Welcome to my 6th blog on Memories from the Home: I’m (Blog No 5) continuing the theme of sounds in the home; this time Music evoking memory and supporting connections to deceased loved ones.
Action for happiness day May 2020 shared this picture recently and it seemed and appropriate time to share my thoughts about Music and its importance to me, within the context of memory, grief, connection and the family home.
Music has always been an important part of family fun and socialising. My Nan was a keen piano player, playing by ear, ‘on the bontempi‘ as Grandad would always say, as children we would always make up our own radio shows, put on plays, and singing performances for our Grandparents. My family are now in bands.
In organising my Grandparents home after they had died, at the time I didn’t have the storage for their vinyl collection, but knew I wanted to keep it. A lot of the vinyl was the likes of Bing Crosby, other readers digest collections of the time, plus other big band swing music such as ‘Are you listening’ by Harry Roy and His Orchestra -why not have a listen here.
Nan had a great love of big band music, and there was a lot of military bands in their collection, as well as other music that I don’t recognise. Those of you who own Vinyl records know, there is such a beauty in the tangibility of the whole process, taking the vinyl out of the sleeve, ensuring not to touch the surface of the vinyl to ruin it in some way, preparing to play. When I want to listen to them, the process, the action is potentially the same as if when my Grandparents were listening to them. I love the crackle of the vinyl, the little jumps every so often, the gentle whir of the turn table, the click of the resting arm. I don’t recall them listening to this specific album, but I now always have that tangible process to imagine them going through the same actions as me and listening together in their home, perhaps remembering dancing together when they were younger. Through music and the physicality of these objects I am making new meanings and continuing connections explored by such writers as Unruh and Riches & Dawson. The collection is now organised in my home, with those I’m more likely to listen to on display, and others safely stored away.
Do you have a music collection, gifted to you by your loved ones?
If you want to join me on my journey through my PhD research; my focus is expanding towards creativity and how we use creative expression as a way of navigating and exploring grief at home. You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved in my research.
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.
Wow! well what a fantastic weekend for fabulous creative Medway! Awesome gigs from independent Artists via Homespun, (A-lines were my favourite on Friday night at the Nags Head) Rochester Lit Fest’s Garden Party, and the Friends of the Vines Cherry Picnic.
My ‘Freedom of the Nude’ exhibition for Medway Open Studios had a fantastic number of visitors, despite the heat, and the call of the beach! I’d like to thank each and everyone who popped in and appreciated my work, with genuine and interesting conversations, hopefully inspiring others to have their own open studio/creative adventures from this point onwards.
Many visitors were genuinely interested in my film photography, so I think there is a bubbling revival of film photography out there, oooh workshops and an exhibition of just Film photos maybe calling!
Just a few wonderful comments from people throughout the day:
‘you can see the love and emotion connecting the people in the photo’
Visitors enjoyed that I captured ‘the natural ‘in-between’ moments in the shots’ and that the ‘message was clear that our bodies do have a story to tell’ and was a great experience to ‘see photos of natural people’ i.e. not photoshopped in anyway. We are all Individual, Beautiful, Nude.
The Medway Open Studios is on until 21st July (my exhibition is on Friday 19th July 5-7, Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 12-5), if you want to come along, please do! Heres a downloadable programme. If you get your hands on a hard copy, there is a competition on the back for the opportunity to win £100 towards your chosen artist! (T’s and C’s apply). We all look forward to welcoming you to the studios around Medway.
So after the wonderful success of the promotional shoot for a commission by The Right Step Dance Company for Fuse Festival and costume by Kalikas Armour, it was fabulous to see the full performance at the Fuse Festival 2013.
With haunting vocals by Tendayi Sutherland and processional drum by Jacob Bride and JIMtheSAINT the Sirens emerged from the Central Theatre Chatham, Solemnly walking through the busy shoppers of the high street who were stopping in their tracks to see the Sirens, ending their Journey at the Anchor.
The full musical composition combined with the Sirens, protective, mischievous, and tempting natures, treated the audience to a journey through the Sirens personalities and mysticism that surrounds the legend of the Siren.
Protective – mother-like figure over the other Sirens
Mischievous – cheeky and playful
Temptress – luring the sailors to shore
I found the whole performance fitting, given our Naval history within the towns of Medway. It was a wonderful collaborative project encompassing the variety of talented artists across the Medway Towns.
I have been proud and honoured to work with some fantastic artists. Heres to future projects!