This last week I have done little else but paint, photograph and prepare for my upcoming exhibition at The Gaia Coop in Leamington Spa. In case you haven't heard about it yet, I will be showing a new series titled 'Fashion Victims' (for want of a better name) which will be put up on the 1st of February 2011 and runs throughout the entire month. The opening event will be held on Saturday late afternoon from 16.00 - 18.00 and there will be coffee, tea and cheesecake. Everyone is invited to this free event, so if you happen to be around 7 Regent Place in Leamington Spa, drop by! I've sent off my Microflex TLR to North Shields to have it fixed and hopefully I'll get it back somewhere next week so I can start using it. In the meanwhile, I have dug up my old Praktica Super TL2 SLR, complete with a set of lenses and accessories, which had been gathering dust underneath the bed for nearly a decade. After all, I was in desperate need of some new images to print in the Darkroom! I have shot and developed an Ilford 125 BW film, shot it indoors ( I know it's not ideally made for that) and developed it using the gear my Mum has sent over last week. Thanks mum! The results were.....ok. It did give me some ideas for future projects however, so when I've got anything good, I'll make sure to show you. This week, I've also signed myself up for an artist showcase -' Renewal 2' - in Gallery 150 in Leamington Spa, where they will be displaying pieces from members (and some of non-members) of the Leamington Studio Artists (LSA). I will be entering two pieces for this, now all I have to do is keep my fingers crossed both will be selected to go into the show. Both works will be for sale as well, so if you fancy owning an original by yours truly, head over to the Gallery 150 between the 14th and the 28th of February.
Good ol' saturday! This week I've been rather busy and I still have not managed to get everything done I wanted. I found a brilliant Microflex TLR camera at the Warwick Antiques Centre, cosmetically in good condition, the glass is clean and scratch-free and the winding-mechanism (this model's Achilles heel) seems perfectly purring. It even came with it's original box, manual and a couple of filters, all for only 95 pounds! There was just one but - so it turned when I had already taken it home. The aperture wheel wouldn't move any lower than 11, moving freely between f11 and f22. Oh dear.... I took it back to John (the gentleman that sold it to me - I would recommend going to the store if only to have a chat with him. You can find the store at 22-24 High Street in Warwick, UK) to show him the fault he had overlooked. The camera seemed a little fickle then as well, for when John turned the wheels, everything worked fine. Then I held it again and it froze up! In the end, we worked out that if he could find me someone to repair the fault (for under 60 preferably) I'd gladly have the work done. After all, just try and find a decent vintage camera in perfect condition that won't need at least basic servicing. If he wouldn't be able to do so, he offered to give me a full refund. Deal! That's the nice thing about this place, the people are still of the old-fashioned honest kind. He called me today to tell me that he managed to track down a man in North Shields (of all places!! I used to live there not so long ago!) who repairs old camera's for his camera club. I'll send off the camera in the upcoming week and hope the doctor has a cure..... On other news: I've been gathering and cleaning/ painting some frames for my upcoming exposition at the Gaia Coop in Leamington Spa. I've spent a lot of my time on painting and drawing and in general getting my work ready to put on the walls before the 1st of February. On the Thursday I've spent my first evening in years in the darkroom again and even though I think it's great to get back into it, I had simply forgotten how long it takes to get even one print done. This will prove to be a lot more fun when I get to move on to large format printing - I am very much looking forward to seeing my first 6x6 negative appear on paper. I was supposed to attend a Dr Sketchy in Birmingham today with my friend stylist Melysa Fay but for some mysterious reason there was none! Good thing we still enjoyed the Flea Market at the Custard Factory earlier in the day - it's held every Saturday if you are around - and a light spot of high street shopping. We are planning a couple of shoots together again so watch these Saturday updates for more news regarding that.
This week has been busy and fun. I contacted the local College to ask about some darkroom courses they would have going in both January and April and to see if a space could be rented on a day/ evening bases. I came to talking with Lionel Moogin and we worked out a brilliant scheme where I can make use of their darkroom and in exchange I will help one (or some) of their students with their final projects. It sounds fantastic and I can't wait to get stuck in! I'm looking around for batches of Black and White paper (if you'd like to donate any old darkroom paper you have lying around - send me a message :)) and a decent medium format film camera. I've been painting again and got a better idea of where to take some of these works. Taking some of the recent advise I've gotten into account, I should work on some consistency within my portfolio. Let see if that works!
Since it's Saturday, I'm taking a quick break from my photographer/ artists blogging to bring a little update on my personal life. The year 2011 has started off great - I've put a couple of my paintings up at a buzzing local pub in Leamington Spa, 'the White Horse' so if you are local, go check them out! I'm also preparing for an exhibition which will run in February of some of my other work at the Gaia Coop, a Leamington Spa based ethical food shop, workshop and gallery space. They are located on 7 Regent Place, Leamington Spa and trade in locally and ethically produced, fairtrade, organic, vegan and animal friendly produce. The art space in located in their cellar, which is spacious and well lit, with a different artist showcase each month. Other than that, I'm preparing for the Twycross Wedding Fayre on the 27th of February 2011, which hopefully will be very succesful and good fun to boot 🙂 I will be one of the official photographers for the 'FACE of 2011' competition organised by models-united.com in the Warwickshire region - entry to the competition is complementary with each shoot! Contact me for available dates via the contact form. I'm very much looking forward to what the new year will have to offer, and I'll be working my socks off doing shoots and creating new works of art.