Posted in The Conclusion

Evaluation

I feel this project has been a successful kick start project to elevate my third year, pushing me to meet deadlines quickly and efficiently, helping me to realise sometimes quality is better than quantity. I hope to carry this attitude through the rest of the year.

I found it quite difficult trying to source my own theme and idea so at times felt like the link between my idea and my chosen call out was slightly tenuous, although I feel this actually worked out well in the end as it made me think more about the concept of my work and how I could make them tie together.

For my research I felt it would be better for me to look at the factual information about cerebal palsy to give myself some perspective of the disability. It also helped me when making imagery to notice the symptoms and actions of my model that were due to her condition which I could make evident in my images. I feel it may have been useful to have researched some visual inspiration had I been given longer to complete the task to improve my aesthetic.

It was interesting to study using light in a way that would change the atmosphere of an image which is something I hope to build on and develop more professionally before the end of the year to give my imagery not only a more creative aesthetic but a more contextualised meaning also.

I would like to think that I have achieved what I wanted to do – combine my documentary style approach with the idea of identity, giving my model a voice to stand out and to display her in a positive way that shows her transition into a courageous young woman, who is determined to be like “normal” people despite her disability.

Had I had more time, I would definitely have spent more imagery time with my model, developing my visual output and representing the model’s story more effectively. I would also use primary research to inject into my project for a more honest and personal representation.

This has definitely opened my eyes to more specific areas of investigation such as disabilities which was never something I had thought to do before. I still need to grow in confidence but feel this is a step in the right direction to do so. It has made me realise areas for improvement which will be key goals for me during my final year, such as more focused research. I feel it has also strengthened my motivation towards photography which will make me more willing to participate in working and improving my time management.

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Posted in The Conclusion

Final Image

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I chose this image as I felt it displayed the idea I was intending most successfully. Each part of the image plays part in telling the story of my character without portraying the character herself.

The “transition” in the image is the change from stability to disability – the use of my model’s legs have progressively deteriorated to the point where support is necessary for her, demonstrated by the main subject in the image – the leg braces.

I wanted these to be the main focus of the image to show their independence, similar to the independence that my model has gained by transitioning from child to adult, but also the dependence that the disability has forced her to need.

I made a conscious decision to leave the laces untied to signify the idea of being unstable. One would assume that not tying your shoe laces would lead to falling over, something that my model does often due to her disability.

I chose to photograph the shoes on my models bed to show where her comforts are and where she feels most safe. The bed covers have a delicate design which I felt suited the idea of my model being a delicate individual due to cerable palsy.

I tried to keep the colours bright to give the image hope and signify something that never stops someone from achieving things – there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted in The Conclusion

Contact Sheets and Idea

ContactSheet-001ContactSheet-002My idea was to capture my models movements during the day to show the difficulty it is for her to get around. I wanted to take photos of her but also of objects to try and create more metaphorical imagery.

My main intention was to try and capture how the model has become more dependent on the support of her stick and leg braces through the transition of age, but never lets this over take her life and embraces it as a part of her.

I wanted the audience to view my model as a human being and not just as someone with a disability. My intention was to present the model just like any other person to prove that her disability does not define her.

The images of the model by the water are to represent her strength and bravery, even when battling such an aggressive condition. The images display how she interacts with environments around her. I chose water as this is one of the riskier ones due to limitations of steady movement on wet surfaces, showing her determination to fight her condition.

Imagery containing the leg braces and walking stick were not intended to objectify the condition or the model, but to signify the dependence that the model now has on these objects due to her condition deteriorating with age.

I tried a new technique using light and shadow to represent the hope within the imagery even through the good and bad days.

Posted in Uncategorized

Research

Cerebral palsy is the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination, caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy

The symptoms of cerebral palsy aren’t usually obvious just after a baby is born. They normally become noticeable during the first two or three years of a child’s life.

Symptoms can include:

  • delays in reaching development milestones – for example, not sitting by eight months or not walking by 18 months
  • seeming too stiff or too floppy
  • weak arms or legs
  • fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements
  • random, uncontrolled movements
  • walking on tip-toes
  • a range of other problems – such as swallowing difficulties, speaking problems, vision problems and learning disabilities

The severity of symptoms can vary significantly. Some people only have minor problems, while others may be severely disabled.

Causes of cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy can occur if a baby’s brain doesn’t develop normally while in the womb, or is damaged during or soon after birth.

Causes of cerebral palsy include:

  • bleeding in the baby’s brain or reduced blood and oxygen supply to their brain
  • an infection caught by the mother during pregnancy
  • the brain temporarily not getting enough oxygen (asphyxiation) during a difficult birth
  • meningitis
  • a serious head injury

But in many cases, the exact cause isn’t clear.

Treatments for cerebral palsy

There’s currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatments are available to help people with the condition have a normal and independent a life as possible.

Treatments include:

  • physiotherapy – techniques such as exercise and stretching to help maintain physical ability and hopefully improve movement problems
  • speech therapy to help with speech and communication, and swallowing difficulties
  • occupational therapy – where a therapist identifies problems that you or your child have carrying out everyday tasks, and suggests ways to make these easier
  • medication for muscle stiffness and other difficulties
  • in some cases, surgery to treat movement or growth problems

Outlook for cerebral palsy

  • life expectancy is usually unaffected, but can be reduced in severe cases
  • the condition may limit your child’s activities and independence, although many people go on to have full, independent lives
  • many children go to a mainstream school, but some may have special educational needs and benefit from attending a special school
  • the original problem with the brain doesn’t get worse over time, but the condition can put a lot of strain on the body and cause problems such as painful joints in later life
  • the daily challenges of living with cerebral palsy can be difficult to cope with, which can lead to problems such as depression in some people

There are four main types of cerebral palsy:

  • spastic cerebral palsy – the muscles are stiff and tight (especially when trying to move them quickly), making it difficult to move and reducing the range of movement that’s possible
  • dyskinetic cerebral palsy – the muscles switch between stiffness and floppiness, causing random, uncontrolled body movements or spasms
  • ataxic cerebral palsy – when a person has balance and co-ordination problems, resulting in shaky or clumsy movements and sometimes tremors
  • mixed cerebral palsy – when a person has symptoms of more than one of the types mentioned above
Posted in The Conclusion

Transition

Untitled

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When browsing for call outs, I found the theme “TRANSITION”, which grabbed my attention. I felt that this was quite an open ended theme, and would allow me to bring in my direction of documentary and identities together.

After recently moving into a shared house, I have begun to live with a young woman who suffers with cerable palsy. Watching her battle every day with a disability that affects her movement with such bravery and determination really inspired me to study her for this mini project.

I feel this relates to the theme of transition based on the idea of changing from one state/condition to another. For my housemate it has been changing from stable to disabled, from child to adult, from independent to dependant, and this is what I want to capture in this project.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Funding Proposal

Dannielle Hand, BA (HONS) Student

GOALS AND CONTEXT

As a victim of discrimination through the majority of my life, I have always been interested in documenting the identities of those individuals who are not recognised in a positive light by society to help bring them forward to the spotlight. One of my biggest passions is helping those who suffer with mental health problems find comfort and support through the visuals I create, giving them the confidence to strategically confront the issues they have. ‘Mental Health’ carries a stigma that further isolates it’s sufferers in a way that can often be discriminating and most offensive. I want to build relationships with the victims to help them tell their stories to the world, and present an honest representation of a life with mental health. I want to be able to travel to an area in the UK where mental health issues are at an average high, to connect with a large community of sufferers and show a diverse amount of people. My goal is to help the victims in their time of need to find a voice in them, to find something that gives them back their dignity and reminds them they are not alone. I am determined to destroy the stigma and educate others about the realities of mental health and the repercussions of discriminating sufferers, in an attempt to build stronger support for victims.

OUTCOME OF THE PROJECT

I want me outcome to be made up of reflective imagery, showing the lives of individuals with mental health to portray to my audience the realities of this life. I would like to use my imagery in a physical outcome in the form of photobooks, telling stories of each individual separately, to form a collection like the community. I would also like to provide a public exhibition, allowing people to come and really indulge with the stories.

PROJECT TIME FRAME

Building relationships and trust with an individual can take long periods of time, so realistically I’m looking a six month time frame for the project starting from September 2017. This time will allow me to build said relationships with the individuals and document their lifestyles, habits, and coping mechanisms in an in depth and honest way, building a cohesive narrative for the audience.

BUDGET NARRATIVE

For this project I’m requesting a fund of £800.  The cost of my travel and accommodation is being funded by myself and another organisation. The £800 requested is to cover the cost of the production of the final outcomes – the book and the exhibition. The money would cover the cost of publishing the books for public use; the venue and equipment for the exhibition, such as boards and wall fixtures; and the printing/framing of imagery for the exhibition. It would also cover any unexpected and additional costs such as damage. These are essential aspects of the project as they help with the engagement and involvement of the audience which is important to achieve my goals. Any money not used will be donated to a mental health charity to express my support and thank them for their participation within the project, ultimately encouraging others to do the same.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • A Level FMP Exhibition – Bridgwater College, June 2015
  • Award for Creative Thinking – 2015
  • ‘Our Essenscene’ Exhibition – St Saviours, May 2016
  • Collaborative Exhibiton/Symposium with India – PLYMERSION – Plymouth College of Art, 19thMay 2017
  • ‘Shifting Perspectives’ Book Fair – FICTIVE – Plymouth College of Art, 16thMay 2017

CONCLUSION

Thank you for your time and efforts in reading my proposal. I can’t express enough how passionate I am about the subject at hand and the eagerness to help raise awareness for such important issues within our society that are so easily ignored. This is a fantastic opportunity for not only myself as a photographer, but the victims being investigated and the audience eager to learn.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Brief Evaluation

I have felt this project to be really key in thinking of ways to represent myself to my audience. It’s really made me consider my image, my audience and the overall professionalism of becoming a potential practitioner within photography.

Completing tasks like this now at an early stage of a career creates a platform of opportunity after graduation, showing I have already considered my future career prospects and the image of myself as a photographer, giving me perhaps more credit than potential competition in the future.

I believe that this project has taught me to be more critical when planning, analysing and making decisions, creating more developed outcomes of writing and action, ultimately making my decisions more sophisticated.

I have found the funding and budget elements quite a challenge in this module but feel this is a really great way to practice, giving me existing experience for potential opportunities in my future. This is something I hope to continue working on in order to better my feelings towards this aspect of a professional life.

The symposium event and penfriend task was a really experimental way of collaboration with people who are beyond the limits of the country we live. It has encouraged me to consider other ways of connecting with people internationally, sharing experiences and methods that can inspire me and other people in our work.

My confidence levels when approaching unknown areas have increased during the project, meaning when faced with these situations again I will feel more at ease with completing the tasks and conversations, which will make me feel more engaged with the situation.

The project has taught me that working with large groups of people does cause a few intense moments but teaches the maturity of dealing with these, acting professional and calm in situations that could become aggressive. I also feel I should have taken a bigger role in projecting my thoughts and perhaps leading – I’ve realised I have an obsession with organisation and the lack of it at times during the project made me quite agitated. Perhaps if I was to confront the role of being a leader would not only make me more confident but would allow me to expand my organisation skills.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Call for Proposals and My Proposal

As one of my responsibilities for the symposium event, I wrote a call for proposals for students to respond to when volunteering to speak within the event. I also responded to this myself as I wished to engage with the event as a speaker.

CALL FOR PROPOSAL

Symposium with India

19th May 2017, 9.00am – 1.00pm

 

Dear Cohort,

On the 19th May, we will be taking part in a collaborative symposium with India, based in the room on the fourth floor of the PCA building. We are hoping this to be a really essential experience for us and for the students in India, so are asking for potential speakers to put themselves forward to make the experience more engaging.

If you feel this might be the task for you, we are asking for a minimum of 300 words proposal, stating your clear intentions of what you would wish to say within the symposium and why you are a good candidate. It could be that you wish to talk about your own work, the intentions of your work, or that you wish to compare your own imagery to that of the work from India. The choice is yours. The proposal needs to be clear and concise.

The deadline for the proposal is the 26th April 2017, giving the symposium team time to filter through the applications and get a rough plan ready for the trial run of the symposium on the 3rd May 2017 at 1.30pm in room 2.21 which you would need to attend. To submit your application, please upload your written proposal into the proposal folder in the 205 google drive folder.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of the symposium team.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Sincerely

The Symposium Team

 

MY PROPOSAL

 

When first approached with the theme of ‘The City’, I felt very lost and at a loose end with the possibilities of what I could show the city of Plymouth as through photographs. When studying the city in great depth I thought, what would I want to show someone who doesn’t know Plymouth about Plymouth?

Being fairly new to Plymouth myself this seemed a daunting question, but I quickly found that, for me, there are two major themes consistently rolling through the city – water and the urban modernisation of the city itself. This then became the foundations of my photographs.

My photos look at two areas of Plymouth specifically following the two themes – the boating lifestyle of Plymouth and the street art dotted around the city. When coming down to the crunch I found it quite hard to decide just one of the themes so tried to make a connection between the two.

Theoretically, I thought that the two ideas show the contrast of the city – the natural beauty of the water and the man-made beauty of the street art, combining together to create what we know as the city. Visually, I made connections between my chosen images based solely on similar colours within the images to make strong partnerships between two very different elements of the city.
As part of the symposium this is the idea I hope to convey through my speech, explaining my thought process and how I made my journey from start to finish with the given theme. I want to express that this was just as much a learning curve for me as for anyone else who may not know Plymouth so well, helping me to see different ways that the city has evolved.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

Critical Review of an Artist

Who Is Marijke Groeneveld?

BJP, 2016. Marijke Groeneveld asks what makes beauty. The British Journal of Photography, [Online]. October 2016, Available at: http://www.bjp-online.com/2016/10/marijke-groeneveld-asks-what-makes-beauty/

The article Marijke Groeneveld asks what makes beauty, was featured in the British Journal of Photography in the October 2016 edition, written by BJP.  The article focuses on introducing the emerging photographer, identifying her visions and fascinations in her photography, her various ways of working, and introduces us as the viewer to two of her series’ of work.

The title of the article coincides well with the overall suggestion of the artist’s work – Groeneveld’s work is predominantly about identity and self-image and consistently questions the audience as to what beauty is; the same as the title of the article.

The opening two paragraphs of the article give us a small introduction to the artist, allowing us a brief background to build upon. For example, where she graduated from and her fascination with camera behavior of models and beauty. I feel the writer used a very considered amount of background information, which was enough for us to learn what we needed to know to understand the work of Groeneveld.

The main body of the article gave a deeper insight into Groeneveld’s methods and inspirations that go into her work. It provides us with information on her different ways of working such as collages and graphic design to emphasize ugliness and a character different from the “norm”.

The article claims that her main curiosity is the way people behave in front of the camera and uses photography to exploit their personal world and communicate their identities. She uses models that she can connect with and see herself in, and states that the model is always the most important part of the photographer’s image.

The main body of the article is the most successful part at allowing us to understand Groeneveld. The information is not based on biased opinion so seems more factual and considered. The detail of the information we are given allows us to connect with the photographer (assuming the photographer’s work was of interest to the reader).  As a photographer reading the article, it has allowed me to think of ways I could work, so has represented Groeneveld as a strong inspiration to my work.

As the article draws to an end the writer starts to show us two series’ of work – Wanted and Neverland. Wanted is a series of images in which Groeneveld explores models’ motivations and desires for wanting to model. They are revealing portraits of unknown people who pose for a reason; to share their stories and bodies. Neverland is her new series which challenges everything she is used to, with the absence of models and using her own memories to inspire production.

I feel there could have been a bit more emphasis put into this part as the imagery in the article was mainly from the Wanted series, but there was not much description to stand alongside the imagery. However, it could be argued that this was purposeful to interest the reader into delving deeper into this in their own time, using the imagery as a temptation to do so. The introduction of her new series Neverland allows us to see that Groeneveld is still working and is coming up with new innovative ideas that we can look forward to as an audience.

Overall, I feel the article is very insightful about the emerging photographer. It discusses her vision clearly to the audience which allows you to understand her motivations and outcomes. I enjoy the use of quotes from the photographer herself, allowing us to understand her as a person as well as her profession. as someone who has never seen the work of Groeneveld before, it was a great article as an introduction to her and her work, encouraging me to investigate her further. Allowing us to see two of her series of work allows us to engage with and feel more interested to study her work, however I feel this part of the article should have been delved into deeper for us to get a deeper feel for these works. Arguably, the writer may have slacked on this to make the audience want to study this work for themselves if the interest was there. I feel the heavy use of imagery within the article is extremely helpful in giving the photographer a memorable name. Ultimately I feel the article is very successful at telling us who Marijke Groeneveld is.

Posted in Professional Practice Year 2

My Printed Promotional Item

Using my research I designed my promotional item – my business cards. As shown by my research, I decided to simply use my logo as the front cover of my card. I felt that this was clear, simple yet effective and would capture the attention of the audience. I decided to make my writing within my logo raised to give my business card texture and depth, so not to be just a flat card. Humans are often inspired by their sense of touch which is another reason for this conscious decision. I also decided to make the logo itself have a glossy finish, making it stand out from the matte background, which I found aesthetically pleasing and believed would be something that would attract attention.

As a photographer I felt my card should be particularly visual so used symbolism on the back cover to show where places where I can be found and contacted. This also saved space on my business card which was important as some of my naming is quite long – something I should have reconsidered. I feel that maybe I used too much information on the back and should have stuck to maybe the key places of contact that would lead to other platforms, such as phone number, email and website.

I kept the overall colour simplistic and consistent to fit with my theme. I found that subconsciously my website was also quite monotone, so my business card reflects my over visual branding.

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