Photo Sociology Wishes You Happy Holidays And Happy Christmas

Richard and Action Man would like to wish you all peace and joy. May you be well, may you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, may you be happy and have the means for happiness, may you live with ease.

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Cork is one of the most beautifully decorated cities that I know. They really go for it with their Christmas decorations.

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Action Man and I took a walk this morning so that we could enjoy the lights.

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Some of the shop window displays are truly wonderful.

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Tutor Feedback For Assignment Four – Responding To A Theme

Jayne invested a considerable amount of time and energy into my feedback, for which I am most grateful. There were many points for further development, praise for my strengths, and guidance as to how to improve this assignment and develop it’s presentation. We also discussed which photographers to focus upon and review, and ways in which to develop further as a photographer and artist. Here is the formal feedback provided by Jayne, my notes and reflections are below, and then I conclude with a plan of action based upon the given feedback.

Two aspects particularly please me:- Jayne called me an artist. External validation from Jayne leaves me feeling proud of my photography and art. I am passionate about photography and I have become deeply creative and expressive. The exploration of mixed media photography has changed my perspective of myself as a photographer and artist.

Jayne completely understood my theme, and the motives that I had in producing this work. Jayne:- “This is very potent work, Richard, which I have to say is at first shocking, horrifying and worrying. It’s not just the cuts that shock but the words you literally inflict on yourself here. The initial impression does give way, though, to an understanding that the act of self-harm and self-abuse has been a part of life for you; and the “message” of the work manifests as being about your growth towards self-love/self-respect/self-care.“.

Hell yeah I am proud of this comment. I invested myself heavily into this assignment. I had something to say, a message about my process of change, a presentation of my reality, my self-hatred and the effort that I put into self-love. I am a visual artist, and as an artist I want to provoke a reaction, provide an opportunity for others to pause and reflect, and to feel. This piece of photography has given me the opportunity to do the same. I use photography for my personal development, which is my primary goal, the desire to provoke is secondary, but it is an important aspect of the work which I produce.

Jayne:- “This is brave, authentic and powerful work that expresses so well those difficult (and often buried) struggles with identity through opposing internal and external forces.

Identity is a theme that I have explored throughout my coursework. Self identity and the identity of others. Being authentic leaves me feeling vulnerable at times, but the support I have received has been such a blessing. Thank you to all of my peers and online community, I feel very grateful for your compassion and sensitivity.

Jayne:- “You raised an important point during our conversation about the inner resistance you noticed and felt through executing the self-harm element in the work – in that sense, it seems as though the work might perhaps have helped you feel, experientially how far you have come in the last two years, in all sorts of ways.

My photography has changed and developed, and I have developed mentally and emotionally. The resistance that I experienced was in relation to cutting words into my leg was intense. I didn’t want to do it, but it was a critical statement that I needed to express. It was something that I used to do in rage at my own existence, fueled by a deep resentment of being alive. I chose to self-harm for this assignment, to show the hatred that I had towards myself. To fall naturally into self-care after cutting was a surprise. It was completely unforced, and thus enabled me to see the results of my kind and compassionate self-care over the past two years. I have put in an immense amount of effort into these daily practices of compassion and dignity. It hasn’t been easy.

Jayne:- “experimenting with materials, and writing, are going to play a key part

Experimentation and collaboration have become important aspects for me. Collaborating pushes my boundaries. Working with others and responding to their art forces me into new ways to explore and express. I have some ongoing and upcoming collaborative projects.

Jayne:- “Your written commentary is important here. You write well – perhaps think about ways to weave the text and image together through future work & experiments.”      and      “The diptych format feels a good way to go in the sense that the self-harm comes before the self-love, in as much as a diptych might be read as a ‘sequence’”      and      “The over-sewing works well & is really effective… try to capture your thoughts around the ‘mask’ effect and your choice of colours for the thread.”      and      “We talked about how you might present the work in a way that allows for the white space around the images – which you mentioned arose through accident & feedback – while also making sure the images are large enough to reveal detail, like the reflected image in the droplet on the berries. One way would be to create a gallery mock up, to scale, and play with appearance and effect.”      and      “We talked about the possibility of somehow moving away from the straight edges and rigid corners of the images and into some form that might translate the sense of arising/emerging and disappearing.”

The initial idea in response to Jayne’s feedback:- Print photos full size, buy three length of fabric that allows space  for each diptych, sew the background fabric with the appropriate colours for the self-hatred and self-love, over-sew into the edge of each photo. Each diptych to be displayed onto separate walls. Create a sound recording of prose or verse to accompany each photo, this will give the viewer insight into the emotions, thoughts and language which reflect my internal dialogue. I like Polly Apfelbaum’s use of space and colour as an installation (reviewed here), how can I make use of the floor space to add depth and emotion?

Jayne:- “The self-portrait in particular represents a massive step forward  for you.”

I have made tentative plans with an OCA degree student (AK) to be photographed for his assignment and also for my personal development and healing.

Jayne:- “We talked about the staged photographs and your effective use of lighting. Brilliant to hear that you’re learning from another student on this score. I think you’ll enjoy experimenting more with using lighting to create atmospheric effects. Again the work you produced here is brave and affecting.

I’m incredibly pleased with these comments. Lighting is an alien field to me and one which I have had to overcome resistance in order to begin to use it. I am grateful for the support and generosity of JK. I need not be afraid to ask him more questions and seek his expert guidance.

Jayne:- “The final image on your contact sheet is strangely beautiful, relates to the Letinsky coursework perhaps?

It’s fair to say that I find Letinskys art very enjoyable and beautiful to look at. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to emulate her work, and there are some similarities with its simplicity, space and planes. Although I did not consciously try to emulate her with this photo, I did want to create something pleasing and simple. The only reason this did not make it into the final six is because it lacks the religious symbolism of the cross in the selected image. The cross represents the shame that I have felt through out my life, the shame of never being good or worthy enough. Why the fuck am I even alive?

During our telephone conversation Jayne reflected upon the positive impact that my work has upon others, that I have a positive effect upon those who view my work. It is important to make use of meditation to find my inner voice. I am aware that meditation is an important aspect of my creative process.

 

Actions to carry forward

  • Update assignment to include the image quality, colours and mask concept re over-sewn photo.
  • Meditate
  • Gallery layout
  • Collaborating with others – OCA collaboration group and TL
  • Continue to use thoughts and feelings as drive for my photography
  • Consider using prose and verse more frequently to enrich photography
  • Build up mixed media skills
  • Be photographed by AK – journal my reactions to the shoot and the photos, use the journal to create prose and verse of the experience
  • Mexican Votive painting
  • Continue emulating Laura Letinsky to develop this technique further
  • Read about lighting and ask JK when neccessary
  • OCA London regional group
  • OCA TV

Reading and viewing

  • Diane Arbus: A Chronology – I relate to Arbus’ character and motives of fascination with self and other.
  • Stick close to Arbus over the next year, dip into her photography and also those critiques of her, especially Sontag.
  • Gregory Crewdson: Beneath the Roses – Look for the message of yearning to be, or for, something other than the mundane/seeking escape. Also view Twilight to explore effective use of lighting and colour temperature.
  • Ochi Reyes: Mother and Revelations
  • Daniel Regan and his Arts & health Hub and Fragmentary (London calling!!)
  • Claude Cahun – use of masks
  • Gillian Wearing – use of masks

Also

  • William Eggleston
  • David Lynch

 

 

 

THWEE – Challenge Accepted

Everyday   https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/the-white-elephant-dec-5/Teresa of the THE HAUNTED WORDSMITH,will be hosting a white elephant party. If you are unfamiliar with what a white elephant party is, it can be summed as a party where people exchange gifts that are meant to be funny (some are serious though, it’s up to the gift giver).THWWE

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How is this going to work? Like this:

Every day I kick the party off by listing three fellow bloggers and the gift I give them. No one is obligated to participate (though if people do, it’ll be more fun). If the gift recipient wants to participate, they will pick three bloggers and give them gifts. And so on until the following day. At that time I will share some of the funnier gifts that people have given or received.

I hope I don’t have to say that real gifts will not be given 🙂

You’ll see what I mean in a moment. In the meantime, if you do choose to accept your gift and join the party, please use THWWE as a tag. Thank you.

On to the party!

Here are the people that I gift and  nominate…

Michelle, from MwsR Writings, I give you still and peaceful waters, and the lil row boat. The small boat is so that you can take time out, time that’s just for you. Rest, breathe, relax.

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Michelle, from From Famine To Feast, I give you the peace that I find in my spiritual home. A place in which there’s no need to think and work things out, a place to just be still with whatever arises. Be still and rest my friend.

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Niki, from Niki Flow, I can never give you the gift that you desire and deserve. I give you, Ben, and your family the gift of love.

Emulating Laura Letinsky

 

Making My Kitchen More Condusive To Having A Healthy Relationship With Food

As well as getting rid of the foods I had hoarded, I have been cleaning my kitchen. On Tuesday I cleaned my cooker.

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Then yesterday I cleared out and cleaned the fridge and freezer. I hadn’t done so for over a year.

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Today I have cleared and cleaned the surfaces, draws and all crockery and utensils. Everything now has a place.

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Tomorrow I will be cleaning the floor and hoovering the rest of the house. Despite living in it, I cannot believe what a shit tip I had left the kitchen in.

I have a very poor relationship with food, and I know that in order to recover my eating will change over the next few months. That’s going to be a whole lot easier to reinforce if my kitchen promotes a positive attitude towards food. I’m also going to wash my cup and plates up each time that I use them.

Do You Know Of, Or Are You An Eating Disorders Dietician? – First Day Of Recovery From My Eating Disorder

Firstly, I am looking for an eating disorders dietician who is willing to work over Skype. I had a look on google for dietitians in the UK and they were well beyond what I can afford. I have a contact page, so please feel free to contact me if you are in a position to help or point me in the right direction.

Secondly, today has been a big day for me. As far as I am concerned it is the first day of my recovery from Anorexia. Today I have sorted through and got rid of the food that I had hoarded from October last year til April this year.

It’s common for people to obsess about food when they have been lacking the food that they need to survive, and this is a common experience for people with Anorexia Nervosa. Hoarding food that isn’t going to be eaten is also a common experience.

I knew that I needed to get rid of it, and I also knew that it was hidden all over the house But it has shocked me just how much there was. I will be donating it to a local food-bank, and I have also taken some to one of my neighbours.

I had such a strong emotional attachment to my hoard. Before I have let friends visit or stay over, I have made it clear that the house is full of food and they are not to touch it. One friend has been encouraging me to get rid of it for ages, but I haven’t been able too, the thought of doing so has been terrifying.

Today there were some foods that I really didn’t want to let go of. I had to go through the pile that I was going to keep repeatedly so that I let go of foods that I didn’t need. There are a few things that I will genuinely use as snacks, so I have kept them, but it took a long time to get rid of the stuff that would never be a genuine snack. Some of the things that I was trying to justify keeping, but there is no such thing as half recovery, they had to go.

I have made videos as I have gone along, its part of the record of my journey, my illness and, fingers crossed, my recovery. I have received so much support from my peers, who have become my friends, and also from many fellow bloggers. I thank you all deeply. The turning points have been the sudden decline in my health whilst on holiday in London, and a kind friend pointing me towards a twelve step fellowship which is specifically for people with anorexia and bulimia. There are also a couple of vlogs that I have been pointed too by people who are in recovery or recovered from anorexia. I will add links to them below the video.

I am so grateful for all of your support, and today, I am grateful for my willingness, courage and strength. I am so proud of myself that I bought myself a bunch of flowers. I honour my willingness, courage and strength.

I have also stuck to my meal plan for the past two days. Cant believe it. Its so good to have done that. But the food that I eat is not nutritious, but I am stuck with the fear of trying other foods, which is why I need a  dietician that specialises in eating disorders. I know how to eat healthy, but its needing someone to guide me through the fear and to take control of my eating plan.

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Here are the links.

Megsy recovery

Tabitha Farrar

UK Based Eating Disorder Charities

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

Men and Boys Get Eating And Exercise Disorders Scotland

International Eating Disorder Charities

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Peer Support groups

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

Smart Recovery

Over-Eaters Anonymous

Eating Disorders Anonymous

 

 

Toxic Shame

Toxic Shame is a mixed media video created in collaboration by several Open College of the Arts Students. We study in different genres of the creative arts. It has been a very enjoyable process which has required thinking out of the box to respond to the work of other members submissions, based upon the theme for the month.

Standard: When You Take Away My voice – Photo Video Featuring DJ’s From Mars

When You Take Away My Voice

When You Take Away My Voice

 

The photo-montage and photo video are my own work, and the music is provided by Dj’s From Mars. I am very grateful that they gave me permission to use their work. Thank you DJ’s From Mars.

You can check Dj’s From Mars on many platforms including:-

  1. http://www.djsfrommars.com
  2. http://www.facebook.com/djsfrommars
  3. http://www.instagram.com/djsfrommarsofficial
  4. http://www.twitter.com/djsfrommars
  5. http://www.youtube.com/djsfrommarschannel
  6. http://www.youtube.com/alieninvasiontv
Dj's

Featured On No Stigmas

No Stigmas is a mental health organisation who has the aim of helping people to develop peer to peer communities, to provide mutual support to others with mental health difficulties. They also provide training so that you can support your self as a self-advocate, and be part of strong peer networks.

Anyone with mental health problems can join and registration is straightforward.

As well as a little intro that I put together they linked to a poem that I wrote last year about talking myself back from a suicide attempt to reaching out for support. It can be seen here.

We are not alone if we have the courage to reach out for support.

A couple sitting on the steps of a church in Durham UK
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Two pairs of friends. walking along #the street in Durham, near to the Castle and Cathedral.
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No Stigmas

Random Act Of Kindness Award

A big thank you to Michelle from Mws R Writngs for nominating me for this award. I’m grateful for your support and the friendship that we have developed.

Choosing who to nominate is quite a challenge to be honest, because I feel that I have been shown so much kindness on WordPress and in life in general. I am also aware that many people who I could nominate do not have the time to accept the award by creating their own response. This is especially true of my peers from OCA, but their kindness, support and critique is valued immensely. So many other bloggers have also supported me with my photography and in relation to my eating disorder.

Em from From Famine To Feast has become a valuable source of support. having an eating disorder is challenging to say the least, and having support from somebody who is in eating disorder recovery is invaluable. Thank you for your kindness Em, I nominate you.

Kindness has been shown to me by so many people in a whole variety of ways over the years, and in writing this post it is nice to remember some of those people. The example that I am going to give is of a very simple and straightforward act of kindness. Kindness doesn’t need to be extravagant. A former work colleague (he didn’t know that I knew it was him) would leave a packet of sweets or fruit on a colleagues work station. He would do so when nobody could see him do it and he would leave a typed “Youve been RAK’ed” with the gift. As for me… I used to buy a pastry on a Friday morning on my way to a meeting. I would leave the change with the staff member in the bakers and ask them to use it to pay for the next person in the queue.

The guidelines for accepting the award are.

1- Tell who you nominate and why.

2= Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.

3- Share  a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

For instance, ” I once was waiting in a drive thru line for 20 minutes. I was in a hurry but the line did not move much, it felt like. My day was getting worse by the moment. When I got up to the drive thru window, the cashier said someone had paid for my meal already. That really made my day a lot better.”

4- Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you so choose to Participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post. https://mwsrwritings.com/2018/07/30/random-acts-of-kindness-award-ka/

Copy the guidelines into your post.