Week Nine: Iterate and Collaborate

Todays lesson was another helpful hands-on class, where we furthered our experiments that we presented last week. There were a few changes that I wanted to make on my works as the printed photographs looked quite different from their digital form, so that was the first thing I wanted to address.

The first step was changing the background colour to be a little brighter to reduce the intensity of the monochrome effect. I wanted my work to be grey from the get go, but it was a bit too grey for my liking.

After I fixed my existing edits, I moved on to creating new ones. Whilst I was analysing the photographs, I realised that I wanted to add something more; a deeper meaning. I decided to experiment with this by being aware and selective with what I was deleting. With one photograph, I decided to keep the majority of the face, but erase the mouth. It was symbolic of silencing, a contrast to an earlier work where I erased the eyes.

hands no mouth

I am really happy with how my work is coming along. I like the ideas that my work is encouraging, and how it is challenging me in my photoshop knowledge and my portraiture shooting.

I like how my work maintains its theme throughout, however one of my biggest concerns at the moment is that the audience will find my works too similar with little change between the photographs. This is another reason I am implementing the carefulness of deletion that I spoke of earlier.

I believe my work could become more exciting as I add more meaning into the editing. This will allow a new path for my work to travel, and give the audience a more exciting and captivating piece.

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Week Eight: Development and Discussion

Today we used our time to demonstrate our ideas and a progression of our work. It was a very helpful exercise which allowed us to critique ourselves and receive helpful criticism from others. This was done by “thinking hats”. Through Shaun’s playful directions, we were able to identify the 6 factors in thinking about our works:

  • Blue = The outline
  • Red = Feelings
  • Black = Criticism
  • White = Outer facts
  • Yellow = Positivity
  • Green = Further ideas

The majority of the discussions ended with chats involving a great mix of hats! As I began discussing in the previous blog, I wanted to follow the idea of emotions. Inspired by the works of Alejandro Maestre Gasteazi and my own ideas, I created a sequence of photographs that expressed these feelings, and the idea of building up one’s identity.

 

The response I received was overwhelmingly positive. Many people took on different perceptions of my work, which Mat assured me was a very good thing.

When Jo asked me how I would build on this, I thought I might make the photographs bigger, or perhaps one life-sized photograph. However, a few people liked the smallness of the work, as they found it intriguing and drew the audience in closer. But in doing that, I would need more works to compensate. The idea of a sequence was thrown around, but counteracting that, so was the concept of randomness. Another suggestion was that I create a life sized work but of all different photographs working together. Jo also suggested, that if I was to do to a life sized photograph, perhaps it could be a screen work instead of a printed photograph.

It was a very positive experiment, and I am very happy with the results. In terms of my final work, I am thinking that I’ll keep them roughly the same size, but change the grayscale a little, as I found it a little washed out. Additionally, I think I will take more photos of different body parts, and perhaps add the book back into my work from week six, which was another suggestion.

Week Seven: Postgraduate Week

Postgrad week came by pretty fast, and this week gave the chance to try some of the ideas I had been thinking.The past few days had me researching a whole lot. I still hadn’t found an idea that I truly loved and was passionate about. Although I did have some ideas which I could pursue, I feel if I don’t love it myself, I can’t expect anyone else too. Additionally, knowing myself, I don’t think I would put as much love and care into. So I continued researching until I came across the works of Alejandro Maestre Gasteazi. The work translating to The Man Who Creates Himself inspired me to a whole new level. I feel in love with the series, and it really challenged my thinking. When I first found it, it was labelled as a sculpture. So I was stuck thinking the work was a 3D piece of art. It wasn’t until I stared at the work for about an hour that I realised how it was done, with photography and photoshop.

alejandro allI was super excited to try and recreate this, but one of the biggest challenges I came across was how to create the texture. These were some of my ideas:

  • Body Paint
  • Flour + water + gelatine
  • Yoghurt
  • Mud
  • Clay

In the end, I decided to go with flour, water and gelatine mixture with some drops of green, red and blue food colouring too add some colour. Thankfully, I have the an incredibly supportive boyfriend, so he was very happy to model for me.

 

The photos didn’t come out as close as to Alejandro’s as I may have liked, but I am still very happy with them! I’m not exactly sure how yet, but I really want to incorporate this style into my final work. It is fun, unique, and challenging. To me, it created this idea of a lost identity; a man who is trying to find himself and building his character up step by step.

Week Six: Iterative Practice and Critical Reflection

Week Six was focused on our artists recreation and the discussion of art vs craft, at the back of the words of Jonas Mekas. Beginning in the lecture theatre, Chelsea, Steph and I chatted about the bias within Mekas’ words;

“A good professional is a good craftsman who knows how to build a house exactly like his father used to build it; or make a wheel, or bake good bread, or make good wine, cheese or anything else. I admire crafts people, they are true professionals. But I hate experimenters who destroy our bread and our dwelling places and wine and yoghurt and everything they touch because they want to improve on what has been tested by hundred of generations. But, of course, what I say here about professionals has nothing to do with art. Artists are never professional craftsmen because gods have propelled them and possessed them in order to expand human possibilities, of what they now call human potential… And no past lessons, no professionalism will save them: they have to invent new technologies and new forms in order to record new sensibilities and now emerging content and help to form that content. The crafts people, the professionals, the more they remain faithful to the past, the more useful they are to humanity.”

Together we discussed how eminently clear it was, that Mekas ranked craft a lot higher than he valued the art discipline. We noted that he regarded craft as a more faithful practice, with it being more in tune with the past. Where as art, is a more testing form, in which ignores tradition and boundaries. He seems to hold negative feelings towards art, claiming craft to be a more conventional and acceptable form. He thinks craftsman to be professionals, but not that of artists.

I think my interests and enthusiasms lies somewhere in between. It’s a mix of craft and art. There are certain limitations on photography, and how to use it as a tool, which brings it into a craft element. However my creativity allows it to be art.

There are aspects of craft that inspire me. I like the idea of their being a structure. However, it doesn’t particularly motivate me, but I understand and appreciate its importance.

My chosen practice is photography, the forms within it that motivate me, are;

  • Travel Photography
  • Portraiture 
  • Candidness

As I am really interested in photography, I decided to enrol in a photography class this session, CAVA225. It’s a really interesting class which has given me a lot of new skills and inspiration. This week was no different, and in fact inspired me more than ever. We did a nude photoshoot, and I found it so interesting and fun! From that lesson alone, I’ve rethought my entire photography path. I really enjoyed studio portraiture and the scenes you can create, and now I am thinking I want to pursue that, and maybe get into wedding photography later on if that still interests me.

With that idea, I want to incorporate that into my major work, whilst also going with the emotional side of things. At the moment, I want to find out how people do feel about the future. I began asking some friends, and they came back with some interesting answers:

  • Super technology everywhere
  • Students
  • Responsibility
  • Family
  • Partner
  • Global warming
  • Concern
  • Anxiety

I wanted to continue and get some more ideas, especially from people that I didn’t necessarily know too well, so I decided to pass a booklet around the class, and later capture their emotions through portraiture. It was an interesting experiment, and it came back with ideas and thoughts that I never even thought about.

 

Week Five: Bringing Things Together

Today we really tightened in on our professional statements for our websites. I found this a particularly difficult task for some reason. It was a bit challenging speaking about myself in that way, so it took me a little while to get something I liked.

I did some further research on wedding photographers, looking at Ben Adams, Nick Sim and Dan Cartwright, and just like Thomas Stewart, they all used a casual and approachable take, which I loved! So I decided to go with that approach, as after all, I hope to advertise my photography to potential clients, rather than employees. Under this guise, I realised that clients are just people, they want someone they can talk to, gel with and someone they would just like to have there for one of their biggest moments in their life.

So I came up with this;

“Hi there! I’m Chantelle Hyde, a coastal girl who found her home and love for photography in Wollongong, New South Wales. I wish I was one of those photographers that had a camera in their hand from the get go, but the truth is, it didn’t happen exactly like that. It wasn’t until university when I needed another subject to do, that I truly began to practice and love photography. I found myself capturing photos of my friend in my free time, and fell in love with the photos I took of couples. After realising I spent a lot of my time photographing couples and what seemed like the rest of my time researching weddings, it seemed like the perfect fit to photograph weddings.
I love being able to capture weddings. They are so unique, and represent the couple so perfectly and wholesomely. My goal is to bring photos that are just as unique as the couple and their love.” 

After showing Jo this, she made me realise that the reason this approach is so effective for these artists is because they have been in the game for quite sometime. They don’t need to have such strong words, as their photographs do all the talking for them. Re-reading all a lot of these websites, I realised that wedding photography didn’t seem to be these artists end-goal from the beginning, they all seemed to be on other paths until someone once asked them to photograph their wedding. Therefore, they had a slow and steady progress, where as I want to jump straight in, making it a little difficult to pitch myself as a wedding photographer when I have no experience. So with that advice, I came to pitch myself on a more serious and professional note. I still struggled to come up with the words to describe myself, so I decided to leave it for a little while and come back a little later when I was feeling more confident within myself and my words.

The second part of the lesson was left to think about and research ideas in recreating another artists work. I was having a little chat with Meg, and her idea sounded absolutely amazing! She then showed me a video on how it was made, and it was mesmerising. We originally thought our ideas fit well together, with my idea of using non-biodegradable materials within the multi-layered glass art. After speaking about it with Jo and Mat, we were brought to the fact that maybe our ideas weren’t as in tune as we originally thought. With that realisation, Meg went on with her original idea, and I went back to researching non-biodegradable materials. Eventually, I came to realise that I wasn’t convinced by my own ideas, and let go of that idea. So now, I am back to researching, but I am still thinking about the idea of emotions that UTS inspired.

Week Four: Excursion to MCA & UTS

This weeks lesson was taken out of the classroom and up into Sydney, where we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and the gallery at the University of Technology Sydney. The aim was to explore the works and get inspiration for the way in which the works are presented to the audience, in an individual and collection sense.

The first exhibit we went and explored was Today Tomorrow Yesterday at the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Sydney Harbour. It was a dynamic space with a range of different mediums and materials. The collection was interesting in the uniqueness of its presentation. Some works consumed an entire room, whilst others took up a small corner, almost blending into the building.

I thought the collection was put together quite well, each space was utilised, and given sufficient space from the rest. Additionally, the flow of the works seemed to compliment each other. One of the first works I encountered was Every Time I Glance It’s Just Not Me by Dale Frank, which was a fun warped mirror. Opposite of this work was an untitled piece by Mikala Dwyer, which encapsulated a child’s first room and the materials within it. The room presented the idea of innocent fun.


After exploring the works in the MCA, we ventured over to the Sounding the Future exhibit at UTS. I definitely preferred this museum over the MCA, as it was more interactive and intimate. My favourite artwork of the day came from George Khut-Poonkin titled Mettāmatics 1 & 2 shown at UTS. The work was entirely interactive, as the individual put on headphones and a pulse reader to find their heartbeat a track on a musical landscape. It really caught and held my attention for minutes on end and made me feel a range of emotions. Through self-awareness I felt a wave of anxiousness yet calmness. This really interested me, and I loved how a piece of work could make me feel so many different emotions. I really want to incorporate this into my final work. Perhaps how each person feels about their future. Expressing their anxiety or eagerness for their own future.

 

Week Three: Invention and Innovation

Warren Leung started todays thought process, with the illumination of the artistic process. Mr Leung was a very interesting artist with some fascinating ideas. But what he spoke most of, was the trail to those ideas, and the lengthy in-depth process it took to get there.

Mr Leung channelled a range of different sources, from past through present to make his work as meaningful and accurate as possible. His attention to detail was also one of his more alluring techniques. His work that stuck with me the most was where he had frozen a coin, in which was used as a button. Every part had a meaning; the texture, the date of the coin, the action of pressing it. Truly fascinating. At the end of Warren’s speech, it made me realise the importance of research, and the way in which it can enrich ones work.

The second half of the class was spent in the classroom, thinking about our practice and how we want to employ that into the world through a website. Before making the website, we obviously had to work out what we wanted it to be about, and that was by defining myself as an artist, and realizing what kind of artist I am and the artist I want to be.

Only a matter of months ago, I realised I wanted to be a wedding photography. The idea of photographing one of the most special day in two peoples life, and showing who they are as individuals and a couple. So I spent the day going through my works, old and new trying to find the ones that encapsulate that, and the expressed my style as a photographer.

Additionally, I also began to look at other wedding photographers, and see how they presented themselves and their position in the practice. My go-to photographer was obviously the first website I checked; Thomas Stewart Photography. Thomas has been my inspiration since he shot the wedding of my best friends close friend. His style was completely relaxed and relatable, and came across so approachable; just a man you would like to invite to a wedding just to have a chat. It completely spoke to his style, unique, fun and outstanding. Everything I want to portray.

He showed a large range of shots, from local weddings, to exotic travels, although he predominately exhibited shots from NSW weddings. His work and his words really inspire me. I loved the approachability of his statement, and how instantly happy his anecdotes made me.

I really found his style similar to the style I love to portray. So with that inspiration I began to create a list of everything I thought encapsulated my style:

  • Candid
  • Fun
  • With the landscape
  • Non-traditional

 

Additional to my style, I made a list of everything that was important to a potential client;

  • Bachelor of Digital Media
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Wollongong
  • Diploma of Screen and Media
  • Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media
  • Film Photography
  • Videography