Tuesday, 29 September 2009

"Silence is the most powerful scream"

Photograph taken looking up from 'Imagine' strawberry fields, New York.

One of the photographs I took for "go to where the silence is and say something"

I have been looking through photographs that I have taken in the past that have made me feel silent or represent being silent in my opinion.


Today we were given our new project at uni. The subject silence. 
To get us going on the project each tutor gave us a little talk on their ideas of the concept silence and showed images and thoughts that my get our creative juices flowing. The lecture was so so helpful as it gave us a clear idea of what they wanted. Normally at the beginning of a project I feel totally lost and don't know where to start but I feel I have a starting point to brainstorm and a few images that can start me off. I feel reassured that I can work in my own way and interpret the word silence in my own way.

Liz showed a number of images and I particularly liked the images by photographer Rodney Smith. Its good to learn about new and exciting designers artists and photographers who can inspire me in my final year. 

I will be posting some Photographs that I have taken soon, that I think will start me on my project.

Rodney Smith

Cadillac Ranch, Route 66, USA.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Julie Arkell.

Work by Julie Arkell found in a leaflet for future exhibitions on at the Rochdale heritage centre, cant wait to see that one.


The exhibition 'shop', was being held at the Rochdale heritage centre and was a 'memorial' to the shop windows of the stores in Rochdale. It was a really good exhibition as it had written information about each type of store and had windows set up with the type of merchandise that they would typically sell. I found that it could be quite useful for my dissertation.  If only for the old photographs of shop fronts :)


Cute shoes in the heritage centre museum

Really interesting old style graphics

Scary 'Elephant boy' by Laura Ford 1998

Beautiful stained glass dome in the heritage centre gallery

Today we traveled to Rochdale. The greyest place I have ever visited but... with a really nice heritage centre! We had originally gone to visit the 'shop' exhibition but found other interesting bits and pieces on the way! I really liked the heritage centres museum as it had lots of really old objects. And I love looking at old antiques. I particularly liked the old style graphics on the children's toys, sweets and food wrappers. It was a really interesting museum and I found lots of things to take photographs of which I can hopefully use in my collage work.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I love Cath Kidston!

While visiting Liverpool recently I stumbled across the Cath Kidston shop. Cath Kidston is my favourite brand in the world and I love everything about it. The shop was just as I had expected... beautiful. Its visual merchandising and window displays goes against everything most high end department stores go by, the window and inside the shop was cluttered but it worked.  The brand image is considered and it just shows how important this is when thinking about visual merchandising.   

Dylan's Candy Bar.

I visited Dylan's Candy Bar in New York and I loved it. The visual merchandising in the store was amazing, along with the mint choc chip ice cream! I also liked the logo which I thought was really simple and striking. It definatly shows that simple always works.

Best of Manchester awards '09.

In a nutshell, The Best of Manchester Awards celebrate innovation in art, music and fashion. Organised by Urbis and judged by a panel of industry experts, these annual awards spotlight the boundary-breaking, genre defying kind of work for which Manchester has long been renowned. 
I was so impressed with the best of manchester awards 2009 exhibition at the Urbis. I really liked the illustration work, it was so decorative and really inspiring. It definatly topped the work brought from New York in the state of the art exhibition, Who'da thought it! I also liked the advertising pieces for the awards with the overlapping text, and quotes from famous designers. The idea was simple and concise, it was really striking and the sort of work that stands out to me. 

State of the art NY.

"A chance to see the very latest contemporary art coming out of one of the world’s most exciting cities – New York – the capital of the contemporary art scene and hot-bed of cultural creativity."  

I am slightly worried if this is best of the latest contemporary art. The exhibition was questionable and I found it hard to find anything that I could take away with me. There was nothing in this exhibition that could help me in my third year, or at all. o well you win some you lose some...  

Cecil Beaton.

Marilyn Monroe.

"This major restrospective exhibition brings together captivating images from Cecil Beaton, one of the most celebrated photographers of the twentieth century.  Renowned for his images of elegance, glamour and style, Beaton's work has inspired many famous photographers including David Bailey and Mario Testino. The exhibition covers five decades of Beaton's career capturing 50 years of fashion, art and celebrity. Highlights include portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.The exhibition reflects the astonishing talents of the photographer who was also a writer, artist, designer, actor, caricaturist, illustrator and diarist. There are four sections in the exhibition covering Beaton's career and capturing 50 years of fashion, art and celebrity."

I visited the Cecil Beaton exhibition at the Walker gallery, Liverpool. Being interested in fashion photography, when an opportunity to see the works of the famous fashion photographer, I jumped at the chance. The exhibition wasn't quite as good as I thought it may have been. The work shown was good but the majority was portraits. Before visiting the exhibition I didn't realise how many famous people Beaton had photographed and it was exciting to see all of the portraits and the relationship he had had with each person. I particuary liked the image of Marilyn Monroe and of course the most famous Audrey Hepburn. I would liked to have seen more images related to fashion although it was very interesting to see the work he had produced. Although  the exhibition was a little bit of a disappointment I am really glad I had the oppurtunity to see images that I hadnt previously been aware of. It was a real honour to see his work for myself.

Initial visual merchandising research.

All saints window display.

I have decided to write my dissertation on how important visual merchandising is within the retail industry. It really interested my while I was in new york and I thought it could be a really interesting and fun subject to research. I would like to approach the subject with three aspects in mind, Art, Design and business. Whilst it is important to concentrate mainly on the design and art direction of the window and in-store displays, it also needs to be connected to the primary purpose which is selling the product. I have been taking photographs of interesting window displays that I see while walking down the high street and reading books and articles on the subject. Something that has got me quite interested is the sociology behind the relationship between the consumer, marketing and symbolic consumption which explains the window displays role to entice consumers in and buy into a lifestyle. It did remind me of the film 'confessions of a shopaholic'. Maybe I could touch on this subject of 'shopaholicism'. 

Wet and Windy wales!

The bare necessities!

I do not have much look with holidays involving camping and our british summer! This year we ventured to south wales in a small tent. It rained everyday and all I can say is thank goodness for welly bobs which I don't think have ever seen so much mud. Even through the rain there was still plenty of photographic opportunity, not all bad! 

MMU Degree show 2009.

Beverley Griffiths

Lucy Meacham

This years MMU design and art direction exhibition really disappointed me, it wasn't the work that was being shown which I actually really liked but the way everything was presented. The exhibition in itself was disjointed and I felt my self walking backwards and forwards trying to get myself to the next part of the exhibit. The show felt like it had been thrown together last minute and the overall presentation didn't feel professional at all. I hope that this year we will be able to produce a better show, that really showcases our work better and sets us in good stead for the design industry. 
Someones work who I particularly liked and stood out to me was the work of Lucy Meacham. A lot of her work has similarities to mine, her work looks effortless, yet still manages to stick to a continual high standard something I would like to mirror in my final year. 
Another group of work was that of Beverley Griffiths, who had hand drawn very decorative text in a piece of worked titled 'make and mend'. It showed patience and discipline, and overall was really successful. 


Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The finest cupcake! 
(Magnolia Bakery = Heaven)

For my 21st birthday I got the best present, a trip to the greatest city in the world, New York! I was in New York for about four days and found that it really is the city that never sleeps, unfortunately I had too, with jet lag and all! The trip was a real learning curve and I saw some of the best views, images and architecture I have ever seen in my life, not too mention the department stores and cupcakes! By far my favourite part was central park, closely followed by the rockafella centre. The views were amazing. Something that really inspired me for this years work, particularly my dissertation, was the window displays I saw in New York. They really are works of art. You can tell a lot of time, money and effort has been put into making the displays and a walk down 5th avenue is like a walk through an art exhibition, unfortunately my camera failed me on most of my attempts to photograph these mini works of art I still have the memory. It has definatly made me want to look further into visual merchandising. Before I visited New York I was obsessed with the photography I had seen on New York, But while I was there I could see where the inspiration came from, with every step I took there was a photographic opportunity and in around the four days I was there I took about 2000 photographs! This trip has encouraged me to  look at things more, and too look further at the things I see around me. It has opened my eyes to the different areas that graphic design and the art industry applies itself. It has made me want to see more places in the world, and I hope to do this, this year. I can wait :) 

It is the first week back at Uni this week and I am officially scared stiff. I have never felt so out of my depth as I do right this minute (and I hope im not the only one!?), it doesn't seem to matter how much I try to read the books and magazines and go to the exhibitions, I still cant get my creativity back. Hopefully though I can gain some confidence over the next few weeks by getting to grips with the blog, my dissertation and finally start my Kino4 brief. Over the holidays I have visited a number of exhibitions. Visited my new favourite place in the whole world, New York and taken too many photographs to count, here goes the hardest job off all overcoming 'designers block'. I need some luck :)