Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Sorry for not posting for a while! We have been quite busy with all the preparations as the exhibition is only 8 days away!! We have finally got hold of the keys so the venue is officially ours now. We have already put up the banner and some leaflets and posters in the window of Ultraviolet so passers by can't help but look in and read about our exhibition. As the exhibition is nearing so quickly we have also been trying hard to distribute all of the leaflets. I have left leaflets in Bateson Hall and at the desk in Anglesea where students can walk by and grab a leaflet. On Monday I will be distributing some leaflets in Dennis Sciama cafe as well. Everyone has been given the task to distribute leaflets so they will literally be appearing everywhere!

Since we've got the venue, a lot of things need to be done. We are looking into getting an electric heater so it will be a bit warmer inside and a kettle for the tea ladies. Both of these appliances will need to be PAT tested beforehand. We also need to complete the risk assessment and make signs such as "do not touch the photographs" and "floor slippery when wet". Along with that, we also need to contact either Joe (Ultraviolet owner) or the council about getting a fire extinguisher. 

Another recent update is that we have slightly changed the concept of the gallery. Instead of having a Costa in Waterstones feel we are just going to have tables in the venue but no chairs. It had been decided that having chairs scattered around the venue could potentially be a safety risk. We will have a few coffee tables where we will place our portfolios and two chairs for the tea ladies. We are still hoping to achieve a more intimate gallery space by having the portfolios there to be viewed while have a lovely cup of tea. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tea Ladies...

We have been in contact with the tea ladies again who are supplying cakes and tea for our exhibition. The original plan was that they were going to only supply us with their services for the first day of the exhibition, although they have just informed us that they will be able to help us every day! They will provide us with teas and cakes as well as organise everything from drinking water and plastic cups. The only thing we will need to get a hold of is a small portable fridge to keep the milk cooled. I did mention to the group that if no one has a portable fridge, we might be able to keep the milk outside as it will be close to freezing! 

We will also be getting tea and coffee from Tesco which we can use as a back-up, if anything runs out. They will also sell both the teas and the cakes at a discounted price, this money would go towards them for helping us out. They asked us whether we could give them an estimate of about how many people are going to come each day so they know how much to bring with them. Obviously this will be rather difficult, but if we speak to our friends and family to ask which day they are coming we might be able to get a better idea. Hannah has mentioned that we should give them a big bunch of flowers to thank them for helping us out for the 3 days and I think that'll be a lovely way to thank them. 

Isle of Wight...

Lucy lives on the Isle of Wight and has been busy trying to promote our event there. She has been in contact with quite a few different places such as schools and radio stations etc and most of them are very willing to promote our event. Lucy has informed us that she has been in contact with the IOW College and they have said that they will put up some of our posters on their noticeboards and that they will also forward the email Lucy has sent to all the art subject tutors. 
We will also be featured on the Isle of Wight arts website in the news and events section! 

Pub Quiz...

The pub quiz was a lot better than I expected it to be. I was worried that hardly anyone would show up and that the atmosphere would be a bit awkward, but it was the complete opposite! There were seven different teams of 3-5 people each and there was a very lively atmosphere. Even the bar staff was playing along! As you can tell from the photo below, all of the pub quiz teams had very mature names.

The pub quiz team had set up a projector which showed the questions and also read them themselves using a microphone. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and there was quite a bit of rivalry between the groups. First, second and third place all got prizes ranging from vouchers, a bottle of sparkling rose and a box of chocolate celebrations. There were also two breaks where people could get another drink, go outside for some fresh air or buy some cakes! The cakes we had left over from the bake sale were sold for a reduced price. 

I took part of the pub quiz as I hadn't seen any of the questions or answers. The quiz started off with general knowledge questions and we were rocking it. We knew the answer to every question so we thought we would easily win this quiz. Although as the quiz continued we had a lot more blank spaces.. In the end we became 5th - which isn't too bad! 

Together with the bake sale on the previous day, we made £112.19! That's a lot of money! That's more than we paid for the leaflets! As mentioned in a previous post, we will keep this money together and use it for anything that still needs to be paid for towards the exhibition and the left overs will be split between us all. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pub Quiz...

The pub quiz team has been busy trying to organise the quiz and everything to do with that. They had a meeting on the 21st of November to decide on the topics they wanted to use and the questions they wanted to ask. After discussing for a while they came up with 7 topics: general knowledge, movies, art, music, lateral thinking, what happens next and know your tea. They have made a time limit for all the questions so that people have enough time to answer the questions but not enough time to look up the answers on their smart phones. 

The owner of the Fawcett inn has also given them the opportunity to use a microphone and speakers. Tom has been in contact with our course leader, Daniel, and he has been able to get a projector from him. The questions are going to be put in a power point format with a small timer on the bottom of the page. Everyone will be able to see the questions but someone will also be reading out the questions. 

As for advertising, we have printed a large amount of leaflets which we distributed in Eldon and other University buildings. We have also given out leaflets at both bake sales. Tom has printed 11 A3 posters and 10 A4 posters which we have hung up in the University buildings but will also be hanging at the Fawcett inn. We have also talked to our lecturers about the pub quiz and most of them seemed very interested in coming. I have been talking to my boyfriends' house mates (as they really like pubquizes) and they have been inviting their friends along to the pub quiz as well! The facebook event page shows that there are 17 people attending so hopefully it'll be a good night. 

Bake Sale 2...

 We had our second bake sale on Tuesday the 22nd and it was an even bigger success than the first bake sale. We obviously picked a better day, but we also had a lot more cakes to choose from. I had baked some chocolate fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chunk cookies, lemon poppy seed muffins, cookies and cream cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes. Kate added 2 bowls full of Welsh cakes, Tom made some chocolate brownies and Hannah's friend made Oreo cheesecakes and rainbow cakes. A big selection!
Our bake sale lasted from 11 until 4, although the last cake was probably sold at about 3. The most popular things were the brownies, muffins and the Welsh cakes, although we were told the cookies were delicious! The picture to the left shows the rainbow cakes Hannah's friend made. I decided that I had to try one, and to by honest I was quite worried about trying it. It was really tasty though and the inside looked really nice. 

In the end we managed to make £74.11 which is a massive profit! We are going to keep this money just in case we need to pay for anything like chairs and tables, but if we have money over by the end of the exhibition the money will be equally split between each of us. At the moment it looks like we've got free chairs (thanks to my boyfriends house mate) and free tables (thanks to Dominic's connections with the foundation tutors) so hopefully the money can be used to repay the money I have spend for printing my portfolio and my photos. 


"The creative and cultural industries form the powerhouse of the new world economy. Communication through many media - words, music, images, models, performance, games, video, film - is shared by global communities, brought together by common interests and high-speed technology.

The University of Portsmouth is at the heart of the booming creative and cultural industries in the south east of England, itself one of the most successful and dynamic regional economies in the world. We have a long history of excellence in the arts and technologies, which have come together to generate this exciting boom. And more importantly, we have a tradition of sharing and developing this expertise with global partners."
From http://www.port.ac.uk/departments/faculties/cci/. 

The CCI have a blog and a facebook page. They send regular emails to all the creative and cultural students at the University of Portsmouth. We have contacted them and asked whether it was possible they advertise our exhibition in they newsletters. They agreed to help us out, so as soon as I got their email I checked whether we were part of the "events" section - and there we are! As you can tell "The Big Picture" and "14M Squared" are also mentioned. 

Monday, November 21, 2011


Although we have got the A1 poster explaining our work, I think personally my work needs a bit more information than the 61 words on that poster so I have written a little text that goes with my photographs. It includes the title, an explanation about the work, a bit of history of the Nunnery and the price of the images. 

I am not counting on selling my images, but if for some reason people are interested in buying them I need to be prepared. I have made the images £5 each as they are very small but as a set they would cost £40 (which means a £5 discount!). If someone buying my work it will be highly unlikely that they buy just one photograph as the set only really works when everything is together. Hopefully I'll sell my work and earn a bit of extra money! 


The picture to the right is a scan of the contract. It was signed on the 1st of November and basically states all the do's and don't Joe Alabaster (the owner of Ultraviolet) has told us. It also shows the amount of money we have paid him. The fee is £30 and the deposit is £60, which we will be getting back when we have handed the keys back.
We will have Ultraviolet for 2 weeks. The original plan was to only have it for 1 week but the contract states we are only allowed to rent it for 2 weeks or more. This basically means we'll have it from the 28th of November until the 12th of December. Having it for such a long time will make it easier for us to put in the furniture and hang pictures up on the wall. 
It also means that we can hang the banner up in Ultraviolet as well as a poster with opening dates and times so people who walk by can have a peak inside. This might result in a few more locals coming to our exhibition! 

Since we lost the space next door we have been in contact with the council about whether we could use part of the side walk outside. Dominic has just gotten back to us explaining that we are allowed to use up to 1.4 metres of the pavement. This is brilliant news as we can put a table outside and passers by might stop and see what's going on. 

About me...

As part of my portfolio I am also writing an "about me". It will be about the size of one A4 sheet which will be the first page of my portfolio - a lot longer than the about me I've got on this blog! I have been busy writing one for a couple of days and have asked for advice for various people. The image above shows a bit of the text as well as the corrections and alternations my parents have made to it. 

A1 Poster...

This is the newly updated poster! I love it! 

A1 Poster...

Both Tom and I have been playing around with an A1 poster design which we are going to hang on the wall of the exhibition. It will basically explain everyone's work in one go! The poster on the right is designed by Tom At first he didn't have the logo at the top of the poster so I suggested he should add that. I quite like the poster but I wasn't a big fan of having the text in this format. Another thing that was missing was a synopsis of the work. After this one Tom created another poster where he added the same background as the website has and added a little space where we could add a brief synopsis of the work. It looked a lot better although the layout of the text was still done in the same way. I thought I'd quickly make a poster (only A4 size to get the point across) to show Tom a different layout. 

The poster I created is quite different from Tom's creation. I thought it was important to have our logo at the top of the page. Laura and Tom argued that the logo didn't have to be as obvious because people will know where they are! I did agree with this at first but after thinking about it for a minute I realised that some people might have a stroll along Highland Road and pop in to see the exhibition without having a clue what it is about! The first paragraph shows the synopsis of the work. It's a very brief explanation about the work and doesn't go into much detail. This is followed by 9 boxes where we can each have our own text. I liked the fact that Tom added the website and email to his poster so we decided to keep that. 

In the end we decided to go with Tom's header of the poster and my layout to have a bit of both worlds. Tom is now busy creating this poster so I will post it when he's done! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Business cards...

Business cards are an important way of promoting ourselves in a quick and easy manner. They are almost like small leaflets but can easily fit in someone wallet. In a lecture about CV writing, my group and I started talking about business cards and whether we wanted to have them at our event, what quality the cards should be and what information has to be on them. 

The picture to the right shows the front and back of 4 business cards I got hold of. The first one is mine, the second one belongs to the group 14 metres square, the fourth one is Laura's and the last one is Tom's. All of them are very different from one another and all have their positives and negatives. 
I'll start with my business card. Obviously I am going to be quite biased about my card as I have created it myself. I feel that it states all the important information and having a photograph on there shows what kind of photographer I am. I decided to have a plain backside because I didn't want to repeat any information. The main focus is the front. I got mine printed for free at Vistaprint so the paper quality is optimum. It is printed on card paper and is slightly smaller in size than professionally printed business cards. Although since mine were free, I am very happy with what I have received. 

The second business cards has the same paper quality to mine, although I am not sure where they got theirs printed. Again it is a very simple design and has all the important information on the front, other than the website. They did make use of the back side of it. They decided to put the website on the back as well as a QR code so people could easily access the website. I think this is quite handy because they haven't got an easy domain name.

The third business card by Laura has a similar layout to mine, very simple and easy to understand. Her paper is a lot better quality though, it is very thick and has a matt finish. I really like the paper quality, but I suppose you get what you pay for! Since I got mine for free, I couldn't expect a finish like hers. 

Lastly are Tom's business cards. They also have a really nice quality to them, although they aren't my favourite business cards. It all comes down to personal taste and I am not a big fan of his layout. I do think that he has included all the important information like his website, email and phone number. On the back he has added his phone number again and a QR code so people with a smart phone can easily access his website.

Since all of these business cards are so different from one another I do feel like I have learnt something. We haven't been taught anything about how to create a business card or anything similar so creating these is completely down to a creative mind. It also shows different uses for business cards. Mine, Laura's and Tom's are all about our own photography, 14 metres squared is a business card for an exhibition. Looking at the business cards has also shown what different types of layouts and qualities are available. I decided to go for the cheapest option of business cards because I will never make any profit from business cards. Spending over £30 on these cards is quite a lot of money when you haven't got any kind of income from your work. I do think that once I am earning money from my photographs, I am more likely to order better quality business cards but for now I think I'll stick with free ones! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sneak peak 2...

Knight Frank & Rutley
I thought I'd give you guys another sneak peak as to what I will be exhibiting. As you have read from the first sneak peak, it's got something to do with an old Nunnery that has been converted into apartments. I thought I'd just give you a bit more history of the place! 

The Nunnery was originally called St Peters Covent and started up in 1861 in London. The Sisterhood started with just two Sisters who cared for patients who were discharged from a hospital but who needed more care than the hospital could provide for them. As the convent became more popular there was an issue of space so they moved to St Peters Home in Kilburn. This was where they stayed until 1944. In 1944, however, the convent was damaged by a flying bomb and a spacious convalescent home, which was built in Woking in 1883, became the community's main centre. The community of St Peter moved out during the late 1980s. The convent had become too large for their needs and too expensive to maintain. They relocated to a smaller location to the south of the main building and they occupy this new convent today. 

Postcard of the Convent
For 10 years the convent was empty and was threatened to be demolished, but since it was a grade 2 listed building it couldn't be knocked down. In the mid 1990s the convent was bought by Macleod & Macleod, a small housing developer specialising in the renovation of old properties. They redesigned the convent into flats and houses while still maintaining the same style of architecture. The current residents took possession of the place between 1995 and 1996. 


As part of this unit as well as our own gallery, we have to make a portfolio. I have a portfolio which I used at the University interviews but that is definitely not up to date. I created that portfolio during the end of 2009 but obviously I have taken lots of pictures since then and instead of adding them to the end, I thought it would be a good idea to create a new portfolio. 

I wanted to have specific themes in my portfolio rather than having all the photos in a row without any real organization, so the first thing I had to tackle was which photos I wanted to use. I spent about an hour going through all the photographs I have and deciding whether they were worth putting in a portfolio. I came across a lot of photos that I really liked but never thought about putting it in a portfolio. In the end I managed to break it down into these 11 themes: Abstract, Borders, Commercial, Fashion/People, Fine Art, Interior/exterior, Music, Nature, Travel and Wildlife. 
The next thing I had to look at was how I wanted to present the images. Do I want one image per page or a few images per page? Since I am working with so many images, I decided it would be a lot better if I put a few images on one page, although have a few that take up a whole page. As you can see from the image on the right, I have a lot of pictures. It starts off with the first picture I have taken (at the age of 11), and then it starts going into all of the themes. I am not sure if this is the order I want to display my images in, but this is the general idea behind it. 

I have made all of these pages myself in Photoshop. The reason I created it this way instead of using templates is because the templates cropped the images in quite odd ways and there were specific layouts you had to choose from instead of making your own. For example, page 30 has square images. If I wanted to put this into a template the format would be changed into a rectangular shape. I managed to get 36 pages (one page is cropped off). The first page shall have a short explanation about who I am and what I am hoping to be. 

I am going to get these images printed in A4 and put them in a nice looking binder. This way I can add and get rid of images if I want to. If I were to get a book printed, it wouldn't give me any control over the images once I have taken more photos. I haven't gotten the images printed yet as I want a few more opinions. As I mentioned before, I am not sure whether this is the order I want the images to be in, but I will always be able to change that afterwards. 

The reason we want to have our portfolios at the exhibition is because for a lot of people, including me, the images we are hanging up on the wall don't represent the type of photography we do. This way people are able to look at all the different types of photography I am interested in and not just what's on the wall.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christian Boltanski...

'When I make a large show, I often try to have a beginning and an end, because emotion comes from time. But it's a different kind of time than theatre or cinema. I mean, when you read a book, you have, say, a young girl who is happy on one page, and you turn the page and now she is dying. That quality of emotion comes when you have some kind of a shock.When I make a picture, I try to create different kinds of space, and even different kinds of shock, to have a beginning and to have a sweep of emotion. My work is a little like theatre, but it's also always so different. I'm like a musician, I can play my work and I can play my work better, or worse, depending on the place where I am showing. It's theatre without text, without spectacle. What I wish to do is something between theatre and installation.' (www.tate.org.uk).

"You know the Lessons of Darkness is very Catholic. It’s a special mass, I think there are three masses three days before the Sanctus Friday, the Friday before Easter. This mass begins at five o’clock in the afternoon, and in the beginning, when you arrive, you have daylight: and coming out, when it’s finished, it’s dark. At the end of the mass they switch off all the candles and lights: people go slowly into the darkness. The music for this special mass is called “The Sense of Darkness” because it’s going into sadness in the darkness. If my show works, it must work a little like that. At the beginning of the installation, there is some light and the more you walk, the more it’s dark and the more it’s sad. The last room, the archive room, is very, very sad. It’s a very little room with 400 people inside. Here are all the photos I use and reuse in my life, my archive" (www.bombsite.com). 

I think the way Boltanski has set up this exhibition is very unique. The idea of having a start and an end to it is quite a clever way to think about how to put an exhibition together. Like Boltanski says, " I often try to have a beginning and an end, because emotion comes from time", he wants to almost create a film through his work. There has to be a story line when it comes to displaying your work. You don't want to have 10 photos that have no connection or don't portray a story, you want viewers to be able to move from one photo to the next and understanding your work. This concept relates back to my work. If you only see one photograph from the series, it wouldn't have any kind of meaning. You need to see all of the images together in order to understand what I am trying to portray. 

Sophie Ristelhueber...

from: www.blancpain-artcontemporain.ch
 Sophie Ristelhueber is a very well known war photographer. She looks at the aftermath of a war although she has a very different approach to it than most war photographers. She takes photographs from the sky so that there is no reference to scale any more. It almost makes it seem as though she is taking photographs of animal traces. Her photographs appear to be very calm while at the same time commenting on the catastrophe that has happened below. "For more than 20 years, Sophie Ristelhueber has been working on the notion of the territory and its history, by paying special attention to ruins and the traces left by man in places devastated by war. She focuses on revealing events and the marks of history, both on bodies and on landscapes." (http://www.guardian.co.uk)
From: www.flickr.com by xpunklovex
As you can see from the image on the left, Ristelhuebers' photographs were printed off on a very large scale and lots of them. It again emphasizes the idea that you cannot reference what the scale of the photographs could be. If you had no idea what kind of photographs she takes, you wouldn't think that they were the remains of a war landscape! "Often playing with an ambiguity of scale in her installations, Ristelhueber’s work confounds traditional photographic genres. She unsentimentally draws attention to the scars and traces we leave behind, addressing the essence of our human existence" (www.photonet.org.uk). "Ristelhueber hangs the large prints in an expansive grid that at first reads as a beautiful abstract field, then reveals itself to be a reconstitution of the battlefield on the gallery wall." (www.moma.org). 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

28 millimetres project - JR...

JR is absolutely amazing. "JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world. He exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not the museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit." (http://jr-art.net/). In the video above, JR explains how his project 28 millimetres started and how it has progressed over time. 

From: www.guardian.co.uk
I think JR is the most creative artist around. Who would have thought of displaying their work on a train or as a rooftop? The photographs he exhibits aren't about him, they are about the people he photographs. The photographs he has taken of the women in Kenya are about the women and their role in the society. "He embarked for a long international trip for "Women", a project in which he underlines the dignity of women who are often the targets of conflicts. Of course, it didn't change the world, but sometimes a single laugher in an unexpected place makes you dream that it could." (http://jr-art.net/).

"As he remains anonymous and doesn't explain his huge full frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. This is what JR is working on. Raising questions..." (http://jr-art.net/). "JR's anonymity is crucial to the integrity of his work: this is an artist who prides himself on operating under the radar, on creating dazzling installations in unexpected places through the force of his personality and vision. 'The fact that I stay anonymous means I can exhibit wherever I want,' he explains with a broad grin, a plate of microwaved lamb tagine balanced precariously on his knees. 'No one knows my name, so it's easy for me to travel." (www.guardian.co.uk)


We have been working alongside the other groups in order to send a formal letter to schools around the Portsmouth area to see whether they want to get involved with our exhibitions. Emma (from "The Big Picture") has emphasized how it would be an excellent learning experience for Fine Art and Photography students to see what they would be up to at Portsmouth University. She has added the name of each exhibition, the date and time and the locations. Hopefully the schools will be interested and come to our exhibition! 


We had another meeting today discussing what still needs to be done. We have only got 3 weeks left until our opening day so we need to make sure we start finalising everything! The first thing we talked about was the idea of having another bake sale. I feel it is important for us to raise more money as we have all spent quite a bit of money out of our own pockets. We decided to have the bake sale on Tuesday the 22nd of November. I know Tuesdays are always quite busy so hopefully we'll end up making more money than we did last Friday! We are taking money out of the money we raised last week to buy new cake materials. Since the cookies and the brownies were so popular and the cup cakes didn't do very well we made a new list of things to bake including Welsh cakes and Oreo Cake and Rice Crispy treats as well as a big batch of cookies and brownies and a few cupcakes. Tomorrow Hannah, Kate and I going to Asda to buy baking materials.

The next thing we had to discuss was the venue. Yesterday a few people from the group went to Ultraviolet to measure up whether everyone could hang up their work in the sizes they wanted. Luckily most of us have quite small prints so aren't taking up too much space. In the end we realised that although the venue is quite small, there is more than enough wall space for all of us to put up our work! 

We also discussed the idea of getting a A1 sized poster to hang up in the exhibition which would have a short explanation of everyone's work as well as show their blog and website. Since a lot of different things need to be put on the poster, there is a word limit for our explanation of the work of 60 words. You never actually realise how little that is until you start explaining the work. In the end I managed to get it down to 61! The image to the right is a general idea of what the poster is going to look like. However I think we should change bits of it around - at the moment I'm concerned with the fact that it doesn't quite relate back to our exhibition. I suggested to Tom (who is making the poster) that we should have our logo at the top and "documentary practices - Territories" a lot smaller underneath the logo. Then have a short summery of the brief and then go into everyone's separate summaries. Another thing about the poster is that we don't really have any sponsors, we have been given free things and discounts but I wouldn't say that they were sponsors. I just thought these were some important things to consider. 

Our meeting was followed by a 30 min tutorial with Stella. She explained to us that it is important for us to have a price list for the books and for our photos. A member of the group mentioned that if we have prices next to our photos on the wall it'll seem like people are coming to a shop instead of a gallery so we decided it would be a good idea to have a short list of prices in our portfolios. I haven't thought about prices quite yet, but I do know that I will have to make a profit. The only way to make an accurate price list is if I first write down all the money I have spent on getting the photos printed and mounted and how much it has cost to print the books. Once I've got that I will have to decide how much of a profit I want to make. In the end the most important thing is not to over charge. I am not a famous photographer yet, so I can't start asking for ridiculous amounts! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Social Networking...

The most important way of getting the word out about our exhibition is through social networking sites. I am in charge of both Facebook and Twitter and have been updating both pages on a regular basis. Because of the word limit of Twitter, it has been a bit more difficult to tweet. Therefore, the posts on Facebook and Twitter aren't exactly the same. In the end this is probably better because if someone follows us both on Facebook and Twitter they don't want to be reading everything twice! 

The posts on Facebook are a bit longer and a bit friendlier. I prefer Facebook to Twitter because Facebook gives people a chance to comment back on what I have said - it seems a lot more personal. I am slowly going through the list of blogs so that our followers stay interested in following us. I am almost through the whole list of blogs so when I finish that I will start posting people's personal websites. I need to make sure I keep updating both sites on a regular basis because we don't want people to lose interest! 

At the moment we have 30 people that have "liked" us on Facebook and we have 29 followers. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tyran Hawthorn...

Tyran Hawthorn is a student on my course and he had an exhibition in Eldon. The opening night was on Halloween, October 31st, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to see what a gallery opening night should be like. As you walk in you are immediately greeted by a set of A2 images. There is text alongside the images which explains the reason behind the exhibition. Everything is very spacious and in a white cube style exhibition. As you walk further there is a large buffet of delicious looking snacks and drinks. As you can tell from the photo there were quite a few people there. 

Tyran was also there himself to answer any questions people may have had and of course for a nice chat. His exhibition dealt with his disease: 

"This is an awareness raising exhibition and fundraising charity event for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable and terminal disease which causes the decay of muscles and difficulties with breathing and movement.

Tyran Hawthorn uses surreal and experimental photographic images to illustrate his mixed emotions of anger at his condition, juxtaposed with his enjoyment of heavy metal music, horror movies and escapist dreams from everyday life.

This fascinating genre of art that features objects rich in morbid symbolism such as skulls, rotting food, and wilting flowers, which are used in order to produce in the viewer's mind an acute awareness of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy otherwise known as (DMD), is a devastating genetic muscle wasting disease which is caused by a missing protein. People sadly infected with this, witness their muscles degenerating throughout their entire lives and eventually leading to paralysis and early death. Families struggle to cope with the diagnosis and day to day management of this condition for which there is no cure, and the only hope for families lies in new treatments that can slow or stop DMD in its tracks.

The majority of the proceedings of my exhibition will be going to a charity known as Action Duchenne. This charity is the only National Charity that exclusively funds research for a cure and promotes campaigns for better medical care for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The essential work that Action Duchenne do is priceless, and I can only hope that my exhibition will take us one step closer to a cure.

When you first get diagnosed with Duchenne, you feel as if you are covered in a shadow of overwhelming emotion as you are given no hope by the doctors. As the arrow of time ticks on, you begin to realise that it is not all 'doom and gloom'. Due to medical advances, you are given a longer life expectancy and with the fight for a cure harder than ever there could be a bright light in sight before the pearly gates. The following statement relates well with this series of work; 'It would seem that photography begins in darkness and death, but ends in light and vision'. 'Disability does not mean inability'. This is my exhibition, this is my work; this is me." (text from his website). 

Tyran also had printed quite a few leaflets for his exhibition which we scattered throughout all of Eldon. They were double sided and printed on card. It had his photos on it at well as all the important information. He also had a link for his website to find more information. All in all I found it a very interesting exhibition. He combined both photographical work with a box of the mouldy fruit he photographed which made the exhibition very interesting and unique. 

Bake Sale...

The bake sale was really enjoyable, I don't think I have ever baked this much in my life! Kate, Adam, Tom, Hannah and Laura were in one house making lots of cakes and cookies and I was at my house making cakes and brownies. I started baking Thursday evening and finished Friday morning so that the cakes would be as fresh as possible. 

We started selling cakes at 12, although it was very quiet at Eldon. We kind of saw this coming because Fridays are usually very empty. The majority of people that walked past us however did buy some cakes. We handed out leaflets to everyone, both of our exhibition and the pub quiz and had a chat with some people about what it is that we were doing. Everyone was very interested and I think we'll be seeing some of them at our exhibition! We managed to get rid of all of our 500 leaflets!

Halfway through the day another student came up to us with an octopus cake and donated it to us. She was there giving it away for free but when she saw we were trying to raise money she just gave it to us! This really helped us because a lot of people walking past stopped and looked to look at the cake. We actually sold the octopus cake near the end of the day for  £5. In the end we managed to make a very impressive £51.07. However, we'd have to take away £11.84 because that is the money Adam spent on more cake materials, so we made £39.22. That's already 40% of the leaflet money back! 

We are thinking of having another bake sale on the 22nd of November at another cafe within the University. This cafe is more central of the site and is surrounded by a lot of other University buildings. We are hoping to gain more money here than we had at the previous bake sale. Both bake sales together should reimburse the money of the leaflets. 


The order for the leaflets when through on Monday the 7th of November and I was told it would take 3 to 5 days for the leaflets to be printed and it would take another couple of days for the delivery. Thus, I was expecting the leaflets at the end of this week or start of next, but to my surprise I received them on Wednesday! As you can imagine I am incredibly pleased. 

That day, my assistant (boyfriend) and I spent hours sorting all the leaflets into handy piles. I have written out a whole plan as to how we should distribute them (above) so that in the end we would only have 300 leaflets left which we could do anything with. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I received a reply from my head teacher today saying:

Thank you for sharing your exciting news. What an amazing opportunity and a huge learning curve. You should be very proud of yourself. I will share it with all the staff and put it in the parent bulletin.
Look forward to seeing you if you are passing through.
All the best, Ms. H

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pub Quiz...

We have a time and date! The pub quiz will be held on the 23rd of November and it starts at 19.30. We are hoping to get as many students at the pub as we can so we are already promoting it like crazy. We have written about it on our website as well as all of our individual blogs. We have made a facebook event and have spoken about it on twitter and our facebook page. And to top it all off we are mentioning it in our statuses as well. People must be going crazy seeing all the posts!

Tom and Hannah have been working on getting a leaflet design. Together they must have made about 10 leaflets but in the end we all decided on the one below. Tom will be printing these leaflets himself so we won't have to order anymore leaflets. We will start to distribute them at the cake sale but will also hand them out at University buildings. My mum has given me a bottle of wine which we can use as a prize, along with the subway vouchers Kate was able to get. Hopefully our online presence and our leaflets will be enough for students to help us out! 


I have emailed my former principal and art teacher and asked whether they could help promote our event. This is the message I included:

As part of my photography course this year we are required to set up and curate our own exhibition. We have to start off with finding our own venue and have to do everything including finding sponsorship and advertising our exhibition. As an ex-student, I thought it would be a great opportunity for students who are interested in art and photography to come to my exhibition and see what I have been up to since the IB has finished.
I have attached a leaflet to inform you when and where my exhibition will be held. It would be great to see some familiar faces and to get some support from the people that have helped me get to where I am. If you could please forward this to teachers and students. For more information please visit my blog (http://elainedevries.blogspot.com/ ) which carefully explains every step that I have taken in order to get the exhibition up and running.
I wanted it to be quite formal although at the same time I wanted to explain that I am here because of their help. Hopefully they will be able to come to the exhibition as it will be great to see some familiar faces. 


With less than a month away until our opening night, we've got a lot of advertising to do. The leaflets have all been ordered and paid for so should arrive end of this week or start of next week. Once we have them we are going to decide who is going to distribute where and how many everyone is going to get.

Our bake sale is this Friday and I'm definitely looking forward to it. I have received 1 box of brownie mix which makes 64 brownies, 2 "fairy cakes" which make 12 each, 2 lemon cupcake boxes which make about 12 each. Adam has bought some more things including a strawberry cupcake mix which makes 36, a cookie mix for 16 cookies, and a chocolate fudge cupcake mix which makes 9. He also bought 200 napkins and all together this came to about £8. All we still need to get is milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter. I have already got vegetable oil at mine as well as butter so I'll need about 400 ml of milk and 6 eggs. We will be baking in two houses, mine and Adams. I have got two ovens so I offered to do some baking. We are starting Thursday evening after our lecture and finishing Friday morning so they will be nice and fresh and hopefully still warm. 

I have also received some large plastic plates where we can present our treats on for a nice presentation, I also have about 4 baking trays so I can prepare everything in one go. We will have more than enough to sell at the bake sale, and personally I wouldn't mind if we had a few leftovers...

We have printed off a few leaflets for the bake sale and have been distributing them around Eldon, the Library and a few more University buildings. Since we haven't received our leaflets yet, we will be distributing the postcards I ordered from vista print. The post cards have the same image on them as the leaflets will have, but they are slightly smaller. This way people can take these with them and hopefully come and join us on the 8th! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Next door...

Unfortunately, I got a call today explaining that the people who are interested in renting the space next door to our gallery want to have it by the end of this month. This means we will not be able to use it any more. It is a bit of a downfall because Ultraviolet is incredibly small. We are now looking into whether it is possible to get a gazebo outside of our gallery and serve some teas and cakes outside perhaps. We just need to get more creative.

Some more positive news though is that we have received our vista print order! Everything looks fantastic, better quality than I expected it would be. I might order some more things from vista print to promote myself. I have also ordered the leaflets, so the order will be processed over the weekend and I will hear more about it on Monday! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


We have made a quick table of what we have spent so far on everything:

Venue: (£10 each)
£30 for the venue
£60 deposit (which we will get back)
£0 venue next door

Advertising: (£17.50 each)
£20.32 for vista print (small banner, 100 post cards, 25 magnets)
£99 for leaflets
£40.96 for printing cake sale and fundraising leaflets

In the Venue:
£0 Teas and cakes (shop on Albert Road)
£0 Teas and coffee (Tesco)
£0 4 chairs

This comes to a total of £250.28 (£27.80 each). I'm quite proud of that. Instead of asking for money we have managed to get a lot of free things or discounted things.

We are hoping to get around £60 or £70 from the bake sale and hopefully make a bit of profit from the pub quiz. We are thinking of having another bake sale at the start of December, both for publicity and to raise a bit more money. A lot still has to be done so we need to keep the discounts coming!


Today we had another meeting where we just wanted to finalise some ideas. We started off discussing the whole leaflets debate - whether to get 1000 or 5000. We did some quick calculations and realised that if we get 5000 we will have to distribute about 555 each, which isn't too much considering where we want to have them distributed.

Instead of discussing the amount of leaflets, we wanted to look at how we were going to get rid of them. There about about 10 university building and in each building we would leave a little stash of leaflets (about 200). This means we would have already got rid of 2000. Then there are also buildings like the gym, the library, all the cafes and the halls of residence. Distributing in all these places would be at least another 1000 leaflets. That means we'll have 2000 leaflets left and with these we will stand on the street in Gunwharf, Commercial Road and Albert Road to distribute them. We will also ask shops along Albert Road whether we could leave some leaflets in their shop/pub/cafe for further distribution.
In the end we decided we would have to get 5000 - as everyone said, we'd rather have too many than not enough. This will cost us £11 each which everyone is paying me today and tomorrow. We need to order the leaflets as soon as possible because we need to start advertising!

Another element we spoke about was the venue next door. I got a call this morning from the property management company explaining to me that people are interested in renting the space next door! Very bad news - although the lady I have been speaking to explained to me that she is going to ask the people who are interested whether it is urgently needed in the second week of December. She is helping us in every way she can so hopefully we will still have it. 

Next we decided to look at fundraising. We have already confirmed the bake sale on the 11th of November. Now all we need to get are leaflets for that and all the baking ingredients. My mum has kindly given us brownie mix and a few cupcake mixes, so that is a good start. We decided that ordering another set of leaflets would be useless and too expensive. We all agreed on the fact that most of the people coming to our bake sale will already be at Eldon and will stumble upon the event rather than making their way from another building just for the bake sale. Because of this we don't find in necessary to print too many leaflets. We have come to the conclusion that Tom will print these leaflets himself. He managed to get a very good deal on Amazon for paper (£23.96 for 400 leaflets) and ink will only cost about £17. This would all come down to about £4.50 each. About 100 will go towards the bake sale and 300 will go towards the pub quiz. We still haven't got a final date for the pub quiz. Hannah has been in contact with the Fawcett in and has made sure we can get equipment such as a microphone and such for the pub quiz although there isn't a finalised date. Once we have decided on everything, we will also make A4 posters to hang up around central Portsmouth and the Albert Road area. We want to get as many students there as possible!

We have also been back to the venue to look at the risk assessment. Tom, Adam and Kate were in charge of it and the have written down everything they could think of, although they couldn't complete it yet because the only way we know what the risks will be is if everything we need is in the venue. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We decided that we wanted to print 1000 leaflets instead of 5000 so I have been contacting a few leaflet printing companies. The first company I contacted was arboreal printing, they told us we could get 5000 leaflets for £125. However, when I spoke to them today, they told me that getting 1000 leaflets would cost £125. This clearly means the offer we got was a massive discount! 
The second company I contacted was called expert print and they explained to me that they were currently the cheapest printers around and that they wouldn't be able to give me a discount, although they did have an offer on at the moment which was 5000 leaflets for only £99! But again, it is for 5000 leaflets. I reckon that getting 5000 would be a good amount, especially because it would cost about £10 each (plus free delivery!).
The third company I heard back from said that could give me 1000 leaflets for £43. This means it would only be £4.80 each which obviously is a lot cheaper. But at the same time, for about £5 more we could get 4000 more leaflets. It's a tough decision.