Tagged: project

Medway Open Studios 2022

It’s back!

What a lovely sunny start to Medway Open Studios 2022 that runs from Saturday 2nd July to Sunday 10th July. A fantastic opportunity to explore the creativity that the Medway holds, whether in a gallery, studio, or behind the door of someones home.

As in previous years my offer Medway Open Studios this time round is different. I decided to kick start a project that I had ruminating in my mind for a number of years now…..to capture a moment in time in where I lived. This developed into inviting my neighbours to have their portraits taken outside of their home and sharing a short story of their time in the house, and the community.

I was pleased that many (21 in total) homes came forward and wanted to be involved, highlighting the creative and community spirit that ‘Bishops Square’ is made up of, all 120 houses of them. The area has always been supportive and welcoming and especially so during the lockdowns of 2020-21, much like others in the country we were checking in on one another.

The 12 portraits for the duration of Medway Open Studios are hung in the front windows homes, and by scanning a QR code you can link to their stories on my website. I was a pleasure to take the portraits and get to know my neighbours more as fellow ‘Square Dwellers’.

I was outside my home Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd to have a socially distanced chat with visitors and here are just some wonderful comments from them:

‘What a great idea’

‘We should do something like this in our neighbourhood’

‘What a great community arty initiative’

‘Such a lovely idea – there is something about living in a square. We just walked round our old home territory and saw all the portraits- and their stories are brilliant.

It has also been great to introduce Medway Open Studios to new visitors, lovely to know that they have seen the marketing across Medway.

Feel free to contact me to share your views on my project.

Thank you to everyone who scanned the QR code and had a socially distanced hello this weekend. Enjoy the final week of this great event on until Sunday 10th July.

Nikki x

Getting to Know Richard Heeps -a few inspired thoughts

After the Richard Heeps inspired workshop I learned that he would be doing an informal gallery talk about his work. For some reason (perhaps the Americana) I had though that he was American, here’s my love of coming across new artists -I like to be surprised!. I soon learned that he was in fact from Cambridge, and studied in Farnham, he had visited America on 5 occasions gathering his work for his latest exhibition.

I instantly warmed to Richard, starting his talk by telling us that his photography had started as a hobby, he did go to art college however has never displayed any of his work from this time.

I wanted to know more about his aspirations and thought processes behind his art and there were somethings I could relate to. Richard said that his photos were displayed in the chronological order that he physically took them. I could instantly relate to this, although I do have a tumbled approach to my creative thoughts sometimes, I also like to be very methodological with my work. I’m never tempted to move onto say editing another shoot, until I am 100% happy with the outcome of the first. On such profiles as my flickr account everything is displayed in the order it was taken. I suppose this maybe a consequence of documentary photography, noting the passage of time or a natural order of things. You wouldn’t start with a photo of a demolished building and end with the building as it was, upright, I don’t know perhaps you would, that’s the beauty of Art and being creative.

Another beautiful element to his work is that it is largely from his own interest and inspired projects, which is something I’m sure all photographers would relate to.

Richard told us that he really gets to know the people in his photos before taking their picture (using mainly friends), this was particularly reassuring to me as I do often think that my own photos may look a bit ‘samey’ using the same people, however I think I have shown that if you get to know people really well, they feel more relaxed which will bring out the best in them and therefore your photos.

A good tip was also to keep sending your photos to various magazines and websites to get your work to a wider audience, I am regularly looking for competitions and opportunities like this. A nice thought to keep on doing what you love as per a previous blog.

A lot of work for Richards recent work is capturing things before the are gone, and I think the same can be said for analogue photography, unless we keep on, it may fade which would be a real shame, don’t get me wrong I think that the accessibility to digital cameras by most is fantastic, but feel that some generations may not know what it is…..(another blog here maybe?)

What I also got from his talk was to not be afraid of long term projects, i.e. spanning many years. I have started a self portrait project near or on my birthday, from my last birthday onwards. I think my challenge is also to collate all my childhood photos, I don’t think I have many of these (another project coming along I think!).

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