Fellow artist Tracie Peisley who heads up Pandora’s other Box womens artist group in Whitstable, dropped me a line recently to ask if I would like to give an update on my work since Exhibiting for the Skin project at the Horsebridge Centre in August 2016 to the group.
I had a think and decided to write a blog as I haven’t for a while, regular blog followers will know I usually do an end of year wrap up blog. The Skin project/exhibition was a pivotal moment in my confidence in displaying work in a larger gallery, of course I have always been involved in Medway Open Studios, and submitted work for galleries before with other artists, but this point really gave me a thought of well, yep I think I can do this by myself.
I’ve had a number of commissions over the past year, and at the beginning of the year I started my research for my Masters application, which I am delighted to say I have had my interview, and been offered a place to study an MA by Research in October this year! Exciting and scary in equal measures, I haven’t undertaken any Higher Ed studies since my BA in 2001. Naturally I wanted to ensure a large element of the MA would include visual research, so photography, my passion, will form a large part of that. My last MA Blog, was great to get my thoughts rolling and will be concentrating on elements of Identity through photography, including affirmations through (or not) sharing of photos on social media platforms, decisions of parents to (or not) share photographs of their children also on social media, and what (if any) effect this has on their identity. I will be looking for individuals, and families to be involved, so if you would like to be then please drop me a line on my contact me page. Needless to say the MA will take a large proportion of my time over the next 2 years, but Nikki Price Photography will be running as usual.
I am currently in middle of Medway Open Studios #MOSAF2017 and my studio (the front room of my Victorian terrace) will be open for the final weekend 22-23rd July 11-3. This year as with every year I try something completely new, and I have made 10 pieces exploring double or triple exposures both in camera and in Photoshop. Many of the photographs include water, and reflections, and are quite peaceful contemplative pieces. A couple of wonderful visitors have compared one piece in particular to being like the work of “Paul Nash or Peter Lanyon” what a great compliment! I saw Paul Nash’s work last year at the Tate, so this may have had some kind of subconscious influence.
I have also been concentrating on my ‘Altogether’ exhibition at Sun Pier House Tea Room 3-28th September 2017. This is a collection of pieces of positive body image, using everyday (non model) nude subjects, photographed in non-traditional places. Like my MA, this exhibition seems a natural progression for work that I have been producing since 2013, the pieces for ‘Altogether’ have been taken over the past year, and include locations such as derelict buildings, marsh land, nature reserves, and in the studio. I want to portray an image that individuals could relate to, ‘real’ bodies without the furnishings of Photoshop or designer clothing, taking it right back to the basics of who we are fundamentally underneath, Human. I have found this series of photographs a real balance, of ensuring the importance of the message, affirmation of my own skills, sympathetic to my subjects and the audience eye.
A great round off to this week has been shooting for Last British Dragon UK Film Company headed up by fantastic film maker James Crow. James invited me to take photographs of the band formerly known as Bucks Fizz, The Fizz during filming their video for their come back single. What a great day and a nice bunch.
Think that’s plenty to keep me busy for the moment.
This blog post follows my previous blogs here and here of me getting together my ideas for the Exhibition of ‘Skin’ for Pandora’s Other Box.
During July and August, I also had my Medway Open Studios Exhibition of ‘Hidden Forms in nature and other stories’ (more about that in another blog – I promise!), which extended the exploration of ‘The Nude’ into forms of nature, mainly faces, and the suggestion of body parts mainly in the trunks of trees!
I am also preparing for a larger exhibition in 2017, where I am documenting interesting locations in states of decay, or change, with the addition of a nude figure to capture how everything eventually declines.
Whilst working in these three areas I organically came to what I wanted to submit for consideration for the Skin Exhibition.
Nature, Mother, and Grandad – three photos I was so immensely proud of, and was delighted to be accepted for exhibition of all three! The following words accompanied the photos whilst on display:
Nature – this photo is part of a series exploring nature and its hidden forms. Bark on a tree enables preservation, and encourages us to look at familiar views on ourselves, linking to the concepts of body image, and just as we come in all fabulous shapes and sizes, so does nature and we should embrace it.
Mother – this photo is part of a series which started in 2013 exploring the concepts of body image through the nude. This photo in particular on the brief of skin is acting as protection for our children.
Grandad – a tribute to a wonderful man who sadly passed away in July 2016. This photo forms part of a series over the last year where Nikki explored the concepts of self and family documentary photography, preserving a moment in time, life, and ultimately with the ones we love.
The Private view took place on Sunday 29th August; and here are a few photos taken celebrating all the wonderful artists who were included, in particular a live performance from Laure Meloy who responded to the art pieces in the form of Opera, and Clair Meyrick local poet and performer.
It has been a very personal, and heart felt journey from the first meeting to exhibition. I have felt that as a photographer, you put so much more into a photo, it’s not just about pressing the shutter, having a technically great result, but it also has a part of you, your thoughts your ideas, your creativity, your view on life is what makes your photos and what you do so unique.
Here’s to the next one.
Those of you who read my previous blog on the beginnings of getting my ideas together for the Exhibition of Skin for Pandora’s Other Box, at the Horsebridge Centre Whitstable, will note that the development of my ideas has been an interesting journey.
I had still been skirting around what I had wanted to produce therefore I took some of my previous work to the second Pandoras other box enrichment meeting, particularly ‘The Nude’ work. This is ongoing work from 2013, at that stage I was looking for technically perfect photos and poses of the models, and being work I had completed 3 years prior wasn’t sure how I felt about them now, as both my skills and creative thoughts have moved on so much since then.
I was a little apprehensive to start as other than the feedback I received from my visitors at my open studios, I hadn’t really had much direct critique of my work. It was great however, to have the constructive feedback from the ladies at the Pandoras other box meeting. At this stage I hadn’t fully set what my focus was for the Skin competition. Various feedback included that ‘the photos were technically excellent, some didn’t like the way the nude models were looking directly into the camera, some loved the openness and relaxed nature of the models (which I think in part is down to my ability to put people at ease), and some suggested that I find the meaning for me in the photos that I produce’. This was perhaps the best bit of advice, as I had concentrated so much into the technical side before, that I hadn’t reflected on what message I want to convey.
With that in mind I went off once again to explore another technique of using the body again but focussing on hands……..they can often give us so much information about a person, even if we do not know them very well. I played with ‘in camera’ double exposure, similar effects can also be gained from overlaying photos in photoshop.
Through a friend of mine, I noticed a post on Facebook inviting women to an informal talk about Whitstable Womens Art group Pandora’s Other Box.
A little apprehensive to start I drove to my favourite sea side place, I was’t sure really what to expect but I suppose that is the great thing of going slightly out of your comfort zone to learn about something new. I’ve wanted to expand my art based photography more along side the commercial side and felt that this would be great opportunity to do it!
The women at the meeting were very welcoming and the wide scope of the exhibition title ‘Skin’ was the focus, explained that there will be a series of meet ups, and enrichment workshops to lead to exhibition at the Horsebridge Centre Whitstable what a great focus.
Feeling totally inspired from the session, I hurried away making notes and sketching ideas on what I wanted to focus on, my initial thoughts were around Macro Photography, focussing literally on the skin capturing all its wonderful blemishes. I’d focussed on The Nude in a previous project so feel quite comfortable around this subject. Another thought is around tattoo’s and piercings as a form of body armour/expression, another part of me wants to run off and make something in clay!
A visit to the British Museum was great to bring my focus back and great to go as a group as well helped the sharing of ideas over cake! I’ve only ever been to the British Museum once before, and how many of us can say we have been inspired by Japanese, Egyptian and Mexican art in one day!
The second meet up was a great leveller, I was very conscious that I hadn’t ‘played’ enough with my project ideas and getting into a bit of a spiral of lots of thought and no action. It was reassuring to hear that many women in the group felt the same.
My conclusion to this part of the process is that I need to play more and be confident that the outcome may not be the final piece, its more the journey we take sometimes.
Been a while since the Medway open studios 2015 exhibition ‘It is what it is’
Thank you to everyone who came and guessed the film quote from many of my favourite 80’s and 90’s movies. It was great to see different interpretations of my photos.
Bigger thanks go out to all the wonderful people who took away with them lollies (for all correct guesses) and Nikki Price photography prints!
My favourite photo’s have to be these:
‘If I’m not me, then who the hell am I’ -Arnie in Total Recall
Big thanks to my good friend Riven for the make up!
Although there was also room for something a bit silly:
‘You should see the toast I couldn’t even get it through the door’ – John Candy as Uncle Buck
Again, we see her frustration with the system. The fetishism of everyday living is symbolised by another reoccurring theme, that is breakfast, which serves as a duel reminder of new beginnings and our constant struggle with power and authority. She has given up hope and the crisp bread is discarded before it can fulfil its potential.
I’ve already got my thinking cap on for the 2016 theme………hope to catch you there.
Its nearly upon us Medway Open Studios 2015, anyone see my article in WOW! (page 19!)
I’ve had a bit of creative block for this MOSAF, don’t get me wrong I’m busy busy and loving it, but have a lacked a bit of oomph for my own work. That’s when dear Mr Nikki Price Photography came to the rescue with his quotes from 80’s and 90’s movies.
This open studios has been perhaps the least prepared I’d have liked to have been, but hey some of my best work has been in the moment! This exhibition is also slightly different in that there is a mixture of both portrait, self portraits, still life and landscape, so hopefully something for everyone!
Hope you will all pop along and see me (Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July 11-3 further details here) and see if you can match up the quotes with the photos (possible prizes available -lollies!). I’ll also be displaying some photos from the last year which I think you’ll enjoy.
Till then x
What a scorcher of a July 14 Medway Open Studios!
For the first time this year I produced an article about the launch of the Medway Open Studios, including my photos, for online magazine the Medway Broadside. This received some good feedback from its reader base.
With around 80 visitors to my exhibition it would seem that Medway is very interested in the practice of mindfulness (and of course my fabulous photos and documentary video).
As well as the focus on mindfulness, taking portraits of people, I included a number of calming/mindful images, it’s always a tricky one knowing which photos to print. However I went with my instinct of those photos that I particularly liked, and it would seem you did too! The project theme is a passion of mine to assist my own mental health, but has come out of conversation at the Time to Talk events I run locally.
The documentary short film with music by 3D, received some wonderful feedback:
‘such a peaceful and calming documentary’
‘I feel so relaxed now…..can I stay?’
‘I wasn’t quite sure what mindfulness was, but now I know a bit more I’m going to start practicing!’
‘I share to many things (on social media) about what I’m up to, I going to try and be in the moment and not worry about sharing it with the world!’
‘feeling so relaxed now’
And on my accompanying written piece for the exhibition:
‘this is a wonderful piece, your description of your mindfulness moment, is written like we are breathing with you, experiencing that moment with you’
Medway Open Studios continues to be a big passion of mine allowing me to totally focus on my own project. I’ll leave you will a quote from my written piece, until next year.
“Breathing in the warm spring air, feet flat on the floor I shut my eyes in the middle of the pavement, listening to the cars going by, then listening deeper to the birds and natural sounds, another deep breath, with the sun beating down on my face, I opened my hands facing them to the warmth, feeling the gentle breeze pass through my fingers like water. It was an amazing feeling, having chosen a time to stop and be mindful had been so precious to me.” – Nikki P 14.03.14
Yet another fantastic creative weekend at the Medway Open Studios. I was genuinely touched with the sheer amount of people who popped into my exhibition 13th-21st July 2013, BIG thank you to all 150 of you. Also a HUGE thank you goes out to all my models for this project.
It was wonderful to be part of the ‘Bishops Square’ artists and wonderful to have Creatabox at the square on Sunday. I’m so proud that many of my photos (both film and digital) and Beard mats and magnets, are now enjoying their place in your homes!
As noted in a previous blog, I have been so pleased regarding the conversations about film photography, peoples own creative ventures (or being inspired to undertake a creative project) commissions, and connecting Medway’s wonderful creative community.
A few more wonderful quotes from visitors:
‘our bodies do have stories’
‘so much creativity in the Medway Towns’
‘the hands in your photos are so tender’
‘love the honesty of the nudes’
‘it was wonderful to see both male and female nudes’
I’d also encourage visitors if you did get your programmes signed (to be in for a chance of winning £100 with your favourite artist) to send your programme to Heather Burgess, Director of Medway Open Studios.
I thoroughly enjoyed my travels around other artists of the Medway Open Studios, I was so inspired by nude drawings by Rose Melville at Sun Pier and Wendy at the West end studios. I haven’t painted or used pastels for over 10 years and pleased that this week I dusted off the pastels this week and got drawing!
If you’d like to keep updated with the goings on at Nikki Price Photography, either ‘click’ on the ‘follow me’ icon on my website or come ‘like’ me on Facebook at Nikki Price Photography.
Heres to next year.
I was amazed that a free photography workshop was taking place in my local area (sadly this doesn’t happen too often that I’m aware of!), knowing that local Rochester based photographer Rikard Osterlund was running the ‘Richard Heeps inspired workshop’ I was very keen to go along.
I love discovering new artists and particular photographers and that i’m not familiar with Richard Heeps made the workshop more intriguing.
The Challenge of the workshop was to find ‘Americana’ in Rochester – not an easy task! I concentrated on the bold and striking colours, Heeps used in his ‘Mans Ruin’ series that was showcasing in the gallery. A pattern of blue was emerging:
Also (I can hear the tutting now!) this was one of only a handful of shoots that I had done using RAW (the debate of using JPEG and RAW maybe for another blog -watch this space -unless you are a photoshop Wizard I thought -why bother!) Anyway using RAW allowed vibrant post production for the final images.
The Second half of the workshop was to photograph an individual or group of people on the street, either from afar or in discussion with them on how the photo should be. I know I have been an active photographer for sometime now, but it didn’t stop me being petrified in approaching a complete stranger on the street and asking to take their photo -that’s a whole different kettle of fish! I must admit there was a couple of times I nearly backed out being out of my comfort zone.
However I went to a cafe to have lunch (and to calm the nerves) and saw a lady walk past in a black pencil skirt and shirt, with a small dog. She immediately caught my eye and I dashed out of the cafe and asked to take her photo, she was more than happy to oblige as long as long I had got the dog in the picture! I think that people are fairly happy with you taking their photo as long as you approach it correctly i.e. being approachable and friendly yourself.
The group of photographers attending the workshop were varied from enthusiasts, Pros, camera club members which proved bountiful at the final reveal at the end of the workshop, no 2 photos were the same. Every one had chosen broad elements of the ‘Americana’ brief.
So all been a bit quiet here on the Nikki Price Photography front for a few days, I unashamedly took myself away for a bit of ‘R and R’, taking in various sites on a wander down to Brighton.
Ok so it wasn’t the best of the weather (snowing on the first day until late afternoon and thankfully it didn’t settle), on the first night I visited the Green Door Store a fabulous little ‘under the railway’ bar, but with a whole host of personality and musical genre. That evening was dedicated to Noise Music, a real mixture of 3 guys for the first act; one playing rhythms through an I-pad, 1 guy playing an old school ‘teachers’ recorder (amongst other things!), and the final guy playing a trombone and ad-libbing. The second act was a guy who technically was fantastic treating us to some ambient trance, and the final act who I can only compliment (and this is huge compliment as I love the Beach Boys) as Brian Wilsons younger brother playing the 9 lives out of his electric guitar via a loop pedal, I think he even tried to crawl into a 6ft amp at one point!
I have discovered through this that this is the sort of music that makes me sleep, not in a bad way, this kind of ambient noise music gently lulls me into nod off land. Same way I love Radiohead but manage to sleep to their stuff; ‘Nikki’s Bed Time Music’ I call it!
Any how I digress: you can’t visit Brighton unless taking in some of the tourist parts; The Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, and the Brighton Wheel sky ride with Steve Coogan as the voice over; ensuring that we don’t get ‘the pirate playground and the nude beach mixed up’.
I had a wonderful long weekend, but couldn’t leave without going down to the beach near the West Pier, this iconic homage to the Victorian Era, now stands a shell of its former glory. Various stalls were on the main beach selling photographs of this iconic tragedy, hopefully some of these were to help the trust fund not just to line someones pockets.