Assignment 5 – Why Embroider Over Photographs?

Coming to the end of Foundations In Photography with the Open College of the Arts, I find myself in a position in which I want to prepare myself to study for a BA in Photography. Assignment 4 can definitely be the basis for a further body of work, probably by using masks or embroidering on top of photographs to represent aspects of self, especially those hidden repressed aspects. Sewing over the top of my own face was successful, if painful for me to view.

I have thoroughly enjoyed Staged photography and still life, and found a means of being authentic with these genres.

I’m very keen to explore these themes further, and I believe that sewing on a photograph provides an additional means to enhance or hide emotion and mood. It also means that I can distort my images and create harmonious fine art photography or to create visual and emotional discord and discomfort.

I’m going to use assignment 5 as a stepping stone to develop a secondary skill, and so that I can use photos as the basis of mixed media art.

Review – Laura Letinsky

Laura Letinsky (1962)

  • Still life
  • Staged photography
  • Controlled accidents
  • Food
  • Destructive nature of human behaviour
  • Domestic life
  • Food as feminine – social construct of domesticity
  • Pastels
  • Lighting – bright, natural
  • Space
  • Broad White backgrounds
  • Half eaten foods, non desirous {unlike traditional still life of food)
  • “half eaten apples, dirty dishes, and scattered cake crumbs are a common motif in her work” (Amy Lin (2016))
  • “I realized that still lifes were a vehicle to explore the tension between the small and minute and larger social structures.” (Sholis, B (2013)
  • Uses other photographs, including her own, highlighting consumption of photography and relates this to consumption and homogenization
  • “Using images already in the world, including my own earlier works, is akin to using objects in the world. It’s all raw material ripe for the picking, so to speak. Alongside its ability to provoke sensations, photography has a way of homogenizing experience. A piece of schmutz and a Tiffany diamond become the same thing once they’re photographed—they become photographs. I have a love/hate relationship with this power of the camera to flatten difference.” (Sholis, B (2013))

IllFormVoid31_620_webFig. 1. Untitled 31 from Ill Form and Void Full (2011)

Untitled-no-18Fig. 2. Untitled 18 from Ill Form and Void Full (2011)

08_IllFormVoid_49_2013-1024x787Fig. 3. Untitled 49 from Ill Form and Void Full (2011)

Having looked further into Letinsky’s Ill Form and Void Full series I have decided that I am going to make use of her style of still life photography for assignment 5. I’m already producing a body of work on eating disorders, and Letinsky’s style of cannibalising photographs adds an additional element that I can use to explore anorexia. Catabolism is a state in which the body turns its own proteins (muscle) into energy which can then be used so it can function. The body destroys itself in order to preserve itself. I am going to seek permission from Letinsky to use her photography in order to do so.

Illustrations

Figure 1, Letinsky, L; Untitled 31, Ill Form and Void Full [paper
Archival Ink Print]; AT: https://aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky/ (accessed on 26/12/2018

Figure 2, Letinsky, L; Untitled 18, Ill Form and Void Full [paper
Archival Ink Print]; AT: https://aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky (accessed on 26/12/2018)

Figure 3, Letinsky, L; Untitled 49 [paper
Archival Ink Print]; AT: http://lauraletinsky.com/photographs/ill-form-and-void/ (accessed on 26/12/2018)

References

Lin, A; 2016; Laura Letinsky; Online: AT: https://www.widewalls.ch/artist/laura-letinsky/ (accessed on 26/12/2018)

Sholis, B; 2013; Interview With Laura Letinsky; Online: AT: https://aperture.org/blog/interview-with-laura-letinsky/ (accessed on 26/12/2018)

Addition References

http://lauraletinsky.com/photographs/ill-form-and-void/ (accessed on 26/12/2018

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura-letinsky (accessed on 26/12/2018)

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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Action Man Asks “What The Fuck Is Hurling?” – And A Trip To An AA Meeting

Excuse my language. Richard tells me that I’ve got to get a grip on it, he also says that I’ve been cursing more since I quit drinking.

He was very sneaky yesterday, he said we were going for a walk, yeah, right into the middle of an AA meeting. Which is why I didn’t write my travel log yesterday.

How was AA, Interestingly they said its the first drink that gets you drunk. I shan’t tell you my initial response as it involves more swearing. I always thought that it was the 10th or 11th that got me drunk. But apparently if you can’t stop drinking once you’ve started then it’s the first that gets you drunk.

They said it’s a spiritual program, and the word God was used. Richard’s the one who believes in some spiritual energetic mumbo jumbo, I’m an atheist, so I was adamant that I can’t believe in a power greater than me. How can an atheist work a spiritual program? Well, apparently I can trust the power of the group, a bunch of sober people who most definitely drank like I did, and who are now living sober. Someone even said that I could use G O D as an acronym for Group Of Drunks. I can promise you I’ve turned my life over to many groups of drunks down the pub, in the army, at the football, so I guess I can turn it over to a sober group of drunks.

The crazy buggers even said keep coming back, there’s a turn up for the books. In my drinking most people (not Richard) told me exactly where to go.

Maybe I’ll do just that – go back to another meeting.

Today Richard and I went for an early walk to the Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where Cork play a game called Hurling.

On the way I took a photo of a dawn scene. I like the sky and the reflection, Richard liked the light on the building.

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We were going to take photos of birds on the pond, especially the little grebe (those are on Richard’s camera), and the pond is next to the stadium.

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I’ve had to look up the sport of Hurling, cos neither Richard nor me, knew what it was.

Hurling is a traditional Gaelic game that has been played in Ireland for over 4000 years. Players have a stick, and they can use that to hit the ball (on the ground or in the air), and they can also balance the ball on the stick and run with it. It’s possible to hold the ball and run with it, for a maximum of four steps, before they bounce it or pass it. The objective is to hit the ball between the posts, over the cross-bar for 1 point, below the bar for 3.

Quite a tough game to play and can get a bit rough from time to time. You have to wear protective head-gear as well. Maybe I’ll get to watch it one day. Sounds like a lot of fun. Here’s a link to the Cork GAA website.

The pond was dead relaxing. Mostly black headed gulls, a few swans, mallards, tufted duck and 4 little grebe. There were a couple of Herons nesting in the tree, and also what were either cormorant or shag. The colours suggested they were shag, but I’m no expert on spotting the difference.

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Behind the pond is the River Lee, which runs into Lough Mahon and then out into the Irish Sea, Muir Cheilteach if you’re Irish. The River is vast and from dawn till dusk you will find people rowing on the river or jogging down the path. People on bikes cycle at the pace of the boats and shout at the rowers. That’s a job I must apply for. I didn’t get a photo of the rowers, but Richard took a final photo of me. Catch you tomorrow.

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Action Man And The Wars Of Ireland

Humph – there’s three wars for me to chat about today; The Wars of Ireland; The Wars of the churches control over the people; My war with Richard. Let’s start with that muppet Richard.

Who on earth wakes up at 3.30 am and repeatedly asks “Action Man, Action Man, are you awake?”. What’s a guy supposed to say? Do I stay quiet and hope he gives up and goes back to sleep? Or do I say “STFU!!! I was sleeping until you woke me you Bassa”.

I tried the first but had to resort to the second. In the end I was so cross I jumped on his bed and kicked his little to, right on the corn. Ha, that’s gotta hurt.

I bet it doesn’t hurt as much as fighting for the independence for your country though.

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The Irish have had to fight for independence for their Country throughout the centuries. Why did the British have to dominate every country that they could? The political bollox of Brexit has re-ignited the war, particularly over the border. The backstop could potentially force the North into closer ties with the South, and weaker ties with the rest of the UK. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but Ireland, both Northern and the Republic, has had enough violence, bloodshed and generational trauma. Here’s to the memory of those who lost their lives in the battle for independence.

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The Church is fighting a losing battle as well. There is a generational divide between those who still have faith in the Church and those who feel depleted and disillusioned by generations of control, abuse of power and abuse. Morning worship reflects the divide.

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The difficulty is that the Church professes to represent God, so when people lose their faith in the church, they often lose their faith in God. That’s what happens when a religion is all-powerful, especially when it preaches hell and damnation. What happens internally when you can’t believe in the Church and you believe you’re damned to hell? The loss of direction can make life incredibly challenging.

Enough of the heavy shite. I got to sit with the Virgin Mary. Ain’t I the lucky one.

qrfHoly Trinity Russian Orthodox Parish

It was really peaceful in the church. Not sure that Richard should have been taking photos during morning worship, but that’s nothing compared to what the crazy bugger did next. He only walks around town asking strangers if he could take their photographs for his next assignment. Only one person said yes. It’s a bit different from back home where the majority say yes. I’m not sure if this was a city thing, perhaps people are more cautious in cities? I dunno, I was too embarrassed, so I hid in the rucksack.

We walked down St Patrick’s Street to Father Matthews Statue.

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Bit gutted really. What’s the point of me writing a travel blog if you can barely see me? Does Richard not know who I am? Humph.

It’s quite ironic that Father Theobold Matthew was a founding member of the Total Abstinence Society. After a few short years he was able to demonstrate that Abstinance reduced crime in the city, and there’s me thinking that abstinence is a crime. Shows how twisted my alcoholic thinking is.

Before Richard finished his Christmas shopping, we went for a walk and found some people who were more my size. I’m not sure what country their national dress is from though.

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As for Christmas shopping; the first rule of Christmas shopping is you don’t talk about Christmas shopping. Nuff said. Night night.

Review – Jamie Rawlings

Jamie embroiders over the top of appropriated images and cigarette cards. He is a visual artist and is inspired by nature and rainbows (Rawlings; 2018)

Rawlings uses bright colour and a variety of patterns. He doesn’t make use of the variety of stitches that Puentes does, but his patterns can be very intricate.

rs=w_600,h_600Fig. 1. Sable Antelope (2018)

Cigarette cards are small, which adds to the admiration that I have for his creative expression. I struggle sewing onto a large photo, and found that the stitches often tore the paper. I could be wrong, but I believe that Rawlings makes use of a hole punch. If I decide to emulate Laura Letinsky, it would make sense to combine this emulation with that of Rawlings. The simple lines would be effective.

I recommend viewing Rawlings’ Wold Animal cigarette cards. I feel that the embroidery is complimentary, despite the bright coloured threads. You can view his art on Instagram here. 

Illustration

Rawlings, J; 2018; Sable Antelope [Cigarette Card and thread]; AT: https://jamierawlingsartist.com/shop-1?olsPage=products%2Fsable-antelope (accessed on 21/12/2018)

Reference

Rawlings, J; 2018; About Me; Online: AT: https://jamierawlingsartist.com/about-me (accessed on 21/12/2018)

Review – Maria Aparicio Puentes – Research For Assignment 5

I have now made the decision that I am going to embroider on photography for assignment 5. I’m not yet sure if I will work with emotional expression or something in the style of Laura Letinsky. Whatever I choose, I am looking forward to sewing over photo’s.

Maria Aparicio Puentes (1981)

  • Puentes “hand-stitches over images. She works closely with the existing structure of the photographs, overlaying geometric shapes with thread.” (Frankoski, 2015)
  • She uses a wide variety of stitches
  • She mostly embroiders over black and white photo’s, adding the dimensions of colour and texture
  • Some of her stitching is complimentary to the photography
  • Some are quite garish and out of place
  • She collaborates with other artists and photographers

Be-brilliant-05_2xFig. 1. Be Brilliant 05 (2014)

This photo conjures up two ideas to me. One is of a person who is both singing and plucking music out of the air. It has a beautiful, sensual nature, and represents a positive, joyful connection with the universe.

The other thought is around bulimia. Of a person expressing the high of vomiting. Bulimia may sound quite disgusting if you are not bulimic, but for many who are it can bring relief and sometimes joy, especially in the earlier period of the illness. There is potential for me to use this style.

M.-Aparicio-Puentes-Sasha-MademuaselleFig. 2. 01

The above collaboration works well. It’s crisp, simple and the three pastel colours make the art very natural. It’s so subtle that the stitching could quite easily have been on the jumper itself

Illustrations

Fig. 1. Puentes, M, A and Wierzbowski, L; 2014; Be Brilliant 05 [photographic paper (semi-matte finish) and threads]; AT: https://www.mariaapariciopuentes.com/Be-brilliant (accessed on 21/12/2018)

Fig. 2. Puentes, M, A and Mademuaselle, S; ; 01 [photographic paper (semi-matte finish) and threads]; AT: https://www.mariaapariciopuentes.com/01 (accessed on 21/12/2018)

Feature Image Puentes, M, A and Radičević, T; 2014; Be Brilliant 02 [photographic paper (semi-matte finish) and threads]; AT: https://www.mariaapariciopuentes.com/Be-brilliant (accessed on 21/12/2018)

 

References

Frankoski, E; 2015; Maria Aparicio Puentes; Online: At: https://www.pifmagazine.com/2015/07/maria-aparicio-puentes/ (accessed on 21/12/2018)

Also viewed

https://www.frankie.com.au/blogs/art/artist-interview-maria-aparicio-puentes-photo-embroidery (accessed on 21/12/18)

http://www.escapeintolife.com/artist-watch/maria-aparicio-puentes/ (accessed on 21/12/2018)

You Can Take Action Man Out Of The Army, But…

… you can’t take the army out of Action Man.

Richard has taken it easy today. He’s wanted to rest a bit. He doesn’t fancy running around like a tourist at the moment, but that’s no excuse to not have fun.

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So I thought I’d check out the terrain, and create my own party atmosphere. Just coz it’s a sober Christmas doesn’t mean I can’t let my hair down. Not that these Forces hair cuts leave you with much hair.

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If there’s been a wall to climb then I’ve climbed it, the opportunity to hang around, well, it goes without saying.

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I just had to take the opportunity to get as much exercise in as I can. I didn’t realise I still had it in me to do this stuff. Not much of a travel Blog, but I can only present what the day brought to me. I’ve been hanging around by the front door just incase, maybe we’ll get out tomorrow.

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Until then I’ll keep being my angelic self. Watch out Cork, here comes Action Man.

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“Where Are The Beatles?” Asks Action Man

It’s been a long day, but a good day. It helped that Richard was relaxed. He didn’t have much anxiety, which meant I didn’t have much stress to cope with. Maybe it’s dealing with his stress that turned me to drink, just saying!

Consequently I’ve got little to say. Richard behaved himself, the trains were on time, Richard was relaxed with flying, and we made sure we re-charged when either of us needed too.

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So much for John Lennon Airport! I mean I do appreciate that John Lennon wasn’t able to be there, but what about the rest of the Beatles? One of them could have shown up! Still, nice gesture in naming the airport after the best Beatle.

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I know I overstep the mark with my opinions, and I know he’s doing is best, to be honest he’s doing grand and I’m proud of him, but what’s this book about hey?

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I’ve said to him “if you’re hungry then eat, if you’re not hungry then eat.” think he just needs to eat and keep him. Still he is at least gaining weight, healthy and he’s happy as well. Maybe I should keep me damn trap shut eh?

Oh well, at least I can’t be offensive when I’m sleeping. Glad to be back with N and L, glad to be back in Cork. Ha – let’s keep the Cork in the bottle hey, 9ne is to many and a thousand never enough. Good night

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Action Man’s Travel Blog

Hey, I’m back.

Richard’s taking me on holiday again so I thought I’d get back on with me travel blog. Last time was great, but it was a shame Richard had to come back home early. I’ve been cooking for him and he’s doing better.

Not only is he getting well, I am too. I haven’t had a drink since London. One of my army pals came and did an intervention. I have started going to and Richard’s started going to a 12 step group for anorexia.

I’m still better looking than he is, even though he does look well now. A long day ahead. Catch you later.

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