Thursday 9 May 2013

April Happenings

So, a little recap of what we have been up to in April and early May (posted a little later than planned because the Day Jobs have both been very busy with Easter and related events).  An ongoing problem with Internet signal in our part of the valley has contributed somewhat to this laxity with updates, but that can't be helped for the time being.  At some point we’ll get the Internet properly, and can properly grasp the whole social-media aspect of promoting our work.

First thing though is to mention the little informal review we both had of our situation regarding art and photography.  In order to focus on our Day Jobs and the steady income they provide, we realised we had been neglecting things somewhat with the art and photography, so we’re making a conscious effort to get back into doing work this year.  More open calls, exhibition proposals, self-publishing, gallery visits, and so on.  Likewise we’re focusing our efforts mainly on Art Photography rather than strict documentary work, as the doc and portraiture fields are somewhat crowded at the moment, and we’ve both come to the conclusion that we much more enjoy doing gallery-type work in this field.  That’s not to say that we wont be doing commissioned stuff though- we have a couple of weddings coming up (something we find satisfying to do) and some documentary shoots for our jobs or other organisations which we are involved with, like the Scouts.

Speaking of which, Amy undertook some more commissioned work for the Scouts during May, both at the St Georges Day parade/ceremony at Bradford Cathedral, and also at the launch of the iScout Bradford event, at LOCATION.  These were just a couple of ‘normal’ shoots to document the events really, but it’s nice to be able to contribute to scouting in this way.

The Day Jobs continue to provide occasional opportunities for unusual and interesting work; Amys work at school means opportunity to try lots of different art and design techniques that spill-over into other self-led projects, and sometimes I end up doing shoots for the tearoom; recently I did some promotional pictures to be used on an internal revamp of the website, a couple of which are here:

I (Ben) attended the Diesel Gala on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, and for once found a visit to the line coincided with bright sunshine and blue skies, which is almost unheard of for one of my transport photography expeditions.  A nice opportunity to get some train photography done this year, and in the company of several other photographer friends who I don’t get to see nearly often enough these days, though the increasing popularity of the KWVR for photographers, with a few ‘big names’ in the train-photo field being present, means a constant need to find fresh angles and unusual locations for the shots.  I rather like the challenge, even if the resulting images are perhaps too unconventional to sell to the mainstream magazines.

Art-wise (as opposed to photography) Amy has been getting on with some work using recycled materials ready for an open call, based on some work she did as a demonstration piece for her school job.  There will be a bit more on these when we get a little closer to the deadline.

An upcoming shoot is planned featuring a rather amazing location at my work, a National Trust property in the Aire Valley.  Down on the river Aire is a bend in the river where a load of ceramic waste has been dumped, and there’s a sort of natural beach covered in smashed Victorian tiles and bottles.  I made it down there with a minicam last week, and want to return with a proper SLR camera soon.  There are a number of locations, which would make amazing backdrops to fashion/portraiture shoots too, which is worth bearing in mind…

What’s in the pipeline for May/June then?  Well, there’s the aforementioned open call featuring recycled materials which both of us will be entering (though I still haven’t properly planned what I shall be doing yet).  We’ve also assembled some exhibition proposals to try to communicate to galleries, featuring some of the big, sprawling projects we’ve undertaken in the past.
   Moving more into the ‘Art’ side of things, we’ve decided to push more emphasis onto doing crafty stuff, and a few projects are in the planning stages.  Something I’ve wanted to do for a while are T-Shirt designs (having made a few over the years), and I’m roughing some out based on past projects like the steampunk-themed “Century Survey” and also “HappyGoth”.  There’s a website I’ve found which lets you sell your designs through, so I’m looking into it.
   Work is currently underway on designing a dedicated folio site for Amys work, and looking back at old projects has prompted thoughts of returning to some of them for a revisit (such as finding and documenting some of the locations visited along the Cumbrian Coast in 2007 for the Final Major), and has also made me wonder about doing another big, mad, portraiture shoot out on location somewhere… Time will tell.