In this event we welcomed back former UoR Art students, including Manolo Blahnik’s Social Media Manager, Naomi Davies. This event completely revolved around careers and life after university, a topic I worry about quite often. After the talk we were offered the chance to photograph Manolo Blahnik shoes, then review them and how well they would work on their social media. I found this interesting as it reminded me much of an event I took part in when I was in college, in which a photographer for a company I can’t remember came in and taught us what was expected in the photos they are required to shoot, and how advertising worked. As a student of art, then and now, I felt and feel pressure to know what to look for when photographing specific scenes objects, like what arrangement the objects should be, what colours compliment the object and setting, and how to position the area around the object. I did find this event very interesting as I like how it made these questions come to mind again, and reminded me I should be more careful when photographing my own work, as in art presentation is everything.
For my enhancement week activities I decided to choose to see this film because not only had I heard much about it, but it also got mentioned alot in my Bodies of Difference module as an important film.
‘Born in Flames’ is a 1983 documentary-style feminist science fiction film by Lizzie Borden that explores racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism in an alternative United States socialist democracy.
The story follows several different women coming from different perspectives and attempts to show different examples of sexism and how it plays out, and how it can be dealt with through direct action of either the victim or people viewing the scene. A famous scene is one during which two men are attacking a woman on the street and dozens of women on bicycles with whistles come to chase the men away and comfort the woman.
The film shows the different ideas that the women come up with about what they can do and what they should do, because they all know that the government will not take care of it. The film shows a world at war against women, with violence, government oppression and high unemployment for females. By the end of the film the women start to come together to make a bigger impact, by certain acts that some would call terrorism.
I found it an interesting movie and I understand why it’s now mentioned so often in my other modules, due to its impressive portrayal of women and the difficulties they face for simply being born their gender.
This session was incredibly soothing, and I really feel that I got something out of going. Starting with the activity of doodling along with soothing music, and ending with making our own poems I got alot of food for thought on expressing my thoughts.
The first activity was doodling with music in the background. This was meant to be a warm up, to help us wake up and get our minds working.
For the next part we were given an image, in my case I was given a postcard of a man in the drivers seat of a car with a poodle sat in the passenger seat.
We were assigned the task of writing headlines, serious and funny, to go with the image in different newspapers. I haven’t read many newspapers and struggled slightly, so I decided to go towards the more comical side of it;
- The New Danger: Dog Drivers
- This is what our taxes pay for: Doggy Day School
- The Next Big Thing; Driver Dogs
For the next activity we were given the choice of images, either in books or images we brought with us to the session, to then make a poem about. I had taken a postcard of a beach similar to the one below.
I am the Sea,
I can be deadly yet calm,
I am luring,
Like a siren calling out,
Pulling you to your doom,
I am deeper than your darkest thoughts,
But I am only the Sea, nothing more.
For the next activity we were again told to find an image we enjoyed, and then to find 4 sentences ‘blindly’. By that she meant we were to go through more than one book, and flick through pages and ‘blindly’ choose one, then choose a sentence on one of those pages. We were to repeat this process 5 times, making a poem entirely out of ‘found’ sentences. I chose the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck.
Not a simple chance in a billion,
That I would marry you,
That I would be destined to carry your child,
To die by your child,
To end my life before it began.
We again done this activity and I chose a painting by Sir John Everett Millais called Death of Ophelia.
Thou Speakest to me of love,
Side by side, their faces blurred,
They knew how, and when to detach themselves,
I listen to myself saying it,
Without Passion, we’d be truly dead.
For our last activity we assigned the task of cutting up our last poem into sentences or just words, and spreading them along the table with everyone else’s. We then had to either choose a theme to write the poem, or to simply make one out of words that we felt connected too.
If I was easy prey,
When winds take me alone and lifts me up high,
I had the sky beneath me,
Was it a vision or a dream?
Now I rest in eternal slumber,
But do not cry for me,
For I am free.
This workshop really made me think more of words I could use in descriptions of paintings, and I do feel like this workshop really gave me food for thought.
For my first activity I decided to participate in the ‘Afterlife’ talk, fitting it around my ‘Creative Writing’ workshop booked for the same day. Although unable to attend the whole session I definitely feel I benefitted from it, as I have had a lot of worries as to what I aim to do after I finish University. The talk consisted of two guest speakers talking about their lives and jobs after they finished studying their BA in Reading. Although neither had jobs I feel I would enjoy or wish to aim for, I did enjoy listening to their experiences in University, and the fact that they also seemed to have had the worries we have as students have, I do feel more confident that things will fall into place when I graduate, no matter how rocky the path may get.