Local Natives.

Having posted my video on vimeo in order to use it for said blogging purposes I was thrilled to recieve a lovely email this morning from Danny Willis of men's outfitters 'Native Craftworks':

Hi Brad,

Hope you're well?

My name is Danny and I work for Native Craftworks.

Would just like to let you know how great we think your film is.  I've watched it a few times now.  

We made a trip up to Yorkshire late last year.....we stayed near Ingleborough.  The trip inspired our 'Dalesman' shoe.  Your film really reminds me of the visit....I think it captures the 'feel' of the countryside really well.

Thanks again



It's a Set Up!

 So the final week is upon us which means that this week will mostly be spent preparing my exhibition space, which after thankfully very little negotiation is the separate room  at the back of the studios - G47. 
Whilst making the film and through watching the footage back, I have come to the conclusion in my head that it would suit it best to be shown in a darkened confined area which whilst being the opposites of the elements depicted in the film, would I feel work the best for showing it. With the pitch black atmosphere and the confined space adding to the 'all consuming' nature I have wanted the film to have from the start. With my trusty helper Chris Winter helping, we painted the projection wall a crisp white and began draping fabric around the room and decreasing the spaces original size both for the exhibitions purposes and to give a space for storage, which has enabled the room to separate itself from the rest of the exhibition which has recently taken on quite an open, airy feel, something my piece wouldn't, i feel, suit. Especially as my piece relies upon a soundtrack to surround the viewer, which would cause a lot of problems in terms of interfering with the intentions of other exhibitors and their work. Whilst I will still have to be wary of my sound leaking out and affecting others work, I am in a much more comfortable position from my own domain at the back of the studios.
Draping fabric across the doorway further increases the closed off nature of my exhibition space. This is where I  am grateful for having sound in my piece as without it my piece may be ignored due to no visible signs of entrance. The sound now acting as a point of intrigue for the audience to explore.

East Street Arts - Patrick Studios.

Today was the day, I had my first taste of being a resident artist. Arriving at Patrick Studios at 10.30 I was shown to the space where I was left to my own devices, really relaxing feel and one in which I was at liberty to try as many things as I liked. It was areally refreshing experience.

First thoughts as how great it was to have such a large space all to myself, selfish I know but having all this space really allowed me to play about and experiment with
No way feasible in a working studio like that on the course, but I feel that I have organized this opportunity at the right moment- just as the studios are being adapted for the degree show, so I can get used to having so much space, even though the light and scale will be completely different.

The Patrick Studios is well served by natural light courtesy of the huge loft windows, which made the room a little brighter than I wanted, but with a few adjustments I managed to get the lighting to a suitable level to project whilst still taking in the nice open feel of the space. something I was keen to investigate was how this openness would have an effect on the film itself. With my intentions for the degree show to project inside the relatively modest space of G47 to create and ‘all-consuming’ effect by darkening the space and making it slightly claustrophobic to draw focus on the piece, how would the same work then look in a bright, open, modern gallery setting?

I was pleased with how the day went, and the was a tremendous satisfaction of being a practitioner in the public realm and having the freedom to create and display what is essentially my response to my own brief.

Whilst this was a great opportunity for me to independently discover ways of showing my work I was also very aware that come degree show time I won't have such a liberty of selfishness and will have to consider how my work will work with pieces in a conversational sense within the context of the show.

Zarina Bhimji.

As my work has moved into slightly different teritorry it is ineteresting to note how my influences have varied as well. Zarina Bhimji is an artist I first came across in 2007 when I went to the Turner Prize at Liverpool's Tate. Paula recently mentioned that she thought of Bhimji's work, in particular the video work that was on display at the Tate, when watching my film.
Zarina Bhimji is a Ugandan born artist who has travelled extensively throughout India, Zanzibar and East Africa, immersing herself in their discrete yet intersecting histories.
Whilst obviously taken conceptually relating to the past attrocities of the places she visits, her imagery depicts the human traces of landscape and architecture abandoned by their previous occupiers
Walls are a recurring motif in Bhimji's work, attracting her through their absorption of history as they become a record of those who built, lived within and ultimately abandoned them. Something she has relied upon again when displaying her film piece, in a dark walled area with the distressing soundtrack transmitted at a high volume that haunts the viewer as much as the imagery.
The washed-out tone of the hair-like material, the light, and the interior of the factory create a saturated monochrome that, combined with the film’s soundtrack, becomes immersive. Bhimji originally recorded the piece on 35mm film and then transferred to high-definition video, ensuring every nuance of the building is captured in a distinct tone, something I relied on post-produciton techniques to achieve.
I was glad Paula brought Bhimji up as I hadn't noticed the significant link between my work, something which will be even closely linked when I travel to Uganda this summer as part of a charity placement.


In preparation for my open studio day at East Street Arts and subsequently the degree show, I have  created a handout leaflet detailing 'Transience' and it's creation.

Roger Fenton.

I recently heard a radio interview on Radio4 with Simon Grant of the TATE who was talking about the photography of Roger Fenton, who with his studies of the Crimean war gained much noteriety for his studies of the terrible beauty of war.
Roger Fenton arrived in Balaklava harbour on a cool spring day on 8 March 1855. Sent out by the commercial firm of Thomas Agnews & Co to take photographs of the Crimean War, he brought with him a large white horse-drawn van, which had been converted from a wine merchant's vehicle into a mobile darkroom. It had everything he needed - five large cameras, 700 glass plates stacked in wooden boxes, several chests of chemicals, printing frames, as well as his personal supply of preserved meats, wine, beer, biscuits and horse tackle.
A trained painter and the wealthy son of a Lancashire MP, Fenton had turned his interests to the relatively new technology of photography and learned quickly. He exhibited his first photographs in 1852, co-founded the Photographic Society a year later and by the time he arrived in the Crimea had already received much valuable patronage from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Roger Fenton, Fenton's Photographic Van with assistant Marcus Sparling, 1855
It is a picture of a contaminated landscape - a more reflective alternative amid the clamour of imagery that we are now fed by television news.

Into the Valleys.

A great documentary about the painters Augustus John and James Dickson Innes who, in 1911, left London for the wild Arenig Valley in North Wales was shown on BBC Four last night.
What surprised me about the painters was just how little they knew of their landscape before they ventured many miles to depict it. Something I would find a little odd. Whilst I didn't know the precise location of my shoot, I had a good idea of the surrounding area and wanted to leave a lot of the spontaneity that comes with exploring a new landscape for the day of filming, so as to let the enthusiasm spill into the work.

I guess this marks one of the appeals to me about the natural landscapes relation to art, that through many centuries and countless developments in both media and exhibition, there will always be a fascination with the world in which we live in and people will always strive to depict it and the similarities through each media's depiction are always so apparent that it becomes less about how they are depicted and the media used but more about 'Land Art' as a medium itself.

The FINAL Crit!

Whilst reading the book an obvious question kept popping up - 'can video work that was made within the environment and displayed elsewhere, be classed as land art?'
This is an essential factor of my own work, and rather than try to answer it I deem it as a rhetorical way of spurring my work on.

East Street Arts Open Studio | 20 May 2011

East Street Arts
A busy week is in store this week, with the final crit taking place tomorrow and my own residency/open studio taking place at East Street arts at the end of the week.

Giving Up Their Day Job.


Cardboard Imaginings of Youth & Ignorance.

It's odd to think that whilst my FMP has seen me focus on capturing outdoor footage, something one usually associates with long sojourns in the specified environment waiting for a specific shot, this shoot in the sutdio was the most frustrating and longest of the two as it was stuck in one location waiting for the right light in which the letters would be at their most effective.


Today was the second of our exhibition exercises in preparation for our final crit and subsequent degree show.
Taking on board previous criticisms those involved in todays exhibition made an effort to rectify the problems that occurred in the previous exercise, so much thought and consideration went into the placement of pieces especially in regards to where sound pieces where placed, in this case the sound pieces where mine and Beth's, but due to Beth's piece requiring headphones to listen to there was no obvious clash and each element had it's own suitable place within what is quite a small display area.