Lots of changes and uncertainties over the last few weeks, and then a week’s break at Easter allowing some space for reflection.

Leaving aside creative writing and thoughts about the future, I had a supervision session with Nat just before the break, which quite unexpectedly generated a eureka moment.

We were discussing my drawings and also some photos that I’d put together, and he commented on the detached quality that they all had. This completely relates to my ongoing low grade depression which has been tiresome but not at all dramatic or disabling as mood swings go. Nat talked about composition and the use of fore- mid- and background in both landscape painting and architecture. We discussed times in which the middleground is squeezed out for compositional effect, and then noted that in my drawings and photos the opposite was occurring – the middleground stands alone without any relation to fore- or background.

Reading around the subject of composition again I came across some useful ideas that I think can be extrapolated with reference to my work:


I asked Forster for his top five tips for people who wanted to improve their landscape composition no matter what camera they use. Here’s what he said:

  1. Don’t stick rigidly to composition “rules” — photographic composition is about visual balance, proportion, simplicity and individuality. So don’t just go to well known viewpoints and locations to take your landscape pictures. Explore with your camera and create your unique images.
  2. Experiment with your point of view; in particular simplify your image by using a low viewpoint and portrait format. See how much simpler your compositions become.
  3. Keep it simple — decide what inspired you to take the shot and only include what you intend to. Exclude any distracting features or objects.
  4. Think of composition as organising features in the frame and think of the visual effect of everything in the frame. Try using diagonals in your compositions.
  5. Think of your image as a visual journey — an arrangement that takes the viewer through the image.

On this blog Katie Collins shows a great example of eliminating the middleground:

katie collinshttp://dianabrighouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/katie-collins-60x60.jpg 60w, http://dianabrighouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/katie-collins-220x220.jpg 220w" sizes="(max-width: 182px) 100vw, 182px" /> 

Using the classical rules of composition may just be my eureka moment by offering me a unifying framework within which to interpret my research.

As far as taking forward the fine art aspect of the work, I have thought extensively about this and have consistently felt drawn back to my papier mache bodies. I intend to make some more, and also to continue with the daily (or as near to daily as I can remember) photos.

There are big gaps in both my website and blog entries. I have worried and worried about this, but of course they are merely a reflection of the depressive pole of my manic depression, and as I said, the low grade depression has been unpleasantly pervasive this winter and spring. Of course part of the deficit in writing is attributable to preparing and submitting assignments for the MRes and for the ill-fated Techne studentship application.