Monday, November 12, 2012

Uni trip to London!

So, my second trip at Uni was to London to see two recommended printers to print our work at. I was quite excited for this trip as yes it was the second of only two trips properly organised at University (in College I had about four or five trips and I was only there for two years and not paying £9,000 for going there). But anyway, we set off at 7 O'clock (I was excited to see who had got up in time) and we arrived in London at 10 O'clock ish due to incidents along the way and busy traffic in London.

Anyway, we got there in the end and we got ourselves into three groups of around 14 people. I was in the third group so I had some time to look around at some exhibitions and then head to Artful Dodgers printing at half 2. Our group split up quite abit and went on our own ways with what kind of exhibitions we wanted to go to. So in the end, I was with Justyna, Oana, Mark, Lauran and Claudia, we all decided to go to The Photographers Gallery first.

After alot of iPhone googling (which I didn't do as I have a crappy little phone) we finally found The Photographers Gallery and paid a reasonable £2 to get into the good exhibitons. The first one we saw was Tom Wood: Men and Women. The exhibiton consisted of a mixture of images from strangers he had met to portraits of family and friends, keeping quite simple his way of photographing the subject but the people from all occupations and walks of life.

I did like that Tom Wood looked at all walks of life and portrayed their characters and space they work/live in within the images and I also liked the layout of the photographs on the walls and in the tables. However, I was not wowed by his work.

The next exhibition we saw at The Photographers gallery was the SHOOT! Existential Photography Part 1. This exhibition consisted of a timeline of photographs by Ria Van Dijks called 'In almost every picture'. The photographs were all taken at the fairground, playing one of those games where you have to shoot something off the shelf to win a prize. Every time she shot, a photograph was taken of herself doing this so technically 'shooting herself'. She started to do this when she was just 16 years old and has continued right up until the age of 90.

When I first saw these images, I didn't really understand and was about to walk away. But I went back and started from the beginning and realised how beautiful the timeline of photographs were. They showed a change in photography, starting in a sepia tone and ending in colour. The clothes and style changed within the images along with Ria's ageing and change in decade. I found it fascinating and I would recommend anyone to go and see the photographs!

The next floor up continued with the same content of 'shooting yourself'. In this exhibition was a room which was pitch black and had four big screens up and was playing clips from films of people shooting, it was very bazar but interesting! The exhibition also consisted of a pellet gun which you had four goes for £3, shooting at a target. If you shot in the centre, the camera instantly went off and you could get the photograph of yourself shooting yourself. I thought the way they added this hands on photography and activity was very clever and was very fun! They should do more things like this in exhibitions!

The next exhibition we went to, we split up into smaller groups. So me, Justyna, Mark and Oana trecked to Somerset house to go and see Henri Cartier Bresson's exhibition. However, we were rushed for time as we arrived at Somerset house at 2 O'clock and had to be at Artful Dodgers printing at half 2!  

I walked around this exhibition in about 5 minutes, as I was bored by the images and found the contrast of black and white images and colour images along with images that weren't even Henri Cartier Bresson's very confusing! The images were very dull and I wasn't impressed at all!

Anyway, we rushed off on the tube to Artful Dodgers and got to look around at the very large enlargers, the printers and some of the images they had produced, including some film strips of the late Amy Winehouse! Whilst I was there, I also saw very big prints of David Chancellor's work and a book produced of his. The images were printed to a high standard and the people at Artful Dodgers explained that alot of burning out, lighting up areas in the images had taken place. However, I found David's work very beautiful printed although the subject matter was very disturbing. His work was of hunting and how people enjoy hunting and making money out of it. This image in particular, struck me as beautiful but awful.

The next printing place we went to was The Print Space. We arrived there at 4 O'clock and I felt they made us abit more welcome here. They talked us through all the different papers they printed on and how the different paper worked well with what subject matter and how you were presenting it.

This talk about different types of paper really helped and I will probably use The Print Space to print my final images as I felt the quality of all the papers were really good. He also showed us a retouched image of Gwen Stefani which I thought was interesting to look at as I was shocked at how much photoshop had been used on her!

Overall, I had a really good day in London and will definately use either one of the printing places to print my final images. I want to also look into more of some of the photographers work that I had seen during the day as they fascinated me!

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