard the term ‘Quarter-life Crisis’ which I will refer to as ‘QLC’ a few years ago, just in passing conversation as an amusing anecdote. It meant nothing to me, I was just starting of University and with graduation four years away, the immediate future was a smooth, linear plan.

I’m now 26, I graduate next Summer and I recently became acquainted with the QLC. Life got scary again.

Now I’m no stranger to scary life occurrences. But the ones before I have had no control over. The decisions were not mine and I just had to pick up what pieces I could and start again. This time it’s different.

“Balls in your court now” taunts the future. “Hope you make the right choices. Y’know, not to pressure you, it’s just the rest of your life that’s all.”

Right, ok. The rest of my life. So what have we got to work with…I’m doing a degree which I love but I’m not sure where it’s going to take me yet, I’ve had various jobs before that-though none I’ve really loved, I’ve got lots of big dreams but I’m not quite sure where to start.

And then the future is back like Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge. “Yes, come on!”

Ok, I’m thinking. Just give me a minute…

Hey is that tumbleweed blowing past?

“I’m going to have to hurry you!”

I DON’T KNOW! PANIC FACE!

If this sounds familiar (you don’t have to do the face) then lets just take some deep breaths for a moment…

Ok? Right lets continue.

There are many statistics that support the notion that QLC does exist. If you’re prone to dramatic tendencies like myself it can often be written off as some random existential crisis. But with more and more pressure placed on younger and younger shoulders, with expectations ever-increasing and with societies strange compulsion to compare and measure ourselves against each others achievements, is it any wonder Twentysomethings are cracking under the strain?

“41% of 20-29-year-olds say they feel significantly pressured or  “under almost more stress than they can bear.”Amanda Robbins.Conquering Your Quarter-life Crisis: Advice From Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived. 

That’s a huge percentage. And it rises in regards to individuals suffering anxiety because they simply feel they ‘aren’t doing enough with their lives’.

I better state here that I’m not going to rattle out anymore statistics, complain about the intense competition in the job market, point the finger of blame at anyone specific, I’m not even going to offer you a fixed solution.

Because I’m sorry, there isn’t one.

Don’t do the face. It’ll be ok.

Transitional periods of life are always going to be tough. A lot of us fear the new and unknown, we want to get it right first time, no one likes tripping up along the way. But you will and the only way to make peace with your QLC is to take on a bit more acceptance. Maybe even embrace it?

I’d say 80% of the articles I’ve read on QLC have been very negative. Whereas instead of wallowing you could use it to motivate you. Be proactive; make a list of what you want to accomplish, sit and work out your finances, prioritize what you’d like to achieve, research areas of interest, speak to other people and network. It wont necessarily make everything suddenly fall into place, you will no doubt have to make sacrifices. But if it’s worth it and you are willing to work hard and never give up no matter how many times you hear “We’ve decided to go in another direction” or “You’re a bit too over-qualified for this particular position” you WILL get there.

The most important thing is that you always believe it.

And if you are struggling with a QLC and maybe even don’t have a clue what you want to do; be patient and never stop looking and learning from everything around you because inspiration can come from anywhere.

You are unique; everyone has their own purpose and reason for being here. It’s just some of us have negativity blinkers on or have got our head stuck in the sand. Don’t use your QLC as an excuse to mope and become hardened to the world. Those things you feel you will never achieve, they aren’t make-believe, they’re out there! And don’t let that picture in your head of what you feel your future should look like rule your decisions; nothing is fixed.

If you need some perspective, think of what you wanted to be when you were little. I’m sure your picture is significantly different. I wanted to be in Animals of Farthing Wood. Advancements in science have not been progressive enough to allow me to change species and I am yet to make it to the elusive White Deer Park. You never know though eh.

To finish here’s 5 little helpers for when future is snapping at your heels and you have no answers…

  • Lean on those close to you. It may be family or friends, but look to someone with unconditional love for support. Trust their honesty and in turn be honest with them.
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes. Accept that you will make them, if you didn’t you would stand still forever and learn nothing. And when you do make them, take responsibility for them but remember to be kind to yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.
  • The things that try to break you sometimes open other doors. Life will at some point will inevitably throw something at you that will turn everything you knew upside down. Take the time you need to heal your wounds or heal your heart but don’t be defeated.
  • Understand your strengths and build on what you love. Don’t focus on what you feel you can’t do this benefits no one! Successful foundations are only ever built on positivity.
  • Laugh. It seems simple but it’s probably one of the most important. The first time you laugh after a long period of sadness can feel like a new beginning. When you learn to laugh at yourself you’ll find things a lot less stressful.

We can’t predict the future, we can’t even predict tomorrow, but don’t let yourself live in fear of that, use it to drive yourself.

Remember you don’t have eternity to be you and whether you realise it or not being the only ‘you’ in the world is pretty awesome,so make the most of it!

Third time lucky…..

So, as you can see I’ve had a slight re-design.

After leaving blogger and joining wordpress I still wasn’t connecting with the blogging ways within the restrictions of how my college would be assessing the site and it’s content (I was required to create and manage a blog related to my photographic practise as part of a work based learning module on my degree.)

I had once again considered that perhaps blogging just ‘wasn’t for me’; my commitment had lapsed and I found myself constructing forced pieces with no heart and soul ready to churn out to fill the ever widening void since my last post.

In response to my heavy sighs as my tutor mentioned to keep up with our blogs over summer he said “But I thought you love writing?”

True.

“Blogs are a great way to showcase your writing skills and personality and you get to write about what you want.”

Again, true.

So instead of wading through ideas of what I thought I should post in terms of ticking off boxes on an assignment brief and only posting sporadically, I’m going to stick at writing about what I like; what captivates and inspires me whether that be an wonderful piece of art or something as mundane as a cup of coffee (lucky you).

So after a couple of stalled attempts, I’m ready to go again.

They do say third time lucky…..

And for today a little bit of inspiration from the Lomography site: A fab mix of photography and poetry. You could make some great wall art for your home or a present for someone of their favourite poem or song lyrics 🙂

First Love

Now if this were about men you would be embarking on a glorious post about David Bowie in the Labyrinth but luckily or unluckily for you; depending on which way you see it, this is in fact about photography.

Oh go then, before I get serious

Anyway…….

A couple of years back at the start of my course we were given an assignment entitled ‘Transformation’. It was a free brief for which we could create our own project proposals around that particular word.

I chose to document my journey to and from college and the contrasting environments I experience on a daily basis; starting at my hometown in the countryside and the end point being the city bus station. The series became almost dreamlike, capturing lost moments of clarity as it reflected my half awake sleepy 7am bus journey transition from near silent peace to busy chaos.

The two images from the work I was most unsure about during the process have become some of my favourite images as they express a subconcious awareness of my own style years before it became truly apparent to me.

At the beginning of my course I often struggled with the amount of artist research we had to cover, relevant to our own images. Its something I now love but at first it was daunting to know where to even start.

When I showed my tutor some of my images from the work in progress (the latter one especially) he directed me to the work of photographer Uta Barth and as cheesy as it sounds I think that’s when photography first really spoke to me.

I fell in love with her imagery and even now on every new assignment I am constantly drawn back to her work. I have become fascinated by the concept of removing the subject or any one that would appear directly obvious at first glance; the idea of suggestion rather than statement. It is turning the tables almost so the viewers themselves become the subject as they can then project their own interpretations of the work and in doing so I almost feel it creates a better connection between the artist and the viewer.

For Barth it is not just about, if at all what is seen in the photograph but the very act of seeing. I have been unable to locate the article my original scrawled notes came from but a description of her work was about ‘how our eyes adjust to different elements within the frame and how our brain reads images that are perhaps different or dis-jointed compared to a ‘traditional’ composition’.

“We all expect photographs to be a picture of something. We assume that the photographer observed a place, a person, an event in the world, and wants to record it, point at it…The problem with my work is that these images are really not of anything in that sense, they register only that which is incidental and peripheral to the implied it.”

   -Uta Barth

See more of her work at the TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY

For me her work is beautiful and haunting, it stirs my memories and each picture conjures something for me on a personal level.

They do say you never forget your first love, whether that was Bowie as a Goblin King or a photograph that introduces you to a new way of seeing and perhaps reminds you of some fleeting memory thought to be forgotten or lost.

Fire at the office

So, what have I learnt in the two weeks I haven’t posted?

Do NOT boast about ‘never getting ill’ and being ‘super-healthy’ so you aren’t plagued with coughs and colds that all these other people seem to be constantly carrying. Why? Because inevitably you will end up getting everything at once and feel like a shrivelled grape for quite some time.

Lesson learnt.

Anyway in my ‘time off’ lets call it, I had time to ponder my next college assignment. It will be the last on my foundation degree course before I can hopefully *crosses fingers* continue on to the BA top year. So essentially this is THE project, the one I’ve been waiting for. No specific criteria or client briefs to fulfill……..freedom.

That can either be incredibly liberating or just plain terrifying. I have actually decided to go another way with my project and keep this particular idea as a sideline piece but I wanted to share the work that inspired me.

Henrik Sorensen’s work was something I came across while on my work placement doing a picture researching assignment for an article on Copenhagen. It was this particular picture from his conceptual series that caught my attention and before I knew anything about him or his work it sparked my imagination.

I’ve always been interested in the idea of the interaction of space and memory and my personal interpretation of this series was these familiar spaces being invaded by elements that cannot be controlled. I see that as a metaphor for the chaos our daily lives can bring (such as stress, bereavement, addiction) and how they can take over ‘normal’ life which here is represented by the everyday surroundings of the home and office. The whole series actually has a different tone when viewed as a body of work but it was particular images that I felt drawn to.

I was going to recreate my own spaces in miniature with dolls furniture and constructed sets and produce a similar style of images which would represent my own personal struggles I have overcome but as I said I have decided to pursue another idea which I will share soon.

In the mean time go check out his work on his website

All images ©Henrik Sorensen

It’s good to be back blogging 🙂