Film Poster

Now that we have entered the final half of third year at university (how terrifying), thoughts have turned to our final independent projects.  This module provides the students with complete creative control, producing anything that falls under ‘Media Art’ and be displayed in our graduate exhibition.

To begin this lengthly process, we were recently tasked with creating an A1 research poster, documenting our initial proposals.  These posters were then displayed throughout the course building, where our peers and the public were able to view them.  I have chosen to combine my two favourite art forms, film and poetry, to create a short contemporary film (more details can be found below).  I’m excited to see how this concept will evolve throughout the process!

Film Poster

Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick

Whilst I know that we are now well into the New Year, I definitely neglected this blog towards the end of it. Therefore I’d like to reflect on an incredible exhibition I visited in late August 2016, ‘Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick’ at Somerset House in London. I am by no means an art critic (and DSLR cameras were not permitted), but I wanted to share how much I enjoyed my visit.

As you may expect from the title, the exhibition featured the work of contemporary artists, filmmakers and musicians who had been inspired by the influential director. The variety was extensive, some pieces recreated iconic moments from Kubrick’s films, whist others had produced original work that subtly hinted towards his distinct style. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience-the curators (Mo’Wax and James Lavelle) perfectly striking the balance between contemporary installations and traditional art mediums.

My absolute favourite piece of work in the exhibition was ‘The Corridor’ (2016) (above) created by Toby Dye. The installation required the viewer to enter a dark small room, only consisting of four screen walls. These screens constantly played four cinematic scenarios, each of which contained their own narrative but also interweaved to create a broader plotline. Since it is difficult to describe in words, an excerpt of the film can be found here and a short video of the piece situated in the exhibition can be found here.

Whilst these clip cannot fully convey the immersive element of the piece, the viewer can still see Toby Dye’s talent for beautifully stylistic cinematography.  I hope that I will be able to view more exhibitions like this in the near future, as it provided me with an inspirational buzz to work harder!

Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick

Pentax K1000

For the duration of my course at university, I have experimented with a number of their analogue cameras. You may have seen in a previous post that this inspired me to search for my own Super 8 camera, a search which is sadly on going. However towards the end of last year I finally managed to commit and purchase my own Pentax K1000.

Whilst I know it is not the most sophisticated or professional of models, I stumbled across it in a hidden away antique shop and couldn’t resist its charm (or price tag at only £25)! Since then I have gone through several roles of black and white film, snapping to capture memories rather than for my portfolio. Here are a few from a few months ago, taken at occasions such as my visit to the Eden Project and a trip to the seaside.

More of this series will follow!

Pentax K1000

Spring Playlist

Whilst it is still technically Winter here in the UK, I always associate the start of a new year with Spring. Throughout January and this February my music taste has reflected this, I’ve been listening to anything light and airy to help me ignore the sudden downpours and cutting wind! So if you’re still struggling to shake off those January blues, maybe give this playlist a little listen.

Spring Playlist

Dark Chocolate Almond Crispies

Recently, my sweet tooth has been out of control.  With deadlines on the horizon, desserts and chocolate bars have stood no match, and nothing seems to sustain my cravings.  So instead of going cold turkey, I’ve decided to cook up a slightly healthier alternative: Dark Chocolate Almond Crispies.

Now I can’t claim full ownership of this recipe, as I initially discovered it through my housemate, who discovered it through Goodness Guru.  However the fatal flaw in the original recipe is that it primary consists of peanut butter, which sadly, I despise (much to the horror of my housemates).   So after a bit of tweaking, this is what I’ve produced.  For those of you who fancy a nutty alternative, maybe give this a go!

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Ingredients:

100g Rice cakes

4 tbsp Almond Butter

4 tbsp Coconut Oil

200g High quality dark chocolate

Method:

This recipe is incredibly simple.  Firstly grease a baking tray and line with grease proof paper.

Put all of your rice cakes in a plastic bag and take your anger out on them with a rolling pin, smashing them up until they’re as small as possible.

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Heat the almond butter and coconut oil over a low heat, stirring until they’re a smooth liquid.  Add the rice cake crumbs gradually, combining with the mixture until fully covered.

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Then spoon everything out onto your baking tray, compressing it into a base, before popping it in the fridge to chill for around an hour.

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Melt your dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.  Stir until completely melted, leaving to cool to room temperature.

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Finally, pour the chocolate over your chilled based and leave it to set overnight.

You’re done, tuck in!

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Dark Chocolate Almond Crispies

The Search for a Super 8

During my time at university, I’ve gradually begun to develop a love for analogue film.  Thanks to the wide supply of cameras available to students, I’ve dabbled with the Pentax K1000, Hasselblads and even the ever so simple pinhole camera.  But now I’m onto my next (hopeful) venture: Super 8.

I’ve learnt everything I know about this medium online, and since I am by no means a expert, I don’t think I can provide much on the subject.  So while I sit here on eBay, waiting for an affordable gem that I can snap up, there are a few videos that I can recommend if you’re interested in learning more.

First is just one of the videos that has inspired me to pursue Super 8, a gorgeous montage created by Adrian Bliss:

Followed by an informative series on the camera by filmmaker Ray Roberts:

Let the search continue!

Jess

The Search for a Super 8

March Playlist : Blizzard

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The weather in Plymouth right now is as temperamental as ever, but most of the time it’s just a drizzly mess. Whilst it’s not exactly a blizzard, I felt like that was the title best suited for the playlist I have created this month.

I’ve always loved creating my own playlists for particular moods and times of the year, but have never been keen on sharing them publicly.  However I’ve decided that there’s no harm in trying, it’ll spur me to discover new music and might even broaden your musical taste!

This playlist is a mix of both calm and climactic electronic music, often combined with ethereal female vocals. You may also notice the influence of Asian music and effects in many of the tracks, which seems to be something I’m always subconsciously drawn to.

Pop on some headphones and enjoy.

Jess.

March Playlist : Blizzard

Sleepy Seaside

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Despite living in a coastal city like Plymouth, I can never quite get enough of the seaside. And since Cornwall is so temptingly close, this weekend my boyfriend and I decided to venture to the little town of Looe for some exploring.

In true British fashion, the weather was not on our side. However undeterred by the chilling winds and being blatantly underdressed, we still set off to the beach. Sadly most shops were not open due to it being (obviously) out of season, but we still managed to have a good time and get a few quick snaps.

We’ll definitely be revisiting in the summer!

Jess.

Sleepy Seaside

Boots ’n’Blackberries

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I have completely disregarded this blog over the past few months, life and university have all been a whirlwind since September!

To get back into the swing of things I thought I’d reminisce about the final week of last summer, when I made the most of the above average weather and went blackberry picking with my mum. We’re very lucky to live in a beautiful setting, with countryside stretching out for miles around us. This means local produce is available from just around the corner, including all of these thriving blackberry bushes.

It only took around half an hour to collect enough berries to feed a small army, which we then immediately put to good use. The final result was a delicious blackberry and apple crumble, loosely based off this recipe with a bit of homely improvisation. I didn’t manage to get a photo of the final product, my family spooned it into their bowls within seconds of it leaving the oven!

See you soon for more updates.

Jess.

Boots ’n’Blackberries

How to (not) bake: Macaroons

I am very much an amateur baker. But someone who considers baking more of an art form is my friend Ted. After years of producing baked goods for high street chains such as Harris + Hoole and Basil, he has pretty much mastered every recipe imaginable. So when a decision was reached to bake macaroons on a day I was visiting, optimism levels were high.

We were very much mistaken. Even with our dynamic minds combined, a very simple macaroon recipe, and 60 minutes of free time, things did not go according to plan. The downward spiral is not that apparent in these pictures until the very end, which frankly looks like a batch of very overdone cookies.

Whilst the experience has not deterred me, it has certainly opened my eyes as to how difficult these little French delicacies are to create! Have you ever had any culinary disasters?

Jess.

How to (not) bake: Macaroons